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03 Apr 2020 | 07:49 AM UTC

Uruguay: Classes suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19 outbreak April 2 /update 4

President Lacalle Pou indefinitely suspends classes amid COVID-19 outbreak on April 2; take precautions against virus



On Thursday, April 2, President Luis Lacalle Puo extended the suspension of classes indefinitely as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in the country. Lacalle Pou initially announced their suspension on Saturday, March 14, until Monday, April 13, though stated that no deadline will be set going forward.

All international flights originating from Europe have been suspended since Friday, March 20. On Wednesday, March 25, Uruguayan authorities announced that all foreign travelers, except for citizens and legal residents, will be prohibited from entering the country. Those over 65 years of age are advised to remain indoors due to their vulnerability. Government authorities have asked residents to remain indoors as much as possible and are considering general quarantine measures if the situation worsens.

As of Friday, April 3, there are 369 confirmed COVID-19 cases including four deaths and 68 recovered. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.