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Peru: Council of Ministers Cancels Controversial Quarantine Schedule Based on Gender

(Apr. 30, 2020) On April 10, 2020, Peru’s Council of Ministers issued Supreme Decree 064-2020-PCM, which cancelled a quarantine schedule based on gender that had been adopted to reduce the contagion curve of COVID-19 in the country. Supreme Decree 057-2020-PCM of April 2, 2020, had mandated that men and women would be able to circulate only on alternate days for the duration of the quarantine in Peru. The quarantine had originally been scheduled to end on April 12 but was extended until May 10 through article 2 of Supreme Decree 075-2020-PCM of April 25, 2020.

According to President Martin Vizcarra, the gender-based quarantine schedule was cancelled because it proved to be both ineffective and controversial. Transsexual activists complained that police officers had aggressively approached two transsexual women for going out to buy food on the supposedly wrong day. The measure also created confusion and chaos when crowds and long lines resulted at public markets and supermarkets where thousands of women were hurrying to make grocery and pharmacy purchases on the day before the restrictive measure took effect.

Under the gender-based quarantine measure, only one person per household was allowed to leave the house to purchase food and medicine or seek banking services.

Circulation of men on the streets was permitted only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Women were allowed to circulate on the streets on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. On Sundays neither men nor women were permitted to circulate.

Exempted from the gender quarantine were those who needed to go out to collect COVID-19-related emergency subsidy payments from the government and pension payments.

It was also mandatory for anyone circulating in public spaces to wear protective masks.

Violators of these measures were subject to arrest and fines.