Argentina – one of the most locked down countries on the planet is finally starting to show signs of reopening as it makes October 30 the day it will reopen borders for tourism to five of it South American neighbors.
Starting on October 30th, residents of Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Boliva and Uruguay can enter Argentina by air and sea for the purposes of tourism.
Despite its heavy-handed lockdown protocols, Argentina just passed the 1 million case mark in October, which had many thinking any reopening plans would be put on the back-burner once again.
However, the Minister of Tourism Matias Lammens made an announcement on October 24th that the government of Argentina was going ahead with reopening as planned, but only to tourists from neighboring countries at this time.
Lammens also confirmed that a quarantine period would not be required from incoming tourists, as long as they provide a negative PCR test that was taken within 72 hours of entry, sign an affidavit declaring they are not infected, and agree to a health screening including temperature checks.
It was originally reported that Argentina would reopen border for tourists from Brazil, Chile, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Paraugay on November 1st, but more recent reports suggest this date has been moved up to October 30th. Also, land borders were not originally included in the plan, however 5 border crossings are rumored to be reopening as well.
Argentina’s economy has been devastated by the prolonged closures and Lammens recognizes the urgency to reopen as safely as possible. “Today we believe that conditions are in place for tourists to come to Argentina, in this new stage where we have to live with the virus, and we know the importance of the income it represents for the sector,” he said.
Balancing the reopening for tourism all while wrestling current surges within the country is not going to be an easy feat. Lammens said reopening is “an important income for our economy and one more stage in this pandemic to turn the page, without abandoning the fight against the virus that has us in full battle.”
Inside Argentina, in Buenos Aires in particular, Covid-19 restrictions and oppressive lockdown rules are also being slowly relaxed.
For the first time in over half a year, residents can finally shop inside businesses, eat at restaurants, and in some cases, patron bars and gyms. While capacity is still extremely limited at only 25%, it’s the first sign of economic recovery for the nation.
However, many areas of Argentina will remain in quarantine (“aislamiento social”) until at least November 8, with strict limits on gatherings, domestic travel and other activities. The wearing of masks in all public places, both indoor and outdoor, still remains mandatory.
Argentina saw 5.3 million tourists in 2019, with tourism contributing to an average of 10% of the countries GDP.
It is unknown when Argentina will start to receive tourists from other countries.
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.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories