Dozens of Argentine-flagged private boats have been left stranded after mooring at the Uruguayan most exclusive port of Punta del Este because there is no COVID-19 corridor for their voyage back home, it was reported.
Some 200 ships of different sizes are banned from returning home until further notice, as a result of health protocols still in force in Argentina. The measures were taken at the beginning of the pandemic and have not been reviewed so far.
Tourists may enter and leave Uruguay in commercial ships, cars, buses and planes, provided they comply with a series of health requirements such as the affidavit and the presentation of a negative PCR test, but those who traveled on their private boats are faced with the bureaucratic hurdle that Argentina still does not allow them to return by the same means.
The City of Buenos Aires and the Province of Buenos Aires do not qualify as “safe corridors,” even though they remain the only waterways points of entry into the country.
Three port terminals in Buenos Aires, including those of Buquebús and Colonia Express, are the only safe corridors.
According to press reports, the solution lies in boat owners submitting their own safe corridor protocols for verification by sanitary authorities.