Argentina’s lockdown has been extended once again, scheduled to last until at least October 11, 2020.
President Alberto Fernández’ announcement of the quarantine extension will effectively suspend international flights that were hoping to resume on October 1, and will keep borders closed for international tourism.
Decree 754/2020 issued on September 20 will extended DISPO (short for “Social, Preventative and Compulsory Distancing”) until at least October 11 in response to surging case numbers and deaths in the nation.
Argentina reported its highest single day death number on September 21, totaling 429 deaths in one 24-hour period. Despite having the most rigid lockdown protocols in all South America, Argentina has only seen a rising curve since shutting their borders on March 16.
Cronista, Argentina’s business newspaper, reported: “There will be no flights from October 1st. The airlines received a notification this Monday afternoon that informed them that the commercial aviation operation will be suspended until October 12,”
It doesn’t look good from October the 11th either. Officials from 10 provinces have expressed that with rising case numbers, they do not believe they will be ready to accept flights until next month, which might not see commercial air travel resume until November
This isn’t the first delay we’ve seen from Argentina. In April they announced commercial flights will be banned until at least September 1st. Then once September 1st came, the government extended the ban on non-essential travel and commercial flights until at least October 1st.
Earlier this month, countless reports were being published by local Argentinian press announcing the real possibility of international flights actually resuming on October 1st, however the extension of the lockdown has forcefully put an end to those plans.
While some airlines have already resumed limited flights into Argentina, they are completely reserved for Argentine nationals returning home and a few exceptional cases for essential travelers.
The Minister of Transportation Mario Meoni stated his department along with the Ministry of Health were submitting protocols for approval by the president that would see the end of one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. However, any hope for commercial flights resuming will now be delayed once again.
Argentina is becoming the odd nation out, as most other Latin American countries have already reopened for international tourism.
Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Colombia, Nicaragua and Ecuador have all reopened, while Panama and Belize both reopen within the next few weeks. Reports suggest that Peru and Chile could see their international airspace reopen as soon as October 1st, leaving chiefly Argentina and Uruguay as some of the last destinations to reopen.
Although, neighboring Uruguay is reporting a much different reality to that of Argentina, reporting only 1,900 total cases to Argentina’s whopping 640,000.
Bloomberg reported today that Argentina’s economy dropped 16.2% in the second quarter, recording the biggest dip in recent history. Industry experts are urging Argentina to reopen, but it seems like an impossible task while trying to effectively manage the spread of the virus.
Argentina saw 5.3 million tourists in 2019, with tourism contributing to an average of 10% of the countries GDP.
Read More: See which countries in Latin American have reopened for tourism, what companies are offering travel insurance that covers covid, and what nations are open for American and Canadian tourists.