Argentina has banned until September ticket sales for commercial flights, according to a a new measure the government says is part of its coronavirus response. In effect, the move means air travel will not resume in the country until September.
The decision, announced on Monday, could have an impact on when other Latin American countries reopen international air travel.
The spread of coronavirus “does not allow certainties” for the end of social isolation measures, which would threaten commercial air transportation, the decree said.
“It has been understood to be reasonable to set September 1, 2020 for the purpose of rescheduling regular operations or requesting authorizations for non-regular operations of passenger air transport subject to the effective lifting of restrictions imposed on commercial air transport and operating modalities,” the decree by the National Civil Aviation Administration said.
Part of the decree’s aim, the government says, is to prevent airlines from ticketing flights that have not been approved by the government.
“It has been detected that some airlines are themselves promoting or by third parties, the sale of tickets for regular flights, without having obtained the respective authorization from this National Administration,” the decree said.
A spokesman for President Alberto Fernandez did not immediately respond to request for comment.
The South American nation had already closed its borders and blocked entry to foreigners from “affected zones,” including Europe, China and the United States.
Argentina has been under a national lockdown since March 20. The government, over the weekend, extended the quarantine until May 10, but said it had been successful in slowing the rate at which new cases double.
The country has 3,892 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 192 deaths but private health experts say the acutal numbers are much higher, possibly by a factor of 10
Some activities are permitted in the new phase of the lockdown, including hour-long walks within 500 meters of peoples’ homes, with the exception of large urban areas, including Buenos Aires.
Credit: US News & World Report