Five days after announcing it, the government seems to back down. Complaints from tour operators.
Five days after announcing that international flights in Peru would resume on October 1, disagreements have arisen in the Peruvian Government after the contrary opinion of the Ministry of Health to reopen borders and reactivate tourism, one of the pillars of the Peruvian economy.
“Everything is in permanent review”, the Vice Minister of Health, Luis Suárez, assured Canal N, who contradicted the security with which last week the Minister of Transport and Communications, Carlos Estremadoyro, announced that the date of October 1 was already set to resume air connections with abroad.
“We have to be in talks with international agencies such as IATA (International Air Transport Association) and PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) to be able to do it in a context of greater security for people, “he detailed.
Despite the fact that since mid-July domestic flights have already resumed, Suárez asked that people move as little as possible throughout the national territory.
“The trips must be for health reasons, work or for some urgent transfer. We have to consolidate prevention measures. We must lower the transmission of the virus further. There are areas where the epidemic has not reached and the movement of people can encourage them to go to a distant place, “said Suárez.
“I know it’s tough, I know we need to jump-start the economy, we have to protect the population in the most dispersed areas of Peru where the pandemic has not reached and we do not become vectors of dissemination ourselves, “he added.
Last week the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Rocío Barrios, already warned that the resumption of regular international flights depended on the authorization of the health authorities and the behavior of the disease during these first weeks of September.
The reluctance of the Ministry of Health contrasts with the insistence of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur), very critical of the government for closing the borders at the beginning of the pandemic.
Now the tourism business union claims that several air routes are reactivated to receive business tourism, understanding that this sector can comply with the security protocols that are established to avoid contagion.
Although regular international flights are suspended since mid-MarchWhen the general and mandatory quarantine was decreed, the runway of the Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima has not stopped operating with hundreds of special flights.
So some 50,000 foreign citizens have been able to leave the country or Peruvians residing in other countries who were in Peru at the time the state of emergency was declared due to the pandemic, while some 29,000 Peruvians who were stranded in different parts of the world have also arrived.
Until now there are frequent commercial flights under the charter modality with different destinations such as Spain through companies that charter planes only to transfer passengers from Peru to other destinations, but not for visitors to enter Peruvian territory.
Although the number of daily deaths has been decreasing for almost a month, Peru is the first country in the world in relative mortality from COVID-19 when accumulating almost 30,000 deceased, which makes an average of 91 per 100,000 inhabitants.
It is also the fifth country in the world in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, registering almost 690,000 accumulated infections, the majority in the capital Lima.