Many Latin American countries are continuously extending their lockdown measures, as coronavirus is refusing to die down in the region. A few have indeed reopened their borders, but mandatory quarantine and travel restrictions are keeping foreigners at bay.
The region has recorded nearly 5 million cases, with around 200,000 patients dying from the virus. The worst-hit countries are Brazil and Mexico, but these days Peru and Ecuador also appear to have been rattled by the second wave of infections.
After spending months under lockdown, Argentina has now decided to extend the restriction measures until August 16th. The travel restriction, which has been the strictest in the capital Buenos Aires, was due to expire in July.
The South American country will not allow international commercial flights until September 1st, 2020. And its schools will remain closed. The country has reopened public transportation, but the service is only available to workers in the most essential sectors, such as food and healthcare.
However, hair salons, shops, and a few outdoor recreation centers reopened in Buenos Aires earlier in July.
Brazil is the worst victim of COVID-19 in the region. but the country has reopened its economy. Last week, Brazil said it would welcome foreign visitors arriving by plane. But the country’s land and sea borders will remain closed.
Air travelers are expected to boost its tourism sector that, according to reports, has lost nearly $23.6 billion so far this year.
People coming by air must arrive at one of the following international airports and present a medical declaration confirming that they are free of the virus: São Paulo International Airport, Tom Jobim International Airport (Galeão), Rio de Janeiro, Viracopos International Airport, São Paulo, Brasília International Airport.
Peru is suffering from the second wave of infections. It has suspended commercial flights for an indefinite period.
The Andean country began lifting a nationwide lockdown on July 1. Soon, restaurants started welcoming diners. Now that the infection rate has increased dramatically, the country has begun re-imposing some of the restrictions it had lifted.
Peru is the second-largest producer of copper. The government has recently lifted restrictions on the mining sector.
Ecuador has re-opened its borders, but its ‘state of emergency’ will remain in place until the 15th of August. Many international flights have resumed operations since June 1st, 2020. But foreigners need to present a negative PCR test result for COVID-19, taken 96 hours prior to the date of departure to Ecuador.
Visitors can avoid spending 14 days in quarantine upon arrival if they produce a “safe passage document” issued by the Ministry of Tourism.
When it comes to handing the COVID-19 pandemic, Uruguay sets an example of sorts. It has less than 100 people infected with the virus.
The country never imposed a lockdown officially, instead, it urged people to stay indoors and strictly adhere to social distancing. Nevertheless, its airports and schools have been closed, with foreigners being told to stay off.
The country has reopened shopping centers. Football tournaments are expected to re-start on August 15th. European airlines, such as Spanish carrier Iberia, have now resumed direct flights to Montevideo.
Chile has begun to ease restrictions cautiously. Many of its cities are slowly getting back to normal and the country has reportedly lifted night-time curfew.
However, its ‘state of emergency’ will continue until August 16th, and international airports will remain closed for an indefinite period. The country has similarly closed its land borders.
Bolivia has extended the ban on foreign tourists for an indefinite period. But the government is likely to ease some of its lockdown measures from August 1st onward.