South America

Venezuela establishes mobility controls in capital region due to Coronavirus

A man watches as people are placed in the middle of the street by security forces in the low income neighbourhood of Petare as a punishment for disrespecting social distancing, measures amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Caracas, Venezuela

Venezuelan Transport Minister Hipolito Abreu announced Monday restrictions on the movement of people to and from the country’s capital region, amid new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Abreu outlined on state-owned television that collective transportation services to the Capital District, and the states of Miranda and La Guaira, in the north central part of the country, have been suspended from March 15 to 21.

The measure also applies to residents of the southeast state of Bolivar, which borders Brazil, who will not be able to travel to other regions of the country without special authorization.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday called for a “health fence” in these areas, after cases of the COVID-19 variant first detected in Brazil were confirmed in all four regions.

However, essential and priority economic sector workers will be able to move around normally and use the Caracas subway, along with the railway system that links the Venezuelan capital with neighboring cities, according to the minister.

“We can provide a safe capacity of 1.5 million users on the metro and railway; but, we are going to limit the daily average to about 800,000,” Abreu said.

The minister also indicated that international air connections to and from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Bolivia and Turkey will remain in operation. 

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