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Montevideo, August 8th 2022 - 19:27 UTC

 

 

Mercosur health ministers agree sanitary measures need to be unified

Friday, March 25th 2022 - 22:01 UTC
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“Convergence will be sought with respect to the entry requirements for each country,” Salinas said “Convergence will be sought with respect to the entry requirements for each country,” Salinas said

Health Ministers from all four Mercosur full member countries in addition to Chile's Thursday agreed during a meeting in Montevideo to work on unified sanitary requirements regarding COVID-19 for international travel.

“The need was reaffirmed for a regional harmonization of strategies, measures and health criteria related to border crossings, based on the principles and objectives of Mercosur and the possibilities for the establishment of consensus and processes,” according to a statement.

With severe cases of coronavirus waning down after successful vaccination campaigns, the Governments pledged to standardize entry requirements at a regional level to make travel easier, which -officials warned- is not tantamount to lifting all control measures.

The IV Extraordinary Meeting of Ministers of Health of Mercosur and Associated States, held in Montevideo, was attended by Carla Vizzotti (Argentina), Julio César Borba Vargas (Paraguay), Marcelo Queiroga (Brazil), María Begonia Yarza Sáez (Chile) and Daniel Salinas (Uruguay).

The latter said after the meeting that “convergence will be sought with respect to the entry requirements for each country, in terms of vaccines, forms of affidavits and entry analysis.”

Chile requires international travelers to have their vaccinations approved prior to travel, which is not in force in any other country in the region and which Salinas believed should not apply.

The ministers also agreed on coordinated strategies to address COVID-19 amid the circulation of other respiratory viruses, due to which prevention measures common to this type of virus needed to be upped.

In other words, the practices to which society has already become used to after two years of the pandemic will remain in place to combat other types of infections, including the use of masks, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation of indoor spaces.

The officials also agreed to promote initiatives between the so-called “mirror cities” on each side of the border, such as vaccination campaigns against measles, rubella, and yellow at border crossings.

Representatives of the tourism sector are eagerly awaiting announcements regarding eased-down travel rules.

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