Starting this coming Saturday, no passenger flights will be allowed into Argentina from covid-ridden Brazil, Chile and Mexico, in a move to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly the Amazon or P1 strain as well as the British variant which is also causing havoc in the country's health system.
This administrative decision signed by Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero strengthens the restrictions effective since March 13. Under the new measure, Argentines returning from abroad will have to pay for the PCR tests and quarantine will have to be observed at a venue to be chosen by the authorities. Foreign nationals will under no circumstance be allowed into the country for leisure purposes.
Flights were already banned to and from Great Britain and Northern Ireland out of fear of a second coronavirus wave. The administration of President Alberto Fernández took these measures considering the rapid evolution of epidemiological conditions, with various variants of Covid-19 in circulation that Argentina seeks to prevent while advancing with its vaccination campaign, which so far has reached 2.8 million people with one dose and about 650,000 with both doses.
For Argentines returning home, in addition to the coronavirus detection test before embarking to Argentina, another test will be added upon arrival in the country and a third one seven days after re-entry, always at the passenger's expense.
The Argentine borders will also remain closed to foreign tourism and anyone who is not Argentine and wants to enter the country with the purpose of doing tourism will not be able to do so.
With these measures, the Argentine government recommends that all Argentines and residents not travel abroad, especially those who belong to risk groups. The Government has been trying in recent weeks to discourage Argentines from travelling abroad for the Easter Week holidays.
Argentina registered 8,238 new cases of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus this Thursday, bringing the total number of positive cases to 2,278,115, while deaths rose to 55,092, after 146 fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Travelers who test positive upon entering the country must carry out another genomic sequencing test and, together with their close contacts, carry out isolation at venues indicated by the national authorities, until their safe transfer to their place of residence, if applicable, can be guaranteed. Everything at the expense of the passenger.
In the event of non-compliance with the mandatory isolation, the authorities must file a criminal complaint in accordance with arts. 205 and 239 of the Penal Code (for violation of measures against epidemics and disobedience to public authority). Travelers shall also be required to state where they had been during the fortnight prior to embarking.