The Falkland Islands government, FIG, which continues to review connetivity, was informed by LATAM that the weekly air link with Chile, via the Punta Arenas-Santiago route will remain suspended until at least 7 November 2020, and the situation will be reviewed near that date.
Latin America's biggest airline, the Brazilian-Chilean group LATAM, said it was laying off at least 2,700 crew to cope with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the aviation industry.
The repatriation flight organised by the Falkland Islands Government arrived this morning, 31 July 2020, from Punta Arenas, Chile returning two Falkland Island residents to the Islands, and departing with 30 passengers on-board.
Mr. Ian Duddy has been appointed Ambassador to the Republic of Chile in succession to Mr Jamie Bowden. Mr Duddy’s priorities will be focused on UK-Chile co-operation in response to the Coronavirus crisis, including efforts for a clean, resilient global economic recovery and promoting meaningful action to tackle climate change in the lead-up to the COP26 UN climate conference hosted in Glasgow in November 2021 by the UK in partnership with Italy.
The Falkland Islands government had made donations to Uruguayan and Chilean Covid-19 charitable organizations that support Covid victims in the two countries. The decision was agreed this week by the Standing Financial Committee and involved 5,000 pounds to each of the organizations in the two South American neighbors.
Coronavirus cases in Latin America for the first time have surpassed the combined infections in the United States and Canada, a tally showed on Sunday, amid a surge of infections in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
On July 13 ExCo approved measures to facilitate a repatriation flight for approximately 50 individuals present in the Falklands who had planned to return home via scheduled flights, but due to the suspension of the LATAM services to South America had been unable to do so.
Chilean senators on Wednesday voted to approve a controversial bill that allows citizens to withdraw 10% of their pension savings to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.
Chilean government officials presented a plan on Sunday to gradually relax lockdown restrictions after the coronavirus infection rate improved in some regions of the country. The plan, called Step by Step, includes five stages that range from total quarantine to advanced opening and will be applied according to epidemiological criteria, the capacity of the healthcare system and the ability to trace cases, officials said.
Protesters in Santiago defied a citywide lockdown meant to combat the spread of the coronavirus, barricading roads and looting early into the morning on Wednesday in support of a proposal to allow Chileans to withdraw part of their pensions amid the crisis.