Argentina Closes Border to Foreigners, Tourists, and Citizens

Argentina is a mess. The country’s economy is in a free fall, Covid infections are on the rise, and the government has just spent $1,000,000 on wooden dildos. To make matters worse, the government’s response to the pandemic hasn’t been to get more vaccines, but instead to close the borders to tourists and even their own citizens. Their decision to solely work with Russia to deliver the Sputnik vaccine has caused delivery delays and people, including our own family members, missing their second doses due to supply shortages.

If you were to try and book a flight right now to Argentina, you are likely to be able to make the booking, but unless you have an Argentina passport, you will not be allowed entry.

Closed to Tourism

Just a couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to be able to go to Argentina because my husband Ben is a citizen. Without that link, I would not have been able to enter the country. Upon arrival I was subject to a test, quarantine, and a 9,500 peso “fine” for the luxury of traveling while foreign.

a row of white chairs in a room

Delta Flight to Argentina

American Flight back from Argentina

In the first week of July, Argentina announced that they would be reducing the number of international arrivals to only 600 PER DAY. That’s 600 people, from the entire planet, to enter the country each day. 

The reason? The immigration officials need to only handle 1 flight every two-four hours in order to properly socially distance and assure that they aren’t overwhelmed.

(blank stare)

As a consequence of that 600 person per day limit, the entry of foreigners of ANY nation for any reason is strictly forbidden. 

a man with a bandana on his head

Justin was banned from Argentina too! From the

If you don’t have an Argentine passport, you can’t come to the country.

If you have family members there, too bad. 

If you have a long distance relationship, too bad.

If you need to go for business, too bad.

The country, trying to squash the outbreak of the Delta variant, has decided that complete isolation is the best way to go, completely ignoring the fact that the virus is already rampant in Argentina. The call is coming from INSIDE the house…

Closed to Argentine Nationals

While not explicitly saying that Argentine citizens cannot return to the country, limiting the daily arrivals to only 600 a day is a death knell for free movement. Recently, the government announced a slight increase in the number of people each week, but still the flights are being reduced.

  • Delta Airlines is flying 2 days a week
  • United Airlines is flying 4 days a week
  • American Airlines is flying 6 days a week from Miami
  • Aerolineas Argentinas is flying every day to Miami

an airport with people walking in it

This last bullet point is interesting, as the flag carrier, owned for and paid for by the government of Argentina, is allowed to fly daily to Argentina and the USA while other airlines are denied that access.

Europe isn’t any better, as the airlines are shutting down services quickly as well

  • Lufthansa is flying 3 days a week
  • Air France is flying 3 days a week (cancelled all flights until September)
  • KLM is flying 3-4 days a week (cancelled all flights until September)
  • Iberia is flying 4 days a week
  • British Airlines has cancelled all flights
  • Turkish is flying 1 day a week.

This is NOT normal

Argentina is a country of over 45,000,000 people, and all of these airlines were flying daily to the country. Now, with many airlines cancelling their service until September and many airlines dropping down to every other day service, flights for Argentine citizens stuck outside of the country are dwindling.

a group of people standing in a line at a desk

Mandatory quarantines are being enforced in government run hotels with exorbitant prices, all which line the pockets of local government officials. For example, as part of the government hotel quarantine program, the cost for four meals a day for a child under 12 is $220. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen any child need TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in food a day. 

This is being instituted mostly as a penalty for those Argentines that have let the country, admittedly most in order to search for a vaccine in the United States.

It’s estimated that over 40,000 Argentine citizens are stuck outside of their country, so much so that websites have popped up for those stranded outside of the country’s borders to be put up in other’s houses, couch surfing style.

What’s the solution?

Yesterday, just in time for the elections (how convenient), the government has announced that they will stop buying exclusively from Russia and have entered in to an agreement with Pfizer to buy 20 million doses, enough to innoculate about 20% of the adult population.

Consistent, fast, free, and available vaccine availability along with local education is the way to combat the problem at hand. Limiting the entry of foreigners leads the fragile Argentine economy down an even more slippery slope. Also, subjecting their own citizens to crippling costs upon their return also limits the number of citizens that can leave the country in order to save their lives and get the vaccine.

a group of people on an airplane

The money exchange in the country has blown out of control in the past couple of weeks. Currently the black market rate for buying the US dollar is 80% higher than the official rate, and it won’t be going down until the country returns back to some sense of common sense and normalcy.

Bottom Line

Argentina’s border closure is dangerous, both to their economy, but also their isolation on the world stage. Other countries are moving forward with vaccination exemptions and testing upon arrival, but few countries have downright stopped tourists from entering the country.

While the United States has limited entry from the EU Schengen zone, there are still ways for foreign tourists to enter the country. 

Upping access to the vaccines will be a step in the right direction and hopefully allow this once great country to open itself to the rest of the world again.

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. The virus is the peronismo and is in the country for more than 70 years.

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  2. When was Argentina honestly a great country the last time in your opinion? 🙂

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    • That’s a larger debate, but they were pretty awesome in the 1800s 😉

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      • Fair point 🙂

        Sad but kinda true…

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    • It was great in the 1930s. Argentina is a country with a 60% white population (mostly Spaniards, Germans, and Italians). It has been held back for eons. I was surprised to see very few tourist shops in Buenos Aires when I went there 2 years ago. This is a City with buildings and shopping malls that rival Paris. It’s a shame the monetary situation and governmental policies prevent it from being a major tourist destination. There is a lot of money left on the table because of ridiculous government policies. The government also alienates its farmers who actually are the only thing supporting the economy. Democracy is just slavery of the 49% by 51%. Democracy since the end of military rule (which was another issue) has been a disaster.

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      • Yes you’re right: Socialism in Argentina had nothing at all to do with their mess.
        It wasn’t proper socialism, that’s all.

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  3. Sounds very much like how Biden and the US is behaving towards europeans.

    Basicly no difference….

    So sad to see how terrible some countries behave.

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    • Not quite. Still plenty of ways to come to the USA if you are a citizen or even transiting a third country. Also, this ban was instituted with the previous twice impeached president.

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  4. This broad claim, is not entirely true:
    “If you don’t have an Argentine passport, you can’t come to the country.”

    There are exceptions and I suggest anyone from outside Argentina read the following from the Argentine government:

    Also, this is nothing new. Been going on since December.

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      Translation. “The extension of the suspension of entrance to direct family members or Argentine citizens or foreign residents is forbidden until the 6th of August.”

      So, yes, I was right. It is still forbidden to enter if you are not an Argentine or have an Argentina passport. Thanks for reading!

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  5. Thanks for keeping us up to date on Argentina. We really miss going there…

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    • I’m glad that I had a chance to go a couple months back, it was amazing. However, it looks like it’s going be a long time before I can go back… even being married to a citizen.

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  6. Australia has done exactly the same for the past 16 months, current entry limits 3000 a week. There are 36,000 Overseas Aussies registered with Embassies as vulnerable and trying to return, and an estimated 100,000 more trying to return home asap. Many Airlines have stopped flying, and those that do are down to as few as 10 passengers. They also messed up their vaccine orders and system of quarantining returned citizens.

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    • Australia is being ridiculous. If they are only doing it to keep Chinese out, that’s understandable but they should instead change their immigration and student visa policy so Australian cities don’t become Shanghai.

      The difference between Australia and Argentina is Australia has the economy and production to support a 2 year travel shutdown. Argentina is already a disaster and this shutdown is making it much worse.

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      • I can agree with the second half of what you said but the first part seems a bit … off.

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  7. Argentina is totally crazy. It’s not just those with Argentine passports that can enter. Those with DNI’s or permanent residency can also enter.

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    • Extranjeros residentes (foreign residents) are also excluded until the 6th of august.

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