In maximum secrecy, the Government defines how land borders and airports will continue to operate in the midst of the rise in covid-19 infections. On Friday, the Cabinet leadership resolution published on December 23 expires that suspended until this January 8 flights to and from Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia -considered a risk area- and closed the borders and the entry of tourists from neighboring countries. The Executive would extend the measures for another two weeks or until January 31, while studying the restrictions that the City and the Province will propose. In the midst of rumors of more prohibitions, the Ministry of Health and the Cabinet will have the last word.
In the morning, in the Directorate of Migrations, a meeting was held with the presence of the National Director of Border Health, Claudia Maies; the director of Migrations Florencia Carignano; the Minister of Transport, Claudio Meoni, and the heads of Cabinet of Santiago Cafiero; Chancellery and the Ministry of Security. At the same time, another extensive meeting was held in Health to assess risks.
The stage is dynamic. “Border administration is subject to the health authority – the Ministry of Health – for the duration of the pandemic. What you have to understand is that the analysis is week by week and in a pandemic there is no predictability ”, indicated government sources who participated in the meeting.
The representatives of the Ministry of Health raised their concern about the little control in monitoring the isolation of Argentines who entered the country during the last month. Those who return to Argentina must remain isolated for 10 days from the mandatory PCR test. During the meeting, the possibility of intensifying control through an application for telephones was analyzed.
During December, 96 thousand Argentines and residents arrived in the country; 3,000 people per day on 15 daily flights. Between 2 and 3 cases of infected passengers were detected every 24 hours in Ezeiza. “The issue with borders is to delay the arrival and circulation of a new strain of coronavirus,” explained one of the meeting participants. In general terms, the circulation of the virus within the national territory is of more concern.
Meoni asked to extend the current measures until January 31 to give the sector greater predictability. The National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) for now is not analyzing the possibility of suspending international commercial air operations. Official sources stated that from Health they were the only ones who insisted on the possibility of suspending the operation of the Ezeiza airport.
In the Portfolio led by Ginés González García, they relativized those versions and maintained that the determination will be joint and that the Chief of Staff Santiago Cafiero and President Alberto Fernández will be in charge of taking new measures or extending the current ones. “None can cut themselves. Health is limited to making suggestions ”, they explained.
Official sources also rejected the possibility that the closure of the airports is complete, since cargo flights and toilets will always continue to operate.
With the current resolution of December 23, only Argentines and residents can enter the country, with the presentation of a negative PCR test for coronavirus and the completion of a mandatory 10-day quarantine (from the completion of the exam), according to the administrative decision of the Chief of Cabinet.
Argentines will be able to enter through these three routes (Ezeiza, San Fernando or Buquebus) and through the land passes that were authorized by the National Directorate of Migration (DNM). The rule allowed the border crossings of San Sebastián and Integración Austral, located in Tierra del Fuego, to be exempted from the restriction of expenditures and income, to guarantee transit with Chile and connection with the rest of the Argentine territory.
The government had authorized on November 1 a pilot test so that tourists from neighboring countries could visit the country. The detection of a new strain of coronavirus and the second wave in Europe forced the Executive to reverse this measure.
The Government, the Province and the City await the data of the last days to determine if the increase in infections is due to a second wave, a product of social relaxation and the proliferation of demonstrations in the last 40 days, or if the trend It is here to stay and is the beginning of the second wave, which is already hitting the northern hemisphere.
Most of the border crossings and flights from abroad have been closed since March 16, when the President signed a decree to that effect. Until the end of October, 700 “special” flights were made, through which only 100,000 passengers passed.