El Salvador is turning away foreigners to avoid coronavirus
To date, no one in the Central American country has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele has vowed not to make the same mistakes as the U.S. and China.
With his country free of coronavirus — for now — Bukele has banned all foreigners from entering El Salvador for 30 days.
“How much would Italy give to be in our position and be able to declare a quarantine before having thousands of cases?” he said during a national address on March 11. “We are facing a pandemic with an incredible virility that has probably never been seen before.”
Even Salvadorans and residents abroad are not free of stringent measures. Those coming back into the country will be required to quarantine for the same length of the ban.
The latter ruling has created some chaotic scenes at the country’s airports, as many coming back into the country showed frustration at their circumstances.
Around 90 people have been quarantined since returning from outside El Salvador.
Inside the country, schools will be closed for 21 days, but people will still be allowed to go to work along with imports and exports.
Two thousand soldiers will also be deployed at 142 non-official entry points into El Salvador and those caught trying to cross will be imprisoned.
On March 13, El Salvador’s Congress met to discuss implementing emergency powers, which would suspend some free speech and free association rights in a further escalation of measures towards coronavirus prevention.