April 10, 2020
1. Government meets with business leaders and labor unions
The government began a round of meetings with employers and workers on Tuesday to discuss the partial lifting of the quarantine that expires on Sunday. Representatives of the Fernández administration and the Ministry of Health received the Argentine Chamber of Commerce (CAC), the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) and the Argentine Industrial Union (UIA). The objective is to form a tripartite table between government, employers and union to synchronize actions in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
2. The government extended the list of essential activities
As a result of Administrative Decision 467/2020, published in the Official Gazette on April 8th, the government has added notaries to the list of essential activities in order to avoid the movement or circulation of persons considered to be at risk, retirees and Anses beneficiaries, who may also transfer ownership free of charge. Moreover, the new rules set by the Chief of Staff urges professional associations to continue “strict compliance” with the rules of preventative isolation with the exception of minimal activity and restricted to the sole purpose of enabling the formalization and legalization of the provisions set out on Wednesday. On Tuesday, through Administrative Decision 468/20, private energy infrastructure work was also added to the list of essential activities. People covered by this regulation must apply for the Single Certificate of Enabling Activity. This brings the total number of occupations that have been granted special exemptions to 49.
BAE Negocios: Vuelve a ampliarse el listado de actividades esenciales
3. The single certificate of circulation takes effect
People with occupations declared essential during preventive and obligatory social isolation, such as funeral personnel, public works personnel, transport, laundry, surveillance, production, sale and home distribution of food or hygiene products, among others, will only be able to “validate their situation” by showing the “COVID-19 Single Certificate of Enabling Activity – Emergency.” However, Administrative Resolution 446/2020 by the Cabinet of Ministers, which established this, exempts those who carry out 15 of the 24 essential activities and services stipulated by Decree 297/2020 from the obligation to process and carry the certificate. In this case, “they must prove their status through the formalities and procedures established by the corresponding authorities for that purpose.” Also exempted are persons “who must be displaced due to force majeure,” workers in the public sector who are on the “list of agents providing critical services” and those working in “the legislative and judicial branches and authorities from the municipalities, the city of Buenos Aires and the provinces.”
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4. Through decree, Government postpones debts of up to USD $10 billion by 2021
Through Decree 346/2020 published in the Official Gazette, the government decided to postpone the payment of principal and interest on bonds and other securities in U.S. dollars issued under local law until next year. The norm indicates that due to the “deterioration of the economic and social situation as a result of the health emergency, the imminent maturity of public debt services of the national government issued under the law of the Republic of Argentina and denominated in U.S. dollars.” In this way, the Minister of Economy, Martín Guzmán, re-profiled capital and bond interest in U.S. dollars under local law through the end of the year. Likewise, in the context of the financing needs of the fight against the coronavirus in the country, the president called for an agreement among ministers to provide for the “deferral of payments of interest and capital amortization services” until December 31st.
5. Alberto Fernandez said that the quarantine will continue, but more flexible
President Alberto Fernández stated on Monday in an interview that the quarantine will not end on Sunday, April 12th, but “will be relaxed” for different economic sectors. He also said that next Monday, classes will not resume and admitted that the isolation will imply “a great cost for the economy,” but that the priority of the executive branch “is to take care of the Argentine people. We have taken a big step, look at what is happening in other countries,” he said.