March 14, 2020 / 4:24 PM / 18 days ago

Chile bans large public events over coronavirus fears, ahead of planned protests

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced a ban on public events with more than 500 people on Friday, as the government tries to curtail the spread of coronavirus even as massive social demonstrations are planned in the coming weeks.

Pinera also said people arriving in Chile from countries considered high-risk for the virus, including China, Italy and Spain, would have to quarantine for 14 days.

Chile has confirmed 43 cases of the coronavirus.

The ban on large public events, which will begin on Monday, could have implications for upcoming planned protests. Demonstrations began late last year over the high cost of living and inequality, in some cases attracting tens of thousands of people.

Reporting by Fabian Cambero; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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