By Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Argentina Lowers Allowed Passenger Totals, Remains Among Countries with Most Restrictive Entry Limits
Argentina is the only nation that currently sets a limit on the number of passengers that can enter the country. It is calculated that the new conditions’ passenger tallies represent an average of three daily international arrivals, though for the last two months, the limit represented between eight and nine arrivals
According to local periodical LaNacion, due to the new restrictions announced by the government this week limiting the arrival of passengers to a quota of 600 people, Argentina became part of the most restrictive group of nations when it comes to accessing its borders by air.
For its part, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) urgently requested a meeting with the government of Argentina following the publication of the latest government decree announcing new and drastic restrictions on international flights towards the country.
“Argentina is the only country that has a limitation of passengers per day. No other country in the world has it,” said Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, told CNN Radio.
“There are restrictions in several countries, such as Canada that only allows international arrivals at four airports, or Australia and New Zealand that have more or less closed borders,” IATA sources told LaNacion. “But the problem is that Argentina decided without advance to reduce and has not given clarity on how 600 passengers per day are going to be distributed, although the lines already had authorized and reserved flights.”
The truth is that the restrictions that limit arrivals to Argentina represent an average of three daily international flights into Buenos Aires’ Ezeiza International Airport, when in recent months, with a total of 3,000 passengers allowed entry, between eight and nine arrivals per day were being operated, according to sources in the sector. Before the pandemic, the flow was about 33,000 people per day.
Within the region, Uruguay has kept its borders closed to non-residents, save for exceptions for diplomatic, personal or labor reasons with the express authorization of the country’s leadership. However, Carrasco International Airport in Montevideo, Uruguay — the nation’s capital — still receives approximately five international flights daily. Meanwhile, in Chile, although it ordered its border closure extended until the end of June, limiting entry only to residents and essential travelers, international arrivals did not stop. The average ranges between eight and 13 daily arrivals.
Brazil can be freely entered regardless of nationality, but a negative PCR is required 72 hours before arrival, and depending on the destination city, the passenger may be required to quarantine upon arrival. For its part, Peru also maintains a limited opening, and Lima receives around eight daily international flights.
Argentina had already set a limit of 2,000 daily passengers that could arrive on international flights, which had forced airlines to drastically reduce and modify their schedule.
“We understand that the Argentine government is focused on protecting the health and well-being of its citizens,” Cerdá said. “As an industry, we have made every effort to ensure secure connectivity of the country, despite the drastic operational restrictions that already exist. However, the new reduction of 70% in the number of international passengers that can arrive daily to the country, will force the airlines to leave thousands of passengers abroad, mainly citizens and Argentine residents, through no fault of their own.”