With 73% vaccinated, Chile relaxes COVID restrictions

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 09 2021 07:55 AM

SANTIAGO - Chile, with over 73 percent of its population fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, announced Thursday it would relax pandemic restrictions but keep its borders closed.

The country of 19 million people has since February vaccinated 73.1 percent of its target population -- more than 11.1 million to date, according to official data.

The numbers of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths has been decreasing over the past month.

Chile is one of the countries in the world with the longest-running restrictions on movement, with most schooling happening remotely since March 2020.

The government announced Thursday it would allow in-person schooling to resume, though for now, it will be up to parents to decide whether or not to send their kids back to class.

It would also shorten the obligatory quarantine for people who enter the country -- though the borders remain shut to foreigners -- and allow more businesses to open, including cinemas.

Fans will be allowed back to football stadiums.

A nightly curfew will remain in place but its hours can now be adapted based on coronavirus trends in each region.

On Thursday, Chile recorded 3,193 new cases in 24 hours and 186 deaths, for a total of 1.5 million infections and 23,000 deaths.

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