By Germán Capoulat Partner - Argentina Funes de Rioja & Asociados

Argentina has introduced tighter restrictions on travellers entering the country, limiting entry to a very narrow list of individuals and imposing strict testing and quarantine restrictions on most of these travellers.

An Administrative Decision (2252/2020 issued by the Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers, the ‘Decision’) has amended the rules on travel and quarantine in Argentina.

From 00:00 on 25 December 2020 until 00:00 on 9 January 2021 the following changes apply:

  1. The pilot test for tourism from neighbouring countries (introduced by Administrative Decision No. 1949/20) has been suspended.

Authorisations that had been granted for direct flights on air routes from the UK and Northern Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands, and those destined for those countries are suspended for passengers. The Decision also provides that the national health authority may expand the above list of countries.

Authorisations that had been granted for entry and exit through authorised border crossings are suspended, except for the entry of Argentine residents and citizens and special authorisations granted by the Immigration Office for working reasons (paragraph 2, article 1 of Decree 274/20 and its amendments). The border crossings of San Sebastián and Integración Austral, both located in the Province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and the South Atlantic Islands, are exempt from this suspension.

From 00:00 on 25 December 2020 until 00:00 on 9 January 2021, the following categories of people are authorised to enter Argentina:

  • carriers or crew members of any nationality;
  • nationals and residents of the Argentine Republic;
  • foreign nationals expressly authorised by the National Directorate of Migrations to carry out a work or commercial activity; to fulfil an official diplomatic mission; to participate in sporting events, or for family reunification with Argentines or residents;
  • foreign nationals declared to be in transit to other countries who will remain at the international airport for less than 24 hours;

 Conditions for entry to Argentina have been updated in Annex I to the Decision as set out below.

Electronic Affidavit for entering Argentina

All travellers must submit an Electronic Affidavit. It is available on the official site of the National Directorate of Migrations (www.migraciones.gob.ar) and must be completed 48 hours before boarding.

PCR tests

All travellers must take a diagnostic test 72 hours prior to international travel and receive a negative result for COVID-19 to present with the Electronic Affidavit, except:

  • Carriers and crew members.
  • Individuals who have received a COVID-19 diagnosis in the 90 days prior to entering the country, confirmed by laboratory, will not need to present the negative PCR test, for their admission. For this purpose, they must prove the results of the diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2 and also provide evidence of medical discharge after more than ten days have passed since the diagnosis.

Those who cannot take a PCR test where their journey originates for a duly justified cause must have a medical certificate that proves that they do not have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, also issued at least 72 hours before travelling. This must accompany the Electronic Affidavit. These individuals must also take a PCR test at their destination.

Quarantine

All travellers must comply with a ten-day quarantine after the negative PCR test was performed.

Those who are required to have a negative PCR at source issued within 72 hours before boarding, must serve seven or more days of quarantine at their destination up to a maximum of ten days from the date the test was carried out.

Those who cannot take a PCR test where their journey originates must prove they do not have symptoms with a medical certificate and take a PCR test at their destination as soon as possible upon arrival in Argentina. They must complete a mandatory ten-day quarantine.

Exceptions to the quarantine requirement are as follows:

  • international carriers and crew members in the exclusive exercise of their activity;
  • diplomats and officials exclusively to carry out an official mission authorised by the National Directorate of Migrations;
  • athletes only to participate in sporting events authorised by the National Directorate of Migrations, with protocols proposed by the organisers, approved by the national health authority and supervised by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports;
  • Non-resident foreigners expressly authorised by the National Directorate of Migrations to carry out an essential work or commercial activity;
  • Argentinian nationals or foreign nationals in transit to other countries remaining for less than 24 hours in national airports.

These exceptions only apply to the extent the individuals concerned comply with the protocols set or to be set by the health authority in a timely manner.

The health authority may order additional measures at any time during the stay of any of the excepted individuals listed above when it suspects the existence of a risk of spreading the virus, especially when these individuals come from countries where the new viral variant is circulating.

Other and local conditions

Other requirements relate to special traveller insurance for non-resident foreign nationals, the use of the CUIDAR app for nationals or residents in Argentina or for foreign nationals, the requirements of local destination jurisdictions in Argentina and the strict control of these measures by local jurisdictions.

The national health authority may adapt the requirements set out in the Annex according to the evolving epidemiological situation.