Without the “pandemic law”, locked in the Chamber of Deputies, Alberto Fernández had to renew the decree of necessity and urgency and will maintain for another two weeks the restrictions in force due to the epidemiological traffic light traced in May. In this context, with the confirmation of a drop in coronavirus cases, Concern revolved around the advancement of the Delta variant in other countries, so the Government ordered measures to prevent its transmission in Argentina.
With the borders closed to foreigners, the daily quota of Argentines who can return from abroad, with a strong reduction in flights, until today it was 2,000 income; in such a way as to allow the health and immigration authorities to carry out controls on each passenger.
However, it will now be reduced to a third in order to contain the transmission of the most contagious strain and discourage the future departure of Argentines who are currently planning to travel abroad. “Only 600 people will be able to arrive per day, no more, “remarked official sources. It will rule from this Monday.
“We all agree to reduce the quota,” they admitted early in one of the offices involved in the negotiations. There were, in that round of consultations, several proposals and it was the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, who was in charge of making the first filter for the President to define later.
It was demonstrated during the pandemic with several examples of marches and countermarches: this step, between what the coordinating minister monitors and what Fernández decrees, is not formal, so the Government avoided confirmations until the return of the head of state of his visit in Córdoba.
In any case, as the hours passed, the proposal to reduce income – and consequently the flights – was gaining strength, so the National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) and Migrations began to prepare a contingency plan for the next stage as it is a logistical challenge taking into account the impact on flights: if 273 flights were registered so far in June, that number will drop to a hundred or less, since on average, each plane carries about 300 passengers.
It remains to define how the flights will be cut. The most frequent destination is the United States – in June there were about 90 flights – where thousands of Argentines traveled to get the covid vaccine. Then, further back appear Spain, with 36 connections, Paraguay (28) and Chile (19), among the most visited by Argentines.
As counted Clarion Days ago, the alternative that was being considered to impose the obligation to quarantine in hotels for 10 days for all passengers arriving in the country was losing momentum with the hours. Now, according to the new DNU, that power was left in the hands of the provinces, which will be able to force isolation in places other than private homes for those arriving from other countries.
It was also ruled out the possibility of a total closure of borders as rumored had been requested from the Ministry of Health, which leads Carla Vizzotti. “That is the last option, very drastic, but that is why we have to take action now,” explained a senior official, who reiterated that “the recommendation not to travel abroad is still in force” since “no one can assure that whoever travels will not remain stranded”.
The change in the strategy for the electoral campaign led the Government to relegate the health discourse and relax restrictions, especially in the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires, where even Governor Axel Kicillof ordered the return of face-to-face classes by prioritizing preliminary projections over data and decree in advance the pass from the alarm zone to high epidemiological risk.
But in the Casa Rosada they admit a strong concern for the next few weeks, and for that reason they hesitate to promote domestic tourism in the winter holidays in July. “The specialists tell us that if there are two weeks like what happened for Easter, the third wave will arrive,” they argue.
Only 600 people will enter the country per day. Photo: Luciano Thieberger.
That is why it was striking that the warning voice was given from the City. “There is no doubt that we have a new wave ahead of us,” said Buenos Aires Health Minister Fernán Quirós, who is recognized by the Nation for the sobriety and balance he made to detach himself from the political confrontation.
The new DNU
The President decided to extend for two more weeks DNU 287/21, of May 1, which was the one that established the Epidemiological Stoplight, which divides the country in health matters by zones -alarm and high epidemiological risk, and medium and low risk- according to the occupancy of ICU beds, the number of cases and their incidence in the last 14 days.
It is almost traced to decree 381/21 with which the measures were renewed on June 11. That day, the text had only five articles. Without other changes on the horizon, the only thing that was corrected was the date of entry into force and its extension for two more weeks: at the end, the reduction of flights and the quota will be set via an Administrative Decision and resolutions of the migratory areas.