Chile will reopen its borders this Monday, November 23, after eight months of closure by the coronavirus pandemic. The only gateway, however, will be the international airport of Santiago, where the strictest measures to control the pandemic will be adopted, and the land and sea crossings will remain closed until further notice.
The President Sebastián Piñera He stressed that “after 5 months of continuous improvement in the average health situation of our country, and thanks to the effort and contribution of all Chileans and the health protection measures that our Government has adopted, we want to announce the first stage of the process of reopening our borders for non-resident foreigners in our country “.
In several cities in southern Chile, the number of infections still remains high, therefore quarantines were applied again.
The Chilean border has been closed since March 18 after the installation of the “State of emergency due to catastrophe“due to coronarivus, which in the neighboring country so far it has affected more than 526,000 (an average of about 1,500 cases per day) and caused the deaths of more than 14,600 people.
All foreigners, upon entering, They will have to make an Affidavit, providing information on their health status, their travel plans and their contacts in Chile. In addition, before embarking for Chile, “they must present a PCR test with a negative result, which must be carried out by a laboratory recognized by the health authorities of the country of origin and must be a maximum of 72 hours old”, Piñera had anticipated.
According to health evolution, it will be extended to other airports and land and sea entry points, the government said. In addition, “until December 7, non-resident foreigners who come from or have been in the last 14 days in countries declared high risk by the World Health OrganizationThey must comply with a 14-day quarantine in our country, “said Piñera.
In the Metropolitan region, where 7.1 of the 18 million inhabitants of the country live, the confinement measures were lifted weeks ago, which allowed the reopening of shops, gyms and restaurants with restricted capacity.
“All those who enter our country, Chileans and foreigners, must undergo a 14-day surveillance period, which will require them to report their location and health status to the health authority daily in order to carry out good control and monitoring, he added. “The objective of our Government is to reconcile two great missions. The first is to protect the health and life of our compatriots, and the second, which is subordinate to the first, is also to protect the jobs, income and quality of life of our compatriots, “he said.
The reopening of borders was a news expected by the tourism industry, strongly hit by the pandemic, and the minister of the sector, Lucas Palacios, said that they expect some 300,000 tourists to visit Chile in the southern summer months.
However, the Medical College expressed concern about this measure. “It is an unwise measure. It is difficult to track tourists, we are still traceability in debt and we should be preparing to contain the outbreak, not promote it,” criticized Izkia Siches, president of the Medical College.