Chile to ease entry requirements for tourists from May 1

Chili will do it entry requirements for tourists from the 1st May.

The measures will be announced by the new government of Gabriel Boric, one month after taking office, and before the pressure from tourism sectors that this summer they suffered a low 90% of visits that they had in the pre-pandemic.

The measures were put forward by the new Chilean consul in Mendoza, David Quiroga Hinojosa, who in statements on Nihuil radio said that eliminate the online validation process vaccines (even if the complete schedule will be requested at the border), the The input PCR will be a random measurement that the Chilean health authorities will do and it will not be necessary to present a covid insurance with a cover of 30 thousand dollars, as before.

Beach day in Viña del Mar, Chile. Xinhua Photo/Jorge Villegas

current requirements

From now on, the Chilean Ministry of Health requires foreign tourists to carry out a process of validation of the complete vaccination schedule against Covid, which takes between 15 days and a month.

Added to this is the original affidavit and PCR test. Yes upon arrival at the land or air borderthe tourist is randomly subjected to a PCR test or an antigen test.

“The overcoming the wave of contagion in Ómicron This allowed us to resume the integration of border controls with Argentina,” said the Chilean consul. All border crossings between the two countries will be activated from May 1.

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

The Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

This week, during a panel at the IATA Wings of Change Americas conference in Santiago, Chile, Chile’s Undersecretary of Tourism, Verónica Kunze, announced that in the coming days there will be announcements regarding the arrival of tourists.

“We consider that there are restrictions that have been imposed and that given the current situation there’s no point in keeping“said government official Boric.

New measures

Regarding the measures that will be applied from May 1, Consul Quiroga Hinojosa said: “The main idea is to require the health affidavit. there will be one Compulsory vaccination on admission but the process of vaccine licensing or validation by the Ministry of Health will be voluntary, that is, it will not be required at the point of entry into Chile.

Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia.  Photo MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

Torres del Paine, Chilean Patagonia. Photo MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

He specified that the foreign tourist who wants to make interregional trips on public transport or enter closed places such as cinemas and theaters, must do the validation of the vaccines to have the so-called Mobility passwhich is required by different municipalities and some companies, which is processed via the web.

From May 1, when arriving at the border, it will no longer be necessary to bring an original PCR, but anyone can be drawn for a diagnostic roundup at the entrance, with a PCR or an antigen test.

Regarding compulsory insurance, the consul indicated that it will no longer be required, given the epidemiological evolution of the pandemic.

The country with the most restrictions in the region

Until now, Chile is one of the countries with the most limitations for the entry of foreigners and the only one who requests this homologation of vaccines as a preliminary procedure through the portal

View of the city of Santiago from the hill of San Cristóbal.  Photo EFE/Alberto Valdés

View of the city of Santiago from the hill of San Cristóbal. Photo EFE/Alberto Valdés

In the rest of the countries, it is sufficient to present proof of vaccination, which, for example, in the case of our country, is obtained through the My Argentina app.

In all cases, Only those with a double vaccination schedule can enter.

“Anyone who has not been vaccinated (including minors) will be inadmissible”, specifies the provision in force since November. But, in addition, the Chilean government specifies that “anyone who does not present official validation will be inadmissible”. And he suggests consulting the official response of the Chilean authorities daily.

The requirement for vaccine validation has forced some travelers to cancel their flights and discouraged travel to Chile. “When you validate the vaccine, they issue you the ‘mobility pass’, the tool with which you can enter shopping centers, restaurants and tourist areas and which, at some point, was even requested to be able to walk the dog,” says Eduardo, a Chilean who works in Mendoza.

The formalities to enter are numerous and expensive.. Argentines consider it impossible to spend their holidays and long weekends on the beaches of the Pacific, as Mendoza, San Juan and Cordoba used to do.

In addition to the validation of the vaccines, other requirements are in force until May 1: negative PCR valid for 72 hours, before the arrival from Chile; travel insurance that covers Covid-19 disease at $30,000 (the policy costs 11,000 pesos per person), and random antigen testing upon arrival in Chile.

Complaints from hoteliers and travel agencies

The Federation of Tourism Companies (Fedetur) has asked the new government to abolish the registration of vaccines, which puts fate at a disadvantage tourism compared to what is required by neighboring countries, which have removed most restrictions.

Ricardo Margulis, president of the Chilean Tourism Federation, said that in a survey conducted by international operators and travel agencies, only 9.8% of people consider Chile an attractive destination to visit right now, and almost 90% rejected because of the number of requirements it imposes.

Another concern in the meeting between tour operators and Undersecretary Kunze is the increased insecurity in the main Chilean cities.

“Without security, tourism does not exist. Chile had a great asset, which was to be a safe country. You could leave the car, walk three blocks and go to the restaurant, now you don’t even dare drive. Today it’s exactly the same as any country in South America in those terms,” ​​Magulis said.

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