A woman wearing a face mask scans a QR-code to check her turn to take a train at Constitucion train station, amid a rise in cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 8, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

BUENOS AIRES – The Argentine government extended on Thursday the social, preventive and mandatory distancing measures established to control the COVID-19 pandemic until April 30, according to a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette.

The decree stated that “in all areas, both public and private,” people must maintain a minimum distance of two meters from each other and wear face masks in shared spaces.

In addition, it noted that “under no circumstances may persons who are considered ‘confirmed cases'” of COVID-19 circulate, nor may persons considered “suspected cases” or “close contacts.”

The decree said that telework will be encouraged among those who can and group trips should be suspended for students graduating from primary or secondary schools, as well as retiree trips, study tours, non-official sports competitions and tourist trips throughout the country.

In areas with high epidemiological and health risks, such as the city of Buenos Aires, mobility is prohibited between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., according to the regulations.

Moreover, social activities and meetings in private homes and in open public spaces of more than 20 people, along with any recreational sports of over 10 people in a closed area, are suspended until April 30.

Casinos, discos and nightclubs are closed until April 30, while restaurants and bars must close between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

President Alberto Fernandez told local press on Thursday that the measures were adopted “in good faith,” in sync with provincial governors and for residents’ protection, state News agency Telam reported.

“The majority of COVID-19 infections happen on public transport and during social gatherings,” the president stressed, “not in factories or schools,” urging people to avoid all social gatherings.

As of Thursday, Argentina confirmed 2,473,751 COVID-19 cases and 57,122 deaths, according to the health ministry.