Argentina’s government announced on 9 July new measures to combat the coronavirus, including an extension of existing coronavirus preventive measures, until 6 August. Borders will remain closed and stricter measures have been established to prevent the spread of new strains of COVID-19 in Argentina. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2021-175, 15 June 2021.)
The provisions aim to protect the Argentine population and prevent the further spread of coronavirus/COVID-19. (For prior coverage of Phase 1, see GMS Flash Alert 2020-058, 13 March 2020.)
WHY THIS MATTERS
The closures and suspension of activities, and the travel disruptions, will require employers to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements, as the situation is evolving quickly. There also could be additional costs for employers to consider tied to (i) lodging in compulsory places for isolation purposes and (ii) sequencing tests administered.
Given current circumstances, remote working may be a “best practice” for globally-mobile employees – apart from essential workers – to the extent possible and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees and help with business continuity.
Statutory Bases for Changes
Decree N° 455/2021 suspends in-person gatherings in economic, industrial, commercial, cultural, sports, religious, educational, tourist, recreational, and social activities until 6 August.1 It is expected that this will have considerable impact on how Argentineans and foreign individuals live and go about their daily lives in Argentina.
Additionally, Argentina’s government, with Administrative Decision N° 683/2021, announced the country’s borders will remain closed until 6 August,2 and flights are suspended coming from and going to Great Britain, Brazil, Chile, India, and countries of the African continent, due to the prevalence of new strains of the virus in those countries.
Finally, Disposition N° 1892/2021 extends the terms of Disposition N° 1798/2021 until 6 August, by which the Argentinean government decided to cancel the entry into national territory of nonresident foreigners who have Argentinean relatives and who temporarily enter the country for reasons of necessity and do not require a visa by virtue of bilateral agreements or unilateral measures.
Passenger Flight Quotas, Coronavirus and Sequencing Tests, and Compulsory Quarantine
The National Civil Aviation Administration (Administración Nacional de Aviación Civil – ANAC), will determine on a weekly basis the quota of seats on passenger flights for re-entry to the country by Argentine nationals and foreign residents who are abroad, according to the following:
- Five thousand two hundred (5,200) seats for the week of 10 July to 16 July, inclusive.
- Six thousand three hundred (6,300) seats for the week of 17 July to 23 July, inclusive.
- Seven thousand (7,100) seats for the weeks of 24 July to 30 July and 31 July to 6 August, inclusive.
Those individuals who test negative for coronavirus in respect of the test administered upon arrival into the country must comply with mandatory isolation in such places as indicated by the provincial authorities and the Autonomous city of Buenos Aires for a seven-day period from the collection of the test sample performed at the time of entry into the country. A second test will be administered on the seventh day of the traveler’s arrival in the country and, if he or she tests negative, then open/free circulation will apply. However, if the individual tests positive for the coronavirus, the intervening laboratory must take precautions to genomically sequence the sample and the local health authority will trace the close contacts of the traveler and transfer him or her to a location for isolation.
The cost of the stay in places of compulsory isolation established by the provincial authorities and by the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires for this purpose and the cost of the sequencing tests must be assumed by the person who enters the country as established by the national authorities.
Not complying with these measures could result in between 15 days and up to two years of prison.
Continuance of Existing Measures
Measures prohibiting group gatherings, closing borders, advising people to keep 1.5 meters apart, and confining people to their homes, are still in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus due to the lack of vaccines.
Any individuals impacted by the travel restriction extension may wish to consult with their global-mobility advisers and immigration legal counsel as soon as possible for advice on next steps.
The KPMG International member firm in Argentina is tracking these matters closely. We will endeavor to keep readers of GMS Flash Alert posted on any important developments as and when they occur.
1 See Decree 455/2021 (Decreto 455/2021), published (in Spanish) in the Boletín Oficial at: https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/246737/20210709.
2 See Administrative Decision 683/2021 (Decisión Administrativa 683/2021), published (in Spanish) in the Boletín Oficial at: https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/246738/20210709.
3 See Disposition 1892/2021 (Disposición 1892/2021), published (in Spanish) in the Boletín Oficial at: https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/246739/20210709.
**Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Argentina.
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