Argentina this Monday closed itself even more in itself to combat the covid-19 pandemic, which has already caused more than 92,000 deaths in the South American country. With international tourism prohibited since December, the Government of Alberto Fernández also decided to minimize the entry of Argentines or residents from abroad. Between this Monday and at least until July 9, only 600 travelers a day can enter the country, which has left thousands of Argentines outside its borders. With this drastic measure, the Executive seeks to delay the circulation of the contagious delta variant, which has spread rapidly throughout Europe and has forced several countries to stop its de-escalation.
The Argentine Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, defended on Friday the increase in controls for entry to the country due to the high breach of the mandatory quarantine detected among those who return to the country. According to the Government, four out of every ten travelers do not comply with the mandatory isolation week at home and with the third covid-19 test required to go out on the street again. Last week, authorities announced that they would initiate 287 criminal complaints against people who had violated the quarantine.
Before leaving Argentina, passengers sign an affidavit in which they accept and assume the “health, legal and economic consequences derived” from their departure from the country and the eventual re-entry into it, as well as the payment of a covid test -19 on your arrival at the airport and your stay in an accommodation designated by the Government in case of positive test. “Those who went on vacation are going to have to return unfortunately a little later, but it is preferable to have to suspend classes due to an outbreak,” said the head of the National Directorate of Migration, Florencia Carignano, in statements to radio La Net.
“If we did not close, in two weeks we had a sanitary collapse,” Carignano warned. The Argentine health system has been facing the second wave for a couple of months, more virulent than the first. This Monday, 18,389 infections and 576 deaths from coronavirus were registered.
Throughout the first day, with the new restrictions, only three international flights – from Miami, Barcelona and Bogotá – landed at Ezeiza, Argentina’s main airport, located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Aerolineas Argentinas, the country’s flag carrier, has canceled 59 of the 90 flights it had scheduled until July 11.
The Chamber of Air Companies in Argentina has denounced that the new measures represent a “virtual closure of borders” unparalleled in the region and further affect companies operating in the country, closed to foreign tourists for more than half a year . The International Air Transport Association (IATA, for its acronym in English) has asked the Argentine Government for an urgent meeting, warning that “the new 70% reduction in the number of international passengers that can arrive daily in the country, obliges airlines to leave thousands of passengers abroad, mainly Argentine citizens and residents, without their fault ”, according to Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice president for the Americas. According to data cited by local media, about 45,000 people could be affected by the rescheduling and cancellation of flights for the next few weeks.
Alberto Fernández decided to cancel his trip to Paris on Monday to participate in the Generation Equality Forum to respect the air restrictions imposed by his Government. In a letter sent to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, Fernández justifies his decision to remain in Argentina because in recent weeks the health situation in Argentina and South America has been affected by a new wave that affects “even more the political, economic and social life ”of society,“ despite the intense vaccination campaign and the health measures adopted ”.
“These measures were strongly reinforced in recent days and especially in matters of foreign travel, having to impose a limit of 600 people per day authorized to travel,” said Fernández in the letter. “This worsening of the health situation forces me to accompany the efforts of my people within the framework of joint respect for the preventive standards established, hoping for a prompt improvement in the current situation,” he concluded after thanking the support of the French Government to Argentina.
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