Release 20200728

Dear LCO employees,

What many of us predicted and hoped for happened: On Monday, July 27th, the Ministerio de Salud announced a quarantine for the communes of Coquimbo and La Serena, which will begin on Wednesday, July 29th, at 10 p.m. This measure is in response to the sustained increase in contagion in the area.

Because of this, Las Campanas Observatory will remain closed and will operate under what we have called "Phase A". In this release I would like to provide information regarding the operation of the quarantined observatory. Although LCO is not in the quarantine zone, a large part of its personnel lives in the La Serena-Coquimbo conurbation and most of its operation takes place in these cities.

In this phase, which will be maintained for the duration of the quarantine, only essential operations will be carried out in El Pino and Montaña. For this purpose, the workers who carry out these tasks will have a Permiso Colectivo to move, managed by the organization. They are requested to avoid public transportation to reach El Pino, to avoid as much as possible contagion. If you have problems with this, please contact your headquarters.

In order to move around using this collective permit, it is important that you have a document that proves your address, as the inspection authorities will check that the route corresponds to the worker's address and place of destination. To prove address, they can show their driver's license, rental contract, sworn statement of residence or other current document that indicates it. In addition, before passing through an area with a cordón sanitario they must complete the health form available here. This document functions as an affidavit and is valid for 24 hours. Information on cordons and health customs is available at the end of this release.

The other areas of LCO that perform non-essential work will continue to work remotely. In case of emergency, the team leaders will be able to carry out work in person.

It is very important in this stage and the following ones, to be guided by the COVID protocols of LCO.

Those who have to move around the communes of La Serena and Coquimbo for other reasons (doctors, purchase of supplies, etc), must apply for an individual permit at the Comisaría Virtual, with their RUT or passport (in the case of foreigners). At the end of this communication you will find a list with the permits and duration of each one.

In the case of diplomatic personnel, in addition to the corresponding temporary permit, they must show their diplomatic credentials when being audited by the authority.

All inquiries must be made to the direct team leaser. If you want information about the progress of Coronavirus in the country or in which stage of the "Step by Step" plan announced by the Government is a town or region, you can visit the website of Territorial Viewer.

Controles Sanitarios

  • La Serena: On Route 5 North on the Cuesta Porotitos
  • Vicuña: On Route 41 in the Pelican sector.
  • Andacollo: On Route D-49, El Peñón sector.
  • Ovalle: On the Las Cardas toll.
  • Coquimbo: On the Troncal Norte tollbooth on Route 5.

Sanitary Customs

  • Southern entrance to the Coquimbo Region, at the Pichidangui toll booth in the Los Vilos commune.
  • North entrance to the Coquimbo Region, in the Elqui Highway Tenure, in the La Higuera commune.

Access controls and sanitary barriers

  • Illapel
  • Chuchiñí
  • Sector of Las Chinchillas
  • "Artificial barriers", with cuts in Tunga Sur, Tunga Norte and Mincha Norte, Las Astas tunnel and Limáhuida.
  • Sanitary control by the municipality of Vicuña, La Calera sector (Elqui Valley)

List of individual permits for transit in quarantine zones

  1. Attendance at health centres, services and facilities by prearranged hour. Duration: 3 hours.
  2. Purchase of basic inputs: either for the purchase of food, medicines and/or other basic inputs. Duration: 3 hours.
  3. Departure of person with autism spectrum disorder or other type of cognitive disability. Duration: 2 hours, no weekly restrictions.
  4. Walk pets or animals within two blocks of the home or residence. Duration: 30 minutes.
  5. Payment of basic services; It can only be requested from Monday to Saturday for 3 hours.
  6. Attendance at funerals of direct relatives. Duration: 5 hours of free transit if you live in the same region as the funeral and 24 hours if the funeral is in another region.
  7. Application processes to the School Admission System, removal of food, texts and/or technological items for school purposes from public agencies, such as JUNAEB, schools or others. Duration: 5 hours.
  8. Appearance at a summons to which a lawyer or other person must attend by virtue of the law. The applicant must attach a copy of the respective summons. Duration: Until the completion of the proceedings.
  9. Bringing food, medicine or basic necessities to the old people, duration: 2 hours.
  10. To take and leave food, medicines or basic necessities in penitentiary premises, according to the rules established by the Gendarmerie of Chile. Duration: 3 hours.
  11. Transfer of children or adolescents between the homes of their parents or guardians, duration: 2 hours for the transfer.
  12. Transfer and permanence of the father, mother or guardian to health facilities to visit persons with disabilities and dependence who are hospitalized there. Duration: 3 hours maximum.
  13. Civil marriage ceremonies and/or civil union agreement. This permit may be requested only once, with the use of the RUN of both parties, which may include a total of up to 10 companions. Duration: 4 hours.
  14. Blood donor permit for people who have a reserved hour in an authorized donation center. This permit will last 4 hours for blood donors and may be requested once every 90 days.
  15. Care of the old person and people with disabilities, this permit may be valid for a maximum of one week.
  16. Departure of older adults in sectors or localities in Quarantine Step or Transition Step (Steps 1 and 2): Persons over 75 years of age, who reside in sectors or localities in Quarantine Step or Transition Step, may leave their homes, up to a distance of 200 meters around them, for 60 minutes, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 10:00 and 12:00 hours, or between 15:00 and 17:00 hours. You must carry your National Identity Card and may be accompanied by a person in your care, always wearing a mask, avoiding crowds and walking at least one meter away from other people. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to enter closed places or carry out any other activity.
  17. For people who have to travel to another region or arrive in the country, the bus, train and/or plane ticket, their identity card and/or passport will be considered as a permit or safe-conduct to go from the terminal to their home or vice versa. You must always carry the health passport that can be obtained at
  18. Other qualified and urgent cases that the competent authority authorizes, which must be requested in person at the offices of the Carabineros de Chile.

To cross through sectors or localities with movement restrictions (Steps 1 and 2) you must have an Individual Temporary Permit.

Temporary Individual Travel Permits between sectors or localities that are in different steps will be granted, exceptionally, for essential activities that cannot be postponed.


Leopoldo Infante Lira

Director Las Campanas Observatory

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