There will be no tango. Not even going to Bariloche or Mendoza. But it is already possible for Brazilians to visit Argentina again, after seven months of impediment because of sanitary measures to fight the coronavirus.
Since this Saturday (31), the country can be visited by tourists from neighboring countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. For this, it is necessary to fly to Ezeiza airport. The land border remains closed and the Aeroparque in the Buenos Aires metropolitan region is undergoing renovations.
Arriving in Ezeiza, you will need to comply with the social distance protocols, wear a mask and alcohol gel, measure the temperature, in addition to presenting a coronavirus test with a negative result carried out up to 72 hours before departure, as well as insurance travel doctor covering cases of contamination.
You don’t have to quarantine.
The opening to tourism, for now, is only for the city of Buenos Aires, since the traffic between the provinces remains controlled, even for Argentines and residents, who need special permission to travel from one province to another.
“Tourism between Brazil and Argentina is necessary for both countries, it even has a sentimental component, which is why, for us, this return is very important,” he said in an interview with leaf, the Minister of Tourism of Argentina, Matías Lammens.
“The city is prepared and happy with the return of the Brazilians,” he says.
In times without a pandemic, tourism represents 10% of the Argentine GDP (Gross Domestic Product), including indirect activities, such as gastronomy, theater, shows. Brazil is the country of origin of the largest number of foreign tourists – 28% of the total, according to Aldo Elías, president of the Argentine Chamber of Tourism.
Lammens stressed that the resumption, albeit partial, of inbound tourism is necessary for the country to generate more foreign exchange in American currency, and to reactivate jobs linked to this industry.
Restrictions imposed on the purchase of dollars by the government last week try to prevent foreign exchange evasion, but also hamper the inflow of dollars. Along with the fall in exports and investments, the measures complicate the economic recovery.
“We will do this pilot test with Buenos Aires. The idea is to expand the destinations according to time ”. He insists that, although the contagion curve is high in the country, in the capital it is decreasing, and that the occupancy of ICU beds is around 60%.
“The capital has the best hospitals in the country. If a tourist needs it, they will have access, with medical insurance, to the best care. If a mild case is detected, the protocol will be isolation at the tourist hotel for seven days ”, he says.
One of the attractions for tourists is the favorable exchange rate. The official dollar is at 83.50 pesos and the parallel, called “blue”, at 175 pesos.
“We know that Buenos Aires is an interesting destination for shopping and gastronomic tourism. At the moment, the exchange rate situation is favorable for those who come with foreign currency ”, says Lammens.
The expectations of the sector, according to Elías, is that this “pilot test will be a success, because if the health situation worsens, we will have problems. If the pilot race is going well, we can think about reactivating the tourist industry at a national level ”.
The Uruguayan government has decided that there will be no foreign tourists in its territory this summer, and advised against Uruguayans visiting Argentina for health reasons.
In addition, Uruguayans who travel to Argentina must quarantine for 14 days on their return, and submit a coronavirus test seven days after their return to the country.
“Each country, of course, has the freedom to guide its citizens in whatever way it sees fit. But we know that there are many Uruguayans who want to come to shop in Buenos Aires, and we would like that to happen, ”says Lammens.
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