So I was doing a private consultation with a family from the UK who’ve spent many years in Asia and they told me that walking around in London right now it looks like the pandemic never happened.
They were asking me what the situation is like in Uruguay. I thought maybe you’d also be interested in an update.
I’m not sure if you know, but the last month I was away on leave in Rocha. And I’ve just been back in Montevideo for a week. So let me tell you about what I’ve observed at the beach and back in dah big city.
It’s still obligatory to wear a face covering in public places. In an office, a shop, or any public place, people wear masks.
I went to the theatre to see a show on Friday night. Everyone wore masks. The seats between each group were blocked to ensure some kind of distancing.
I’ve been paying attention as I’m walking around. I noticed quite a few people wear masks when they’re out and about on the street (masks in the open air were never obligatory).
At the beach inevitably things were more relaxed.
But I was pleasantly surprised to see the rules being followed. Whenever you went into a shop, or even a little bakery, there were signs on the door asking you to wear your face mask, and everybody adhered to that. Of course as most restaurants have an open element to them, and you take your face mask off as soon as you sit down, some people wore masks as they entered the restaurant, and others did not (I know I forgot to pop mine on a few times).
So how are case numbers looking? If you’ve been following along, you will have remembered that Omicron arrived before Christmas and our case numbers shot up dramatically reaching around 12,000 by late January. Since then they’ve been falling steadily. Yesterday case numbers were just over 1,000.
This fall in numbers is directly attributed to Uruguayans' willingness to get vaccinated. My estimate is that nine out of ten adults are vaccinated.
Stats show that 58% of the entire population so far have gotten a third dose, and now many of us are able to sign up to get a fourth. Third and fourth doses have all been Pfizer. Obviously there are concerns regarding children, but with schools just going back (remember, we've just ended the summer holidays here), I just checked numbers and 49% of 5 to 11-year-olds have already been vaccinated. So that shows that Uruguayans are continuing to have a positive attitude to vaccination.
If you’re planning to travel to and from Uruguay, now antigen tests are accepted on arrival. Before it was just the more expensive PCRs.