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Inside Lima’s airport terminal (Photo: VasenkaPhotography – https://www.flickr.com/photos/vasenka/8722356428/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26698429)

Peruvian Government Announces Oct. 1 Restart of International Flights

Peruvian Minister of Transport and Communications Carlos Estremaydoro indicated that the country’s sanitation protocols necessary to begin international service will be defined this month in concordance with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and airlines representatives. As a result, airlines should be able to begin international flying on Oct. 1.

“The date is already defined. It has already been arranged for October 1,” said Estremadoyro in a press conference. He pointed out that for the moment it is evaluating restarting flights to the U.S., Mexico, Spain, Chile, Argentina and Brazil in the first stage. The number of flights would be limited.

He also said that travelers who come to Peru will have to carry out a test that ensures that they are not carriers of COVID-19, but whether the document’s issuance time limit should be two days, three days or a week is still under discussion.

He said that in the case of the domestic market, which resumed operations in July, 18 routes had been approved to begin, but currently only 10 are operating, as there is no demand and some cities returned to quarantine as a result of a reemergence of the virus.

“In some cases, the demand will determine the number of international flights. In others, we will establish it for a health control issue. In some cases in which there is an over-demand, for health issues, we will restrict the number of flights. For example, if there are four operations with Spain, [the cap we would institute] would be only one or two, no more,” Estremaydoro finished.

A Star Peru BAe-146 (Photo: Primx28 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons)

In order to guarantee the health of travelers in the restart of international flights, the Peruvian government is working on biosafety protocols that contemplate three different scenarios and that are being coordinated with other Latin American countries, Minister of Health Pilar Mazzetti said in an interview with ElPeruano.

He said that the three scenarios of concern are the flight origin, the duration of the trip and the risk group of the passengers. Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic’s evolution in the weeks and months ahead, a decision will be made in the coming weeks and the best alternative will be chosen.

“We all look with expectation to the next month so that, a final decision will be made. However, there is a plan for the things that have to be done, but the final decisions will depend on the evolution of the pandemic in Peru and in other countries,” Mazzetti emphasized.

The minister specified that, in the case of international flights, the first travelers will be those with a professional or business purpose. In the case of tourism travel, she said that the Peruvian government will wait until the numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths in the country drop further.

Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
Juan Pedro Sanchez Zamudio
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