Lockdown will be three days next weekend due to holiday; Tram adjusts hours for curfew; Reminder of curfew penalties; ‘Nulo’ vote won in 17 towns

Apr 24, 2021 | 41 comments

The weekend lockdown begins a day early next week due to the Labor Day holiday, which will be observed Friday, April 30. Confinement will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday and continue until Monday, May 3 at 5 a.m. “There will be no Labor Day events this year due to the health emergency and because the holiday is scheduled for April 30 it will be subject to the rule of confinement that will also be enforced on Saturday and Sunday, May 1 and 2,” Interior Minister Gabriel Martínez said Friday.

Empty streets were the norm in Cuenca Friday night as the weekend curfew went into effect.

Martínez said it was “regrettable” that the holiday is suspended. “Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated with parades, social events and parties but this cannot be allowed this year due the pandemic. Because the holiday is part of a three-day weekend we have no option but to include it in the weekend confinement.”

Labor Day is officially May 1 but under Ecuador’s Law of Holidays it is celebrated on the Friday closest to the date to give workers a three-day weekend.

Tram adjusts hours for curfew
Cuenca’s tram will operate only during non-curfew hours and not on Saturday and Sunday during the health emergency which ends May 20, the system’s management announced Friday. Operating hours the week of April 26 will be 5:50 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will not operate on Friday, April 30 due to the Labor Day holiday which will be a day of confinement. On the following two weeks of the emergency, the tram will operate Monday through Friday from 5:50 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The ‘nulo’ vote won in 17 towns, most of them in Azuay Province
According to statistics provided by the National Election Council, the nulo vote led the field in the April 11 presidential runoff election in 17 cities and towns. The village of Chunasana in Azuay Province recorded the highest percentage of nulo votes in the country, with 166 of 178 of the legal ballots choosing the “none of the above” option. The CNE reports that the nulo vote won in Chordeleg, Girón, Gualaceo, Nabón, Oña, Paute, San Fernando, Santa Isabel and Sígsig in Azuay Province. In Cañar Province it led in El Tambo and Suscal and also came out on top Alausí, Chunchi and Guamote in Chimborazo Province, as well as in Taisha in Morona Santiago Province and in Yacuambi in Zamora Chinchipe Province.

The nulo vote was promoted by the indigenous Pachakutik Movement, which had supported Yaku Perez in the February 7 election. Perez finished 30,000 votes behind President-elect Guillermo Lasso and the movement claimed his loss was the result of fraud and asked its followers not to support Lasso or Andres Arauz in the runoff.

Penalties for curfew violations
The Emergency Operations Committee and the National Police remind Ecuadorians that curfew violations can result in fines or prison sentences of one to three years. In addition, those hosting or attending private gatherings or selling alcoholic beverages during curfew hours will be subject to fines or prison. Private vehicles on the streets and highways without authorization will be impounded and repeat offenses can lead permanent confiscation of vehicles.