On March 16th 2020 the Peruvian government declared a nationwide State of Emergency, issued by means of Supreme Decree N° 044-2020-PCM (hereinafter the “Law”), which will remain in force until April 12th 2020. However, alongside the restriction of personal liberties, this measure has not been without legal consequences in other areas. Therefore, we will address the most frequently asked questions with regard to the quarantine.
Question N° 01: how are personal liberties restricted during the State of Emergency?
During the State of Emergency, the exercise of rights to personal liberty and security, inviolability of the home and freedom of assembly and movement has been restricted in the Peruvian territory. This means that, people are not allowed to mobilize between the hours of 5:00 AM and 6:00 PM, unless it is strictly in order to buy food or medicine, go to the bank or the hospital and return home.
Likewise, people will not be allowed to mobilize between 6:00 PM and 5:00 AM of the following day, unless they are necessary personnel participating in the supply of food, health services, medicine, water services, sanitation, electricity, gas, fuel, telecommunications, cleaning and waste collection, funerary services, transportation of merchandise and heavy loads, and similar activities.
Finally, effective on April 3rd 2020, concerning the hours of mobilization allowed to seek the aforementioned provisions and services, only men will be allowed to go out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, whereas only women will be allowed to go out on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Nobody will be allowed to go out on Sundays. This measure will remain in place until the State of Emergency is lifted.
Question N° 02: who is allowed to physically attend their workplace during the State of Emergency?
The Law makes a distinction between Essential and Non-Essential Workers, in the sense that only the former are allowed to physically attend their workplace, whereas the latter can only work from home, if possible. With regard to that, the Law deems those who perform labor or render services in any of the following activities as Essential Workers:
- Water, sanitation, electricity, gas, fuel, telecommunications, cleaning and waste collection.
- Production, storage and sale of food, pharmaceutical products and basic necessities to the public.
- Health services.
- Assistance and care for the elderly and vulnerable people.
- Financial entities, insurance and pensions.
- Manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution and sale of fuel.
- Hotel and accommodation services, used to comply with the quarantine.
- Media services and Call Centers, only for services related to the State of Emergency.
- Public workers who render services deemed necessary to deal with the COVID-19 emergency.
- The manufacture and industrial sectors which the Ministry of Economy and Finance, in coordination with competent sectors, may deem as strictly necessary.
- Complementary or related services to the aforementioned.
- Any other similar activity or which may be carried out due to fortuitous events (acts of God) or force majeure.
Places of business and public entities not deemed as essential will remain closed during the State of Emergency.
In addition, Essential Workers may be detained by Police or the Military, during travel, and asked to identify themselves. Upon such requests, they will be required to display the following documents:
- Photo ID issued by their employer or certificate of employment;
- Peruvian ID (DNI) or Foreign ID Card (CE);
- Labor Permit, issued by the Peruvian National Police;
- Any other document authorities may deem necessary in order to provide proof of employment as an Essential Worker.
Question N° 03: what happens if I break the Law concerning the order to stay at home?
If you break the law you may be registered in the “Registry of Offenders Who Do Not Abide by the Stay at Home Order” created by Supreme Decree N° 04-2020-IN. The information on the registry will be sent to the Public Ministry so that they may begin investigations against the offenders breaking the law. Depending on their behavior during police intervention, offenders may be charged with one of more of the following crimes:
|01||Violation of Sanitary Measures (Art. 292° of Criminal Code)||Jail time of no more than 2 years or 20 to 52 days of community service.|
|02||Violence against authorities in the exercise of their functions (Art. 366° of Criminal Code)||Jail time of no less than 2 years and no more than 4 years; or 80 to 140 days of community service.|
|03||Aggravated violence against authorities (Art. 367° of Criminal Code)|
|If the violence stated in numeral 2 above is directed at Police Officers or members of the Military, the jail time will be of no less than 4 years and no more than 8 years.|
|04||Resisting or disobeying authority (Art. 368° of Criminal Code)||Jail time of no less than 3 years and no more than 6 years.|
Question N° 04: what happens to outstanding administrative procedures and deadlines, especially those related to the National Superintendence of Immigration (MIGRACIONES)?
Administrative procedures, in general, have been suspended for a period of thirty (30) business days, effective from March 16th 2020; according to Urgent Decree N° 026-2020. Which means that the maximum term granted to entities in order to resolve outstanding procedures has been extended by said period.
In addition, MIGRACIONES has adopted the following measures by means of their Superintendence Resolution N° 000104-2020:
|01||Appointments||All outstanding appointments shall be rescheduled, once the State of Emergency is lifted.|
|02||Administrative Procedures and Overstay Fines||All administrative procedures and application of overstay fines have been suspended until the end of the State of Emergency.|
|03||Loss of Residency||Deadlines applicable to loss of residency for remaining outside the country for more than the allotted period have been extended, in benefit of all foreign residents currently abroad, whether with a Special Leave Permit or not.|
This extension will be calculated from March 16th until the end of the State of Emergency.
|04||Visa Extension||All visas, whether temporary or resident, will be extended from March 16th until the end of the State of Emergency.|
Upon contact with MIGRACIONES’ authorities, we were told that an additional extension is being considered, after the State of Emergency is lifted.
Question N° 05: what happens to tourists who got stuck in the country due to the travel ban and closing of the borders?
The Ministry of Tourism and Foreign Trade has created a website to collect info on all tourists currently stuck in Peru. The info will be relayed to the Consulates and Embassies of the corresponding foreigners, and the Peruvian Chancellery will coordinate with the governments of such people in order to arrange flights out of the country.
By the Immigration Department for Foreign Residents at RGB Avocats © – Peruvian Attorneys-at-Law
Disclaimer: The information on this page is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in Peru. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.