Argentina's Health Minister Carla Vizzotti Thursday announced the Government's Health Pass will be ready next week. The permit, which will ban those who lack it from accessing certain activities, is regarded as an incentive for people to take their COVID-19 vaccines.
The document will apply mostly to sports, tourism and culture events, Vizzotti explained while in the city of Santa Fe during which she added the actual extent of the new measure will be defined in a future meeting of Cofesa, the committee of health ministries of local and national jurisdictions together.
The health passport seeks that we take care of each other, Vizzotti explained as she highlighted the importance of people completing their vaccination schedules. The health pass will be required for people over the age of 13 to attend mass events and activities held at indoor spaces and who must have completed their inoculations at least 14 before the events they wish to attend.
Vizzotti claimed there was no resistance to being vaccinated, but only that perception of risk had dropped after the second wave, so people tended to relax. Vizzotti particularly targeted people aged between 18 and 39 who failed to show up for their second doses.
For this age group, it is key to receive the second dose, to strengthen immunity so that when viral circulation increases, we are all as immune as possible, the minister insisted.
Vizzotti also addressed the appearance of the Omicron variant in Europe and said it was time to act on the vaccination campaign. The digital health pass will be available through a smartphone application.
The minister also said Europe acted as a prologue of what is to be expected locally so we are at a relevant moment because we have the film of what is happening in the northern hemisphere, we have the emergence of a new variant, despite the country's current favourable epidemiological status.
She insisted now was the moment people needed to exercise their right to be vaccinated and between each of the areas to minimize the risk of increased cases and hospitalizations.
Santa Fe Health Minister Sonia Martorano explained that at least within her jurisdiction, the health pass will only apply to mega-events both outdoors and indoors and insisted there was nothing restrictive about that. But she also made it clear the province would adhere to the national measure in this regard.
On the other hand, the provinces of Corrientes, Río Negro and Mendoza have announced they would oppose the health permit. Mendoza Governor was particularly clear about it. He said his province would not require that pass since vaccination is not mandatory.
Salta and Tucumán already have health passes of their own while the Province of Buenos Aires is waiting for the federal government to announce before making a final decision. But if such a pass is applied to restaurants and hotels, the promising Summer season ahead may turn into a major fiasco due to possible cancellations.