On August 31st, many South American countries, including Colombia, Argentina and Peru, had border closure regulations that were set to expire.
No one knew if they were going to extend the border closures once again, or remove them, jump-starting the reopening of much of the continent.
However, the expirations were met with many extensions, resulting in South America still being very much sealed up for tourism.
Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Chile all had current border closure regulations that were set to expire on August 31st. Of those 5 nations, only Bolivia made any announcement of resuming international flights, while the other 4 quietly extended their border closures.
Breaking News: Colombia announced they will be reopening air borders for international flights on September 21 after being closed for 6 months due to the pandemic.
Colombia extended their border closure until October 1st, even sealing up land and river borders between neighboring nations, with the exception of transport of essential cargo or humanitarian emergencies.
Tourists are currently not permitted to enter Colombia.
Humanitarian flights are still bringing home stranded Colombians and many are set to arrive into the nation between September 4th and 15th.
Colombia wants to restrict airspace for these humanitarian flights, which is another reason for extending the ban on tourism for another month. Flights brining home nationals are expected to depart from Miami, New York, Panama, Spain, Chile, Aruba, Brazil, Australia and Argentina over the next few weeks.
Chile was the one nation in the group having the most promise, but is still currently closed for tourism.
Chile’s Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand announced that he expects the country to soon reopen, but with strict entry requirements in place, like PCR testing. He is expected to formalize a reopening plan by September 7th, which could come into place as early as October 1st.
Argentina, who still has a nation-wide quarantine in effect for all residents, has extended their border closure for an undetermined amount of time. The quarantine and curfews have been extended until at least September 20th, but the government has not made it clear if the border reopening will also correspond with this date.
Peter Cerda, the vice president for IATA told El Cronista that Argentina has declined to update their association or any airline with their planned border reopening date.
“From the government there has been no official communication, neither to IATA nor to the companies, regarding a date in which they will resume regular flights. We have not had official details in this regard, so it would be very good for the government to indicate officially as soon as possible, so the industry can make the corresponding forecasts.”
Peru has also extended their border closure, along with their state of emergency, until September 30, 2020.
The government is using airspace during the month of September to not only repatriate Peruvians who have been stranded abroad, but also for humanitarian flights for foreigners who have been stuck inside Peru during lockdowns. The US embassy has scheduled repatriation flights for US citizens from Lima to Miami all throughout September.
With the national state of emergency extended, some of the rules on movement include:
- Children under the age of 14 will no longer be allowed outside for any duration of time.
- Adults aged 65 and older are to remain inside except when absolutely necessary.
- No social gatherings of any kind, including in the home with family.
- The 10:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew from Monday to Saturday and all-day quarantine on Sunday remain in effect in most of Peru with some regions starting at 8:00pm.
Peru has been the 5th hardest hit nation in the world, despite its quick reaction and lockdowns since March.
The only nation with a border closure expiry to show signs of reopening was Bolivia, who announced that as of September 1st they are reopening air borders for international flights, providing all passengers have a negative PCR test no older than 7 days prior to arrival.