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MENDOZA.– The surprising decision of Chile to block the crossing tourists at Christ the Redeemer Pass due to the growth of infections coronavirus among the trans-Andean customs personnel caused discomfort and uncertainty on the Argentine side, especially among those who had already planned the trip. As initially reported, the measure would take effect on Saturday, but until now there are no definitions from the authorities of that country to re-enable transit for those who wish to vacation in the neighboring nation. In fact, it is speculated that the closure would continue throughout the week, just when the replacement of fortnight.

At the same time, a new requirement, which would be added to the strict Chilean requirements agreed on January 4: a antigen test to each person who wishes to enter its territory, and no longer randomly. Meanwhile, the corridor remains open only for the freight transport and for residents of both countries, who undergo this test, which has caused serious delays in care, leaving more than 1,000 trucks stranded in Mendoza, waiting for the service to be normalized and optimized, warned from the Mendoza Truck Owners Association (Approximate).

In the first two weeks of the year, the pass was enabled for tourists from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and during 24 hours for cargo transport.

As a consequence of the delays due to the tests on the drivers at the Cristo Redentor pass to enter Chile, there are trucks stranded at the crossing to Chile
As a consequence of the delays due to the tests on the drivers at the Cristo Redentor pass to enter Chile, there are trucks stranded at the crossing to Chile National Gendarmerie

From the Border Center and the General Coordination of the Cristo Redentor International Crossing, Argentine side, indicated to THE NATION that there are “great delays in attention” to international freight transport in the complex The liberators. “These delays are due to the antigen tests that are carried out on all drivers entering Chile. Also, because the rest of the services work in reduced shifts due to the well-known conflict”, indicated the person in charge of the organization, Just Jose Bascolo.

“The lack of dynamics in truck traffic impacts the Argentine side, generating delays and waiting at the border center of Uspallata, seeing ourselves forced to maintain the gradualness that the situation in the neighboring country imposes on us,” added the official, dependent on the Ministry of Interior, who affirms that the necessary requirements were made to the Chilean authorities to adopt measures to normalize this situation. “It is noted that the delays they are totally unrelated to the Argentine sector and permanent contacts are maintained with the counterpart reporting this situation”, he added.

Sources consulted by this newspaper on the Chilean side indicated that meetings are being held to try to unlock the conflict, while studying the possibility of performing antigen tests on anyone who decides to cross the Cordillera, beyond the current requirements: test PCR with a negative result 72 hours before the trip; PCR analysis upon arrival at the border complex for those traveling in private cars, as well as for all bus passengers and crew; previously approved vaccination and medical insurance of 30,000 dollars, which costs an average of 500 pesos per day per person, among others.

Trucks stranded in Uspallata, as a result of delays due to mandatory testing of drivers to cross into Chile
Trucks stranded in Uspallata, as a result of delays due to mandatory testing of drivers to cross into ChileKindness APROCAM

Also, from Chile indicated to THE NATION that there is concern among the population of the commune of The Andes, in the region of Valparaiso, due to the high circulation of Argentines through commercial areas without waiting for the result of the PCR test. “In the last few days, the infections in these key locations, where tourists pass. We see that there are few controls and little compliance by travelers in staying isolated until they receive the result of the PCR,” trans-Andean sources complained.

Chilean claims on the border for the outbreak of transmissions of Covid they began a week ago, but due to the lack of an official response, on Friday the workers of the Chilean Customs carried out a strike. As a measure, in addition to curbing attention to tourists in private cars on Saturday and Sunday, the trans-Andean government began testing the more than 900 at the border complex. trucks who cross every day international broker. “The problem is that there are only five posts to perform these tests, so only five drivers are tested every half hour, who in turn must wait a few hours to get the result to be able to leave. The consequence? To date, more than 1,000 trucks have been detained on the Argentine side, in a new bottleneck which is expected to be difficult to resolve, ”explained Daniel Gallart, President of Approximate, referring to the antigen test, in addition to the carrier’s obligation to submit to the PCR.

“The trucks are piled up in Libertadores, Las Cuevas, Punta de Vacas, Uspallata and Luján. If Chile wants to test 100%, it has to set up a battery of checkpoints,” Gallart stressed. And he detailed the impact produced by this situation: “Losses of millions of dollars for the International Trade and loss of shifts on ships, in the midst of international logistics that are already very complicated,” said the businessman, while waiting for a meeting with the authorities of Chancellery and of the Border Affairs Directorate to look for answers on the other side of the mountain.


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