Health Minister Carla Vizzotti and the brand-new Cabinet chief Juan Manzur this week announced new measures for what the latter said the government hoped is “the last stage of the pandemic.”
Starting October 1, nobody is obliged to use a face-mask when outdoors, unless in a crowd, although their use remains obligatory while indoors. In addition:
- All limits are dropped for social meetings for persons complying with the standard precautions, such as wearing face-masks, observing social distance and with proper ventilation.
- Ditto for all economic, industrial and commercial activities, religious and cultural services, sports events, recreation and social encounters indoors.
- Trips by pensioners and students are authorised with the recommended protocols.
- Discos and nightclubs may open to half their capacity for completely vaccinated people (at least a fortnight prior to the event).
- Social centres, dance halls, etc. may open fully for completely vaccinated people (at least a fortnight prior to the event) or a single dose plus negative testing (PCR or antigen) within 48 hours prior to the event; a special protocol for parties for those aged under 17 is also being worked out.
- Spectators at sports events will also be limited to half capacity.
- As from October 1 mass events of over 1,000 people with half capacity will be cleared with a specific protocol (yet to be finalised).
The Alberto Fernández administration also confirmed it would be opening up Argentina's frontiers, removing caps on arrivals and loosening rules for new arrivals:
- As from September 24, all isolation requirements will be eliminated for Argentine citizens, residents and foreigners entering the country for reasons of work and authorised by the immigration authorities.
- As from October 1 mass events of over 1,000 people with half capacity will be cleared with a specific protocol towards that end being worked out.
- Land frontiers will be reopened and the entry of foreigners from neighbouring countries will be authorised without isolation.
- In the course of October, the caps on entry into the country via airports, ports and safe land corridors will be progressively raised.
- As from November 1, the entry of all completely vaccinated foreigners (provided that their final dose precedes their arrival by at least a fortnight) will be authorised – further requirements will be a negative PCR within the three days prior to departure or an antigen at the point of entry and a PCR test within five to seven days of arrival pending definition by the health authorities.
- Those persons not completely vaccinated (including children) must be quarantined with an antigen test upon arrival and a PCR test on the seventh day.
- Along these lines, Vizzotti declared: "As soon as half the population is completely vaccinated, the antigen test upon arrival and the PCR test between the fifth and seventh days may be dropped and the entry caps lifted. We thus minimise the impact of rising hospital cases and deaths."