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ARGENTINA | 11-08-2021 10:50

Argentina plans to re-open borders with Chile and Uruguay in September

Government is planning to re-open Argentina's frontiers with Chile and Uruguay next month, starting September 6.

Following the announcement of new relaxations of coronavirus restrictions nationwide, the government is planning to re-open Argentina's frontiers with Chile and Uruguay next month.

Immigration Department director Florencia Carignano assured that the government’s idea is to reopen the land frontiers with those two neighbours "as from September 6" with controls and protocols similar to those applied to people entering the country via Ezeiza international airport.

"As from September 6 we’re going to carry out a pilot test of tourism with Chile and Uruguay but the Delta variant [of coronavirus] has shown us that it might all be scrapped," expressed Carignano, adding in radio statements: "When we open the land frontiers, we will have to apply protocols similar to [at] Ezeiza [international airport] with testing and places to isolate people."

The National Migration director underlined that in the next few weeks the daily cap of 1,700 passengers allowed to enter the country via Ezeiza could rise.

"The numbers for contagion are dropping, thus permitting us to start with more flexibility. We tried to shut down a bit to be better placed against the Delta variant. In these five weeks we have gained time delaying its arrival, vaccinating 12 million people," highlighted Carignano.

In that respect she pointed out that "if everything continues fine" and coronavirus cases keep dropping, "[the cap] could go up again to 2,300 people [daily]." The national official also underlined that in recent weeks the percentage of passengers dodging quarantine has dropped "from 40 to 10" after controls were boosted and her department denounced those violating isolation upon arrival in Argentina.

The restrictions imposed to delay the entry of the Delta variant of coronavirus into Argentina initially permitted only 700 Argentine passengers to return daily to the country with the cap later raised to 1,000 and then to 1,700 with the emergency decree signed by President Alberto Fernández last weekend, in which the government also anticipated special flights.

“The airlines will inform the state where the most people are waiting with their flights rescheduled and special flights will be sent there to permit a rapid return,” informed Carignano.

“As from September 6, apart from Ezeiza, Aeroparque [Jorge Newbery] and San Fernando [Airport] for private flights and Buquebus [ferry terminal], we might open other international airports,” she advanced, naming “Córdoba, Mendoza, Santa Fe and Rosario” as possibilities.

“This will imply the governors of the provinces where those airports are located being able to convert them into safe corridors,” she explained.

– TIMES/AFP

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