Coronavirus: Peru cancels gender separation lockdown measure

A police woman patrols the streets adjacent to Lima's main square, the Plaza de Armas, on April 9, 2020.
A police woman patrols the streets adjacent to Lima's main square, the Plaza de Armas, on April 9, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

LIMA (AFP) - Peru on Friday (April 10) cancelled a controversial measure restricting public movement by gender to try to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, after just over a week.

A decree in the official gazette stated that instead of men and women leaving their homes on alternate days "to buy food, pharmaceutical products and perform financial operations, only one person per family unit can move from Monday to Saturday."

As with the previous measure, announced on April 2, no one is allowed out on Sundays under Peru's lockdown.

The gender-based lockdown measure was criticised by transgender activists worried that it would lead to greater discrimination.

The decree did not specify how police or the military would enforce the new measure, which will apply as long as the country's lockdown, which is scheduled to continue until April 26.

"Measures are taken based on the objectives we want to achieve: that ... we can give the virus the minimum possibility to spread," said President Martin Vizcarra.

The decree also reduced by one hour a nighttime curfew which now runs from 6.00 pm to 4.00 am.

Peru has recorded close to 5,900 coronavirus cases and 169 deaths.