Argentine Migrations Director Florencia Carignano said this weekend in a radio interview that those who left the country before the entry of airborne passengers was reduced from 2,000 to 600 a day -or two flights- should have known this could happen.
“People may leave, but they will have to know that maybe they won't come back when they have to,” Carignano said. “We are not the only country with these unfriendly measures,” she added.
Copa Airlines passengers who were supposed to change planes at Panama City's Tocumen International Airport were complaining Sunday when their outbound flight to Buenos Aires was cancelled after being denied permission to arrive by Argentine authorities, leaving them in limbo.
Carignano justified the new measures as a way to “delay the entry of new strains of the coronavirus into our country,” adding that the curring restriction is set to last until August 31.
In addition, “people who enter the country must observe mandatory preventive isolation at places established by the provincial authorities and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. The costs of the stay in the isolation places and the cost of the tests and sequencing tests must be borne by the passengers.”
Similar restrictions apply to river transportation to and from Uruguay, forcing operators Buquebús to cut down their weekly services to once a week.
“Only Argentines can enter Argentina,” Carignano stressed. Se also pointed out the measure has helped “the country's health system not to collapse at any time. It is naive to believe that the Delta variant is not going to enter. It happened in Israel, where almost 70% of the population is already vaccinated.”
Carignano also justified the new restrictions because last week we set out to control the house-to-house quarantine” and found “that 45% of those who had to be at home” were not. “This quarantine is not a whim,” she added as she pointed out that, according to Health Ministry data, people who return from abroad, after two or three days, start showing symptoms.
“If those people were turning around and they had the Delta variant, they spread it all over the place. That is why the quarantine is important,” the official underlined.
“It is not a problem that someone returns later from their vacations,” said Carignano, who insisted the measures meant giving a priority to domestic activity and to “Argentines who have to be vaccinated.”
Carignano also insisted that whoever “tests positive, they will be locked down in a hotel with their close contacts,” after it was determined that control by telephone does not work because some people say they are complying with the quarantine and it is a lie.”
She added that “I do not see where the problem with the measures is. People were not forced to leave the country. They accept the economic responsibilities and how the State is going to impose their return,” she went on.
”Whoever decides to go abroad in a pandemic knows that borders can be closed or open. It is not something new,” she said.