The government has announced that it will raise the daily entry cap on Argentines and foreign residents returning to the country from 1,000 to 1,700.
The news, delivered as part of a new host of coronavirus restrictions announced Friday, will offer hundreds of stranded residents a chance to return home. A cap on travellers entering the country has been in place since June 26, with the limit initially set at 600. If all goes well, the government intends to raise the quota again to 2,300 in September.
"The quotas as of tomorrow will increase to 1,700 people per day, with safe corridors coordinated with the provinces over the inspection of isolation of those who come from abroad, so that it becomes effective," said Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero at a press conference.
“We will continue working as before, with the tests prior to taking the plane and upon arrival and isolation [orders]," he said.
Amid concerns over the spread of the so-called Delta variant, a strain of Covid-19 that has been identified as highly contagious, the official said that tests to identify if travellers were carrying the virus – and what type – would continue until at least October 1.
"In this way we are going to take care of all these [re-]openings to recover the life we want," said Cafiero.
The new quota on arrivals and the 70-percent rise in admissions will kick in as from Saturday, rising to 1,700 a day, the Cabinet chief confirmed.
In addition, starting today, the government will include new exemptions for “family reunions,” which will allow close relatives who live abroad to enter the country. International tourism, however, will still be banned.
"As of Saturday, mothers, fathers, siblings and children, husbands or partners of another nationality who until now could not enter" will be able to do so, said National Migration Directorate chief Florencia Carignano.
Though full details would be made available in the coming days, when the government published its new decree outlining the new measures in the Official Gazette, Carignano trailed that those seeking to enter would have to pay US$700 and that individuals would have to show a birth certificate proving their links to an Argentine in order to board a flight.
These measures form part of the government's plans to begin to relax restrictions, after 10 consecutive weeks of decline in coronavirus cases.
Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said Friday that the limit on entries had been successful in delaying the arrival of the Delta variant in Argentina, with “less than 100 cases” identified to date.