The Buenos Aires City government has announced that the capital will re-open to national and international visitors for tourism next month.
City Hall confirmed the news with a statement on its website, saying a “comprehensive” testing system would be put in place to monitor the health of visitors.
To date, Argentina has recorded almost 1.4 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, with more than 37,000 fatalities. However, daily caseloads and deaths are on the decrease – on Monday, only 4,625 infections were registered, with 120 lost lives.
The City government, led by Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, said that visitors will arrive by air, river, by long-distance bus or coach, train or private vehicle. Tourists and residents returning to the city will not have to go into mandatory isolation upon arrival.
The first run of testing operations will begin in two weeks time, on December 8, with installations at bus terminals and in the Costanera Sur. Those arriving by private vehicles will have to take a Covid-19 test within 24 hours of their arrival.
"In coordination with the national government, the plan includes different testing instances to guarantee the care of international tourists (as of December 15) and national tourists (as of December 8), and residents of the City,” said a statement.
Those entering will only have to go into isolation if their test comes back negative, with results ready within 24 hours.
"With regard to arrivals by air in Ezeiza [international airport], as from December 15, the City will launch an operation to test national and international tourists and residents" as they enter the country, said the government.
Not all nationalities will be able to enter for now, however, given that the national government has only approved entry from neighbouring countries to date.
“Currently, arrivals from Chile, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay are enabled exclusively by air. Tourists from Uruguay can enter by air and river,” City Hall clarified in its statement.
"Tourism is always a source of work for porteños and today the conditions are in place for us to reopen our doors and for more people to get to know the wonderful city we have here, taking all precautions for prevention [against the virus],” said the City government’s Chief-of-Staff Felipe Miguel.
“I want to deliver you the peace of mind that we have a testing system for each tourist who comes into the City, we have already put together the protocol for this to be the case,” he added.
Covid-19 cases have dropped in Argentina, but only this Monday 4,625 infections and 120 deaths were reported.