More than 23 thousand tourists entered Uruguay in the last week, after the government reopened the borders on Monday, November 1, after 20 months of closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the authorities had anticipated that visitors could begin to be vaccinated against covid once the announcement was made, the option is not yet a possibility that has been put into practice.
The vaccinated foreigners who arrived in the country during last day there were 3,278, according to data compiled by the National Directorate of Migration accessed The Observer. In total, since the measure was launched, 23,062 people entered Uruguayan soil in one week. In return, 19,151 graduated.
Carrasco International Airport was the main entry point for most of the visitors: the recorded record shows that only this Sunday 41.3% entered this way.
The Undersecretary of Tourism, Remo Monzeglio, last Monday valued the realization of the announced reopening after, previously, only Uruguayans or those foreigners who justified their arrival for work reasons or other exceptions established by a decree could enter.
The arrival of new tourists, as he considered, supposes a challenge for the Uruguayan population, that it must be “at the same level” as visitors to avoid “setbacks” linked to the health situation. In that sense, he assured that the government’s intention will be put foreigners “in the same situation” as Uruguayans regarding vaccination, with the provision of doses to adolescents between 12 and 18 years old and the offering of a third for those adults who want to receive it as soon as possible.
In any case, neither of the two alternatives have been fulfilled, since the authorities prioritize adding a greater number of Uruguayans inoculated with a third dose and then giving the remainder to foreigners. “Surely, in the last week of November or the first of December we will be making the vaccine available for tourists. First the Uruguayans are going to have it. We are going to be very clear and say that this amount of vaccines will be available to tourists until the stock runs out ”, ad in recent days the secretary of the Presidency, Alvaro Delgado, at a press conference.
In dialogue with The Observer, Monzeglio described as something “very good and surprising” the number of tourists that entered the opening day, but considered “that they were few” compared to those who will come at the beginning of the summer season.
Despite the “great” first day and the positive balance of the first week, Monzeglio said that they are cautious and that the “litmus test” will be in the coming weeks when more than 80 thousand tourists arrive to watch the finals of the South American Cup. (November 20) and the Libertadores (November 27) in Montevideo. “An impressive number of people are going to arrive, there are many confirmed charters. The tickets that were put on sale were sold in record time, so a lot of people will come and we are hopeful that everything will continue normally“, he finished.
The authorities foresee a greater influx by then, especially in Montevideo, Canelones, Maldonado and San José, where the hotel industry has already filled 100% of capacity.
“The proportion will grow over time“, he assured.
The hierarch recalled that tourists who want to enter the country must fill out an affidavit, previously in their country of origin. This was fulfilled to a greater extent, but he said that in some cases there were Argentines who wanted to take the ship without carrying out this procedure, so they could not cross into the country. “In some Argentine province (it happened) due to misinformation “, he counted.
People who want to visit Uruguay must also be vaccinated, have a PCR test of a maximum of 72 hours prior to admission and repeat it on the seventh day of the first analysis.