The Government defended this Monday the restrictions imposed on Argentines who traveled abroad in the face of growing official concern about the advance of the Delta variant, which has local authorities on alert and which has already seized the community circulation of a good number from countries in Europe and even the United States.
“Some who have been able to go on vacation will see their income delayed a little, nothing more“, he assured Clarion the national director of Migration, Florencia Carignano, one of the government spokespersons in defense of the measure that came into force this Monday, and which limited the entry of Argentines from abroad through the Ezeiza airport to 600.
On the first day of the restriction, implemented at least until next July 9, when the DNU made official last week by the Government expires – its extension is almost a fact – the controversy did not take long to settle and the complaints of travelers multiplied, fearing to be stranded outside the country.
“I’m moving, I’m trying to return to my country and a few hours ago my flight to Buenos Aires was canceled,” Alejandro Zacarías, a 28-year-old chef, told this newspaper before embarking in Dallas, United States, but not to Buenos Aires, but to Miami: he is one of those affected by the new measures. He was traveling on American Airlines, he says that they tried to solve the problem but that “returning to Argentina is not an option.”
Arrival of passengers to Eziza on the first day of the stocks for flights in Argentina. Photo Luciano Thieberger.
Similar is the case of Nicolás Merono, 38, who traveled from Bariloche to New Hampshire, near Boston, a week ago: “I did not come for tourism and I did not get vaccinated, it was due to an urgent procedure.” He has no certainty about his return.
They are only two of the stories of Argentines affected by a resolution that caused discomfort in those who in recent weeks or months left the country for tourism, work or studies, in many cases to apply the vaccine against COVID-19, especially in USA.
According to official information, the little more than 100 thousand Argentines who traveled in recent times Outside the country, 43% did so for tourism. That is to say, about 45 thousand passengers who, before leaving Argentina, signed by means of a sworn declaration the possibility of having their entry into the territory altered as a result of the pandemic that has the world in suspense since the beginning of last year.
“We are putting quotas and we are asking the provinces to have the places of re-entry of Argentines because we are very concerned about the Delta variant. And above all because we want to privilege the care of economic, productive and school activities so that this lasts”, added Carignano to this newspaper.
In the morning, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) had presented a public complaint about the Executive’s resolution, which directly impacts an area already affected by the pandemic and that, in recent months, had shown some recovery.
A group of passengers arrives in Ezeiza on the first day of the flight restrictions Photo: Luciano Thieberger.
“Argentina is the only country with a daily passenger limitation. No other country has it,” said Peter Cerdá, regional vice president.
The executive’s statements forced the Casa Rosada to release a document with the list of countries – “one hundred” – with “open borders with restrictions due to the advance of COVID-19.”
According to official figures, the United States and Spain are the two most frequented destinations in recent times by Argentines who decided to leave the country. In fact, of the only three flights that this Monday were authorized to return, two were from those places: Barcelona and Miami. The third was a Copa Airlines flight from Bogotá.
For this Tuesday, for example, the three flights authorized to land in Ezeiza will come from Miami, Madrid and the Colombian capital.
Along these lines, the Government explained to this newspaper that there will be no preference for Aerolineas Argentinas in operations. They even abounded in that the state company canceled 70% of the flights until July 11. Of 45 flights, 30 have already been canceled.
In the case of the United States, the preference is explained by tourism linked to the application of doses. In the coming days, in fact, a box related to the immunization of passengers will be added to the form. They noted, however, that it is by way of a “census”, and not because of the eventual isolation measures provided by each jurisdiction.