On 19 March, Argentina introduced a nationwide quarantine that will last until midnight on Tuesday, March 31, as part of a number of measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
During this period, people will only be able to leave their homes to buy necessities, such as medicines, cleaning supplies or foodstuffs, in their local area. Anyone found outside their home without justification will be charged with committing a public health crime.
British nationals should comply with these new restrictions. However, flights will continue to depart Argentina and the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Aviation Authority have confirmed that British nationals who have already purchased tickets will be able to access the airport to catch their flights.
Some British nationals may need to travel to another province within Argentina in order to catch an international flight. Although most domestic flights in Argentina, as well as long distance trains and buses, will not resume operations until 25 March, Aerolíneas Argentinas is running some exceptional flights to transport tourists from tourist destinations to Buenos Aires.
Once flights have been purchased, travellers should leave plenty of time to get to the airport and be ready to present their flight ticket should they be stopped by the authorities. If they have any trouble when trying to access the airport they should contact the British Embassy at +54 11 4808-2200 and request consular assistance. The emergency line works 24/7 all year round.
Since the beginning of the crisis, the Embassy has been focused in doing everything they can to support British nationals who are still in Argentina. Ambassador Mark Kent and the Embassy staff are working around the clock, liaising with the Argentine authorities, airlines and other embassies. This will continue to be the focus or their work in the upcoming days.
On a global level, the Foreign Office´s teams around the world are working urgently to ensure that governments have sensible plans to enable the return of British and other travellers, and, crucially, to keep borders open for a sufficient period of time to enable returns to take place on commercial flights, wherever possible.
A Foreign Office Spokesperson said: “We recognise that any British people currently overseas may be nervous about the impact of coronavirus on their travel and their health. We are in close contact with travel providers and our international partners to provide support to those British people affected by ongoing measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”
The UK Government is also working with airlines to ensure British passengers overseas are able to return home through commercial means in light of the impact on overseas travel. During a call on March 18, both the airline industry and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps underlined their commitment to helping those currently overseas to return to the UK.