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This information was published on 14th July 2020

Current situation

Currently, all country´s borders are closed. At the moment Buenos Aires city and its metropolitan area, Chaco Province in Litoral Region and Rio Negro Province in Patagonia comply with the lockdown (Social, preventive and mandatory isolation), inclusive, to July 17th. Only essential activities are allowed and circulation is possible prior authorization granted by the Government.

The remaining provinces of Argentina are on a different phase that involves social, preventive and mandatory distancing, inclusive to July 17th. Bars and restaurants started to reopen, social gatherings up to 10 people are allowed and circulation within each province is permitted for its residents. Salta and San Juan provinces have opened their touristic services only for its inhabitants, although tourism between provinces is not allowed yet.

Plans to reopen to international tourism

Airlines will be able to restart their operations and sell air tickets from September 1st onwards. This measure applies not only to UK but also to the rest of the world.

Once travel is restored, travellers will prioritize natural destinations, with green and open spaces. Fortunately, Argentina is a world leader in nature and is also one of the main reasons why the British travellers visit our country. In that sense, we aim to continue refining our touristic services to offer not only nature, but also anything that the UK traveller may need.

In that sense, four health protocols have been recently published for the future operation of accommodation establishments, restaurants, service providers and travel agencies. Likewise, Argentina Tourism Board is preparing a health and safety guide for tourists with the necessary information for visitors. Aerolíneas Argentinas, the national airline, has already published its sanitary protocols for the return of their operation as well.

Argentina Tourism Board is also working together with entities which represent the tourism sector and with trading companies, to enhance the presence of our country and increase the number of arrivals of tourists to Argentina. Among other strategies to reopen international tourism, Argentina will soon start a strong branding and promotion campaign, which will focus on health & safety protocols, and will also highlight the wide offer of tourist products, to diversify the available packages. Apart from this, the Tourism Board is working on a new FAM & Press Trips strategy.

It should also be mentioned that the largest number of British tourists arrive in Argentina mainly between November and March. During these months, the country receives approximately 2/3 of the total number of tourists arriving during the remaining months, which is another reason to enhance the presence of Argentina in the United Kingdom.

Flights from the UK

Before the pandemic, Argentina was connected with the United Kingdom via the following direct routes:

  • British Airways: one daily flight from Heathrow Airport to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.

  • Norwegian Airlines: five flights per week from Gatwick Airport to Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.

As regards the resumption of flights, Airlines will be able to reschedule their operations and sell air tickets from September 1st onwards.

It is also important to note that 51% of British tourists arriving in Argentina choose direct flights, while the remaining 49% use connecting flights, via Spain, Chile and Brazil. In general terms, 66% of British citizens arrive from Europe, 26% from South America, 5% from North America and 3% from other regions.

Plans for reopening other entry points,

Regarding land and sea borders, it is estimated that they will reopen between September and October and activities will be resumed in stages with the necessary health and safety protocols.

During 2019 there were notable increases in the arrival of British tourists through every point of entry: land entries increased 16% YoY, river or sea 14% and air 10%. Of the total number of British tourists in 2019 (115,000), 50% entered by air, 29% by land and 21% by cruise or ferry.

The most relevant border crossings are located in Misiones Province (Iguazú Falls) with 60% of British arrivals, followed by Santa Cruz Province (El Calafate) with 10%, Neuquén Province with 6% and Jujuy Province with 5%.

What Covid 19-related safety measures can travellers expect?

In order to provide the highest quality of services and guarantee safety for tourists visiting our country, different protocols have been prepared specifically for each activity related to tourism:

  • COVID-19 Protocol for Travel and Tourism Agencies

  • COVID-19 Protocol for Tourist Providers

  • COVID-19 Protocol for Gastronomic establishments

  • COVID-19 Protocol for Accommodation

At present, the use of face mask is mandatory in public spaces and social distance of at least two meters must be respected.

Shopping malls, restaurants and museums remain closed, and massive events, among others, are not enabled in Buenos Aires city and its metropolitan area, Chaco Province in Litoral Region and Rio Negro province in Patagonia.

In the rest of the country, economic, industrial, commercial or service activities can be carried out as long as they have a protocol which must be approved by the destination health authority and must consider the recommendations and instructions of the National health authority.

At the same time, local authorities can define how and when different activities can be carried out and establish additional requirements for their performance.

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000, in charge of the operation of 35 airports in the country, informed that they are working on:

  • Acrylic screens at the Check-in counters and Boarding gates.

  • Temperature control of anyone arriving

  • Posters with information on the mandatory distancing measures.

  • Floor marks indicating the position of each person in a row, respecting the social distancing.

  • Other kind of marks to indicate social distancing (for example tapes)

  • Seating areas distancing marks

  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols for jetways, open areas, sidewalks, tracks, vehicle areas and hangars. Also, deep cleaning and disinfection of handrails and latches, and supply of gel alcohol.

The 35 airports in charge of Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 are open and operational for medical flights, repatriation, cargo with medical supplies and food, and other exceptions prior authorization of the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC).

Other Covid 19-related safety measures

From the outset, the national authorities worked on preventive measures. Some of them are:

  • Two meters social distancing

  • Mandatory use of facemasks in public spaces

  • General recommendations such as washing hands frequently with soap and water or gel alcohol; coughing or sneezing over the elbow crease or using disposable tissues; avoiding to touch the face; ventilating each home and work environment; disinfecting frequently used objects.

Other information

The Argentine authorities took preventive measures to protect their population in advance, which have been praised by the international community. With a population close to 45 million inhabitants, the country has been able to face the pandemic on time, which allowed the health system to take care of anyone affected.

Contact details

Maria Antonella Filippetti, International Markets Coordinator

Gisela March, International Markets Coordinator

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