Argentina's aviation authorities have instructed carriers to dramatically reduce the number of flights to a number of countries to reduce the risk of Covid-19 contagion.
The National Administration of Civil Aviation (ANAC) this week sent a bulletin to airlines instructing them to cut the amount of flights to Brazil, Mexico, the US and a handful European countries. The amount of available flights will fall by between 30 and 50 percent, depending on location.
Flights to the European destinations (including Italy, England and Spain), Mexico and North America are to be reduced by 30 percent, while flights to neighbouring Brazil must be reduced by 50 percent.
The measure came into effect on Tuesday, but government sources said the new rules will begin being enforced from approximately February 1 in order to give airlines a chance to iron out operational issues.
The announcement, sent by ANAC to the legal representatives of each airline, follows an initiative of the Health Ministry established to combat the rising Covid-19 cases in Argentina.
ANAC specified that the Argentinian government “will carry out regular reviews of the epidemiological situation in order to re-establish arrivals (of passengers) as soon as possible.”
Besides reducing flights, ANAC said the Argentine Ministry of Health plans on requesting the sanitary authorities of Brazil to speed up the coronavirus testing process so that those who have travelled to the country can receive test results within 72 hours.
A faster testing process would allow authorities to “reassess the necessary reduction in the number of entries [from Brazil],” according to the ANAC announcement.
Frequency of flights was already reduced by some countries last year, in an effort to curb the pandemic from a national level. Flights to and from Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia and the United Kingdom have been suspended since December.
Meanwhile, an Aerolíneas Argentinas plane departed Buenos Aires for Russia late Tuesday on a trip to pick up a third batch of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccines.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health reported 10,409 new cases, bringing the total number to 1,885.,210 since the virus first entered Argentina at the beginning of March 2020.
– TIMES with agencies