Uruguay will tighten the measures to enter the country and thus minimize the possibility of COVID-19 contagion, according to the decree announced this Wednesday by Defense Minister Javier García, which will take effect in the next few hours.
In a press conference held in Montevideo with the Minister of the Interior, Jorge Larrañaga, García explained that anyone who wishes to enter the country must present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to arrival, regardless of whether they are national or foreign and if access is by land, air or water.
Until now, the most restrictive access conditions were at the airport, as happened this Sunday with passengers on Iberia’s first scheduled flight after the declaration of a health emergency on March 13.
All had to be tested at the Carrasco International Airport, except for those, such as the former Uruguayan ambassador in Spain and the new chancellor, Francisco Bustillo, in Madrid.
However, dry border access (north, adjacent to Brazil) is the weak point in the control of the pandemic by Uruguay, which is among the best countries in the world in this crisis, with less than 1,000 positive cases (some 70 active) and 29 dead.
“The most significant variation that we are announcing today” is the presentation of that “prior swab within 72 hours of entering the country” by land border, explained García, who added that to this will be added “the audits that are strictly necessary for verify that any person, especially foreigners who enter, can be in the country. ”
After admission, they must meet quarantine and perform a second test, 7 days later, which must be negative in order to release the confinement.
Along these lines, Larrañaga said that foreigners must have “their acceptance history regarding income” in order and added: “We are going to ask for compliance and, if not, the idea is that they cannot continue to remain in the country.”
“It is essential, it is important, we have to be firm to guard a superior good, which is the health situation in the country,” he argued.
As for binational cities, such as Rivera, where only one street separates Uruguay from Brazil, García indicated that there “it is impossible” to constantly demand tests, but yes “when you leave” and that in those situations “the control mechanisms “.
As explained by the Minister of Defense, if these people travel to the rest of the country they must “have some kind of authorization”, which will be granted if they first present negative evidence.
In recent weeks, when Uruguay was close to reaching the figure of 0 cases, several outbreaks in the departments (provinces) of Rivera (north) and Treinta y Tres (east) set off the authorities’ alarms.
(c) EFE Agency