The first virus case was confirmed in Chile by the Ministry of Health on the 3rd March 2020, when the country was still facing protests and riots that had begun in October 2019.
The cases have been concentrated in the Greater Santiago area, with outbreaks in other areas, including the Norte Grande, Araucanía, Chillán and Punta Arenas.
No national lockdown has been established in Chile - only in some communes and urban areas.
Chile closed its borders on 18 March and a State of Catastrophe was decreed. The number of COVID-19 cases in Chile continues to rise and the President has declared that the health system is “…under strain and close to collapse”. There is also increasing incidence of social unrest and protests, particularly in the poorer neighbourhoods, due to perceived lack of government aid.
On 28 July the Government's travel instructions were updated. Some companies from essential industries such as Public Utility Services, Security,Press, Food and trade in essential household goods, Education, and Public service are able to restart operations.
The partial suspension of economic activities since mid-March led to a historic fall in gross domestic product (GDP) in April and May of 14.1% and 15.3% respectively and the elimination of 1.5 million jobs. The Central Bank of Chile estimates a recession of up to 7.5% by 2020, while the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that poverty could reach 13.7%.
The pandemic has also affected the scheduled 2020 Chilean national plebiscite (referendum).
Useful links (Spanish language)