Uruguay enabled its first massive public parties since the beginning of the pandemic: what will the rules be
This Tuesday the traditional “Night of Nostalgia” will be held. There will be maximum capacity allowed in discos depending on the places are open or closed and the people are vaccinated or not
Given the low level of covid-19 cases in Uruguay, the Ministry of Public Health updated the protocols prepared for parties and events on one of the nights with the most attendance of the year. The so-called Noche de la Nostalgia , for Uruguayans, is a date in which a large number of parties are organized to dance to music from the ’60, ’70, ’80 and ’90.
The protocol will be in force as of this Monday, just before the Night of Nostalgia that begins to be celebrated this Tuesday. Parties that include immunized people can gather up to 200 people indoors and 300 outdoors. Those that allow unvaccinated people will be able to gather up to 100 indoors and 150 outdoors. And they can be extended until five in the morning.
The dance will be allowed for forty minutes every hour, but only at parties with people immunized. These indications do not apply to clandestine parties that, until now, have been the cause of many infections in Uruguay. Regarding the use of face masks, the Ministry of Public Health recommends it, although it is not mandatory.
Nostalgia Night is the first holiday on which parties with dances will be enabled since the arrival of the covid-19 to the country in March 2020.
This March 23, the SINAE (National Emergency System) reported 80 new cases of covid-19 and zero deaths . Of the 1,367 people who are suffering from the disease, 18 of them are admitted to intensive treatment centers (ICS).
Uruguay is located in the yellow zone of the Harvard index with each of its departments, including Montevideo, maintaining an average of 1 to 10 new cases per day, every one hundred thousand inhabitants.
These encouraging figures are what allowed Luis Lacalle Pou to announce at a press conference on August 9 that the Council of Ministers had enabled the protocols for the Night of Nostalgia and that it had resolved the gradual opening of borders from 1 September.
“Foreign owners who are immunized will be allowed to enter our country and they will require a negative PCR at the time of entry. On November 1, the border opening will be greater. We are going to have an immunization above 75%, for a long time. We are going to have the third dose given almost in its entirety and we are going to authorize the entry of all foreigners who are immunized and who have a negative PCR, ”said the president.
In addition, he informed that on August 18, in a match in which Peñarol, the Uruguayan soccer team, will play for the South American Cup, an audience will be allowed in the stands. The capacity will be five thousand vaccinated people.
Once the press conference was over, the Minister of Public Health, Daniel Salinas, reported through his Twitter account that, last August 24, other activities such as weddings or quinceanera parties will be resumed.
According to Lacalle Pou, the country is “on the way to establishing the cessation of the health emergency” with no definite dates.
In May 2021, Uruguay went from being one of the countries that controlled the pandemic to being the third country in the world in number of cases, according to the Harvard Index, which counts the existing cases per 100,000 inhabitants. It was only surpassed by the Maldives and Bahrain. On May 21, the country registered its record of infections: 4,692 new cases in one day.
Despite the fact that the vaccination campaign began on February 27 with the vaccinators themselves and with the first population group on March 1, the effects of herd immunity did not become visible until June . Between the 2nd and the 11th of that month, the number of patients admitted to intensive care fell. The reduction was 102 people in ten days.
The booster vaccination campaign, offering the Coronavac-vaccinated population a third dose of Pfizer, began in early August. According to the Our World in Data database, at the moment, Uruguay is fourth in the number of vaccinated population, worldwide. It is surpassed by the United Arab Emirates, in first place, Malta, in second, and Singapore, in third.
The Ministry of Public Health indicates that, as of August 23, 2021, the percentage of the population inoculated with a first dose is 74.59% and, with a second, 69.64%. With a high number of Uruguayans having completed the immunization schedule of the pharmaceutical companies Sinovac, AstraZeneca and Pfizer, 44,296 people are scheduled today for the Pfizer booster dose.