The following is intended as an overview of significant events since March 2020, which we will continue to update based on the best information available at the time. However, we strongly advise that you check your respective government's travel advice for the region before making any travel decisions, as the situation is fast evolving and Swoop will not be held liable for any actions or decisions taken as a result of the information provided below.   

January

18th January 2021

In both Chile and Argentina, the summer holiday season has seen a significant number of tourists from neighbouring countries, as expected, travelling throughout their own country as international travel remains highly restrictive. Both national governments have provided various economic incentives to support tour operators and hotels, as well as requiring new protocols to be adhered to, with varying success. In both countries vaccination programs have begun. As the number of cases of Covid-19 is steadily rising in the region, stricter governmental controls are expected to be implemented in the forthcoming weeks as a response.

December

31st December 2020

National authorities in Chile announce obligatory 10-day self-isolation for all individuals entering Chile, regardless of nationality, country of residency, or countries visited prior to arrival. A person can only come out of self-isolation if a PCR test is taken 7 days after arrival, and returns a negative result. Tourists who have visited the UK in the 14 days previous to arrival, are not allowed entry, whilst Chilean nationals/residents must undertake 14 days obligatory self-isolation.

20th December 2020

Both Chile and Argentina will prohibit flights to and from the United Kingdom given the detection of a new strain of COVID-19 in Britain. This new measure, lasting 2 weeks, will come into force from the start of Tuesday 22nd of December. Chile, where the international border is open to all nationalities, is prohibiting the entry to tourists who have been in the UK during the last 14 days, regardless of their route of entry.

November

30th November 2020

Following a staggered opening of its national parks, Torres del Paine, perhaps the country’s most emblematic protected area, has re-opened for visitors. Having closed in late August due to a local covid outbreak, the main trails of the park are now open for visitors. Most national parks in Chile are receiving visitors whilst also exercising strict protocols and in some cases limiting the number of visitors allowed. 

9th November 2020

As Chile continues to experience an overall drop in Covid-19 cases, government officials announce that the country will open its entry-point at Santiago International airport for all nationalities as of 23rd November. All other international airports and borders will remain closed to foreign nationals until further notice. Tourists entering Chile will be required to present negative PCR results from the last 72hrs, sign an affidavit and will be tracked during their stay via a government application. For the first 2 weeks of the opening, until the 7th of December, foreigners coming from WHO-classified ‘high-risk’ countries will have to keep a 2-week quarantine upon arrival.

October

30th October 2020

Argentina will open its borders to residents of neighbouring countries as of the 1st of December. A few hotels have, under strict protocols, begun to receive domestic travellers. Several international airlines are beginning to operate flights into Argentina, although immigration authorities still will not allow tourists from non-neighbouring nations to enter. 

12th October 2020

Covid-19 cases in Chile continue to steadily decrease allowing businesses, restaurants and shopping malls to reopen, and some inter-regional travel is permitted. Some regions, however, remain in strict lockdown, including the southern region of Magallanes, located in Patagonia, which is experiencing an upsurge in cases. 

9th October 2020

Argentine president Alberto Fernandez announced a 14-day period of increased quarantine restrictions in most of the country due to the spread of Covid-19 cases (ending 25th of October). Inter-provincial movement remains highly restrictive and international borders remain shut.

2nd October 2020

While some ‘special departure’ international flights are resuming service into Buenos Aires (American Airlines and Aerolineas Argentinas return from the US, Miami specifically, and British Airways from London) Argentina is still not yet accepting tourists, only returning residents.

September

28th September 2020

A confirmed date for the resumption of national and international flights in Argentina still hasn’t materialised. Each provincial government must agree on the protocols to be implemented and accept the opening of its borders for this to occur. Both Chile’s and Argentina’s borders remain closed to non-nationals or residents.  

14th September 2020

Chile’s President announces the extension of its Official State of Emergency for a further 90 days.

8th September 2020

After opening for locals only, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile has had to re-close due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the Puerto Natales area. The town and surrounding area have been put on lockdown until further notice. 

August

25th August 2020

An easing of restrictions on international flight restrictions in September to and from Argentina was announced by the National Government and Civil Aviation Authority. Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, Air France, KLM, Iberia and American Airlines will begin operating routes between Buenos Aires and Europe, the USA and some regional neighbours, on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, with a plan to incrementally increase frequency as conditions allow.

A lack of clarity still exists around the resumption of domestic flights within Argentina, as of yet no official announcement has been made.

10th August 2020

The Chilean Health Minister announces a national 10% drop in new Covid-19 cases over the past 14 days. 

10th August 2020

Argentine Minister for Transport has stated that internal flights in Argentina will not commence on the 1st of September, as had been announced by the government back in April. The minister has said that flights will be highly restricted and could resume operation within the next 60 days. The timeframe for the resumption of international flights has not yet been clarified. 

3rd August 2020

The opening of the borders in Argentina is still scheduled from 1st September. No visitor visas are being considered until 1st September, and all commercial flights continue to be suspended. The re-opening of the borders and resumption of flights is not guaranteed after 1st September, it may or may not happen, but for now, that is the date. Once borders open it's not clear yet whether visitors from all countries will automatically be accepted and what the parameters would be.

July

19th July 2020

President of Chile, Sebastian Piñera, announces that the overall countrywide cases of COVID-19 are steadily dropping. Northern areas of Chile are the most at risk for new COVID-19 cases.

17th July 2020

Buenos Aires metropolitan area enters phase 2 of its easing of confinement measures. The relaxing of quarantine measures has allowed families to leave their homes at certain times, and commerce to resume.

June

27th June 2020

Lockdown is reimposed in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area after a rise in coronavirus cases following gradual relaxation of confinement measures during the previous few weeks. At this point, the rest of the country is experiencing more relaxed measures, with no obligatory confinement. 

17th June 2020

LATAM Argentina declares they will stop operating all of their 12 national flight routes in Argentina as a result of their economic situation. Several regional flights between neighbouring countries will also be significantly reduced.

May

26th May 2020

Chile's LATAM Airlines files for US bankruptcy protection. LATAM, Latin America's largest carrier, says it will continue to fly through its bankruptcy restructuring, although its Argentine branch will cease.

April

27th April 2020

Argentina blocks commercial flight sales until September.

March

21st-23rd March 2020

Chile introduces a curfew in the worst affected areas of Metropolitan Santiago, along with complete shut-down in some areas of central-northern Chile.

Chile suffers its first reported Covid-19 associated death.

20th March 2020

All national and international flights into Argentina are grounded. Only repatriation flights can bring Argentine nationals or foreign residents into the country. Inter-provincial public transport is also completely shut down. 

18th March 2020

Chile closes all borders for entry. Only Chilean nationals and foreign residents can enter and must comply with 14-day self-isolation measures. Airlines implement a dramatic reduction in flights in and out of the country.

17th March 2020

Chile closes Torres del Paine National Park to all visitors, as well as many other natural areas.

16th March 2020

Argentinian President, Alberto Fernandez, announces the closure of the country's borders to all non-residents in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Provincial/state borders in the country begin to be blocked for travel. According to the Ministry of Health, there are at least 56 cases of the virus nationwide.

Flights from Europe and the United States are suspended.

13th March 2020

Argentina begins closing certain land-border crossings in an attempt to stem the entry of the virus into the country.

11th March 2020

WHO (the World Health Organisation) makes the assessment that Covid-19 should be characterized as a pandemic.

7th March 2020

Argentina registers the first Covid-19 related death in Latin America.

More on Covid-19 travel