Chile reopens international borders to visitors ahead of summer tourism season

Published on : Thursday, September 16, 2021

Chile

Chile announced its plans to reopen its borders to visitors in a bid to revive the devastated tourism industry ahead of the Southern Hemisphere summer and following a successful vaccination drive that has seen COVID-19 infections in the country plummet.

Now, the national and international travellers will be required to show a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken up to 72 hours before entering Chile, undergo a mandatory 5-day quarantine, have medical travel insurance and show proof of vaccination, public health chief Paula Daza said.

The Public Health Chief Paula Daza warned all of the visitors not to book their trip to Chile until their vaccination certificate was validated by the Chilean health ministry.

The international and domestic visitors without vaccines – including children – will only be allowed to enter under strict criteria, such as for humanitarian reasons.

The Chilean Association of Airlines (ACHILA), which has pushed for the reopening of borders, said the new regulations changed nothing in practice.

The Chilean Association of Airlines (ACHILA) said that considering the high percentage of vaccinated people in the country and the low level of contagion and positivity, the measures announced by the government can continue to be among most restrictive in the world.

The group urged the government to eliminate the quarantine requirement and allow children too young to receive vaccines to enter the country to facilitate travel.

The debate comes as life begins to return to normal in Chile, which boasts one the world’s highest vaccination rates, with 73% of the population now inoculated against COVID-19.

The borders were closed to visitors in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit, and again in April 2021 when Chile experienced a fiercer, second wave of the virus.

Chile is staging in between 200 and 500 new cases a day, with a 1% test positivity rate on Tuesday.

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