Life won’t be the same after the Coronavirus. Staying at home with the family, working from home, finding a balance between the challenges of public health, individual freedoms, allowing the population to generate enough income, among others, is not and will not be easy. These great social, cultural and economic changes will be with us for quite some time, which is why we must continue to prepare ourselves and accept the changes to come with emotional intelligence.
The number of infected people in the country will continue to increase, as will the measures have declared and implemented by the National Government in recent days from the health, migration, labor, education and social fields. Notwithstanding the measures that will begin to modify or regulate the circumstances we are experiencing; I would like to inform you of some of these below:
It was decided to temporarily restrict the entry of all non-nationals and non-residents into the country. Those Colombian citizens or foreigners residing in the country who arrive in Colombia after March 16 will have to be placed in preventive isolation for 14 days under penalty of sanctions established at the administrative, migratory and criminal levels. On this second point, Migration Colombia will be monitoring and controlling foreign citizens who have entered Colombia in recent weeks, especially from countries where an emergency has been declared due to outbreaks of contagion, in order to confirm that they are complying with the preventive isolation. The authorities do not have enough personnel to verify this situation, which is why it is hoped that foreigners will be aware of the situation and do their part to comply with this measure.
Likewise, it has been decided to suspend the service of the entry and exit controls of the country through the Biometric Migration and Automatic Migration, until further notice.
The Ministry of Labor has issued Circulars 0017 and 0018 of 2020, which establish actions for the control and prevention of diseases, specifying the responsibilities of workers, as well as strategies for employers and contractors. Some of these are: Carry out frequent and good hand washing; in the event of symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, stay at home and communicate with the preventive care lines; use teleworking when possible, train personnel in prevention against COVID-19, adopt flexible schedules to minimize the risk of exposure or large influx of people in different spaces, among others.
These obligations are relevant when classifying this illness as an occupational disease if contracted in the workplace, as well as possible effects on the employment contract and medical incapacity payments. Likewise, from the perspective of data protection it would be worth reviewing the obligation to provide information on the condition of self-health despite the fact of not being certain of being infected.
The next few weeks will be very important to control the spread of COVID-19 in our country. Although everything depends on each one of us, we must also think about those around us, having a sense of co-responsibility and social responsibility, since I depend on them and them on me.