Argentina to step up COVID-19 restrictions amid summer break

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Representative Image
Representative Image

Buenos Aires [Argentina], January 6 (ANI/Xinhua): Argentina will step up measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus during the austral summer vacation season, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Matias Lammens, said Tuesday.

The government will "reinforce its presence" and apply "specific restrictions for specific situations," because relying on individual responsibility was not enough, the minister said in a televised broadcast.

"The state is going to have to more vehemently keep an eye on these types of situations," added Lammens, referring to crowds and gatherings at tourism resorts.

Lammens cited measures adopted by the local government of the seaside resort of Villa Gesell, 390 kilometers south of the country's capital Buenos Aires, as an example of the types of steps the government plans to take.

"The mayor did not allow people to enter the beach between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 in the morning, which seems to me to be a sensible measure and, in addition, he imposed fines on houses where they found clandestine parties," he said.

The tourism sector accounts for 9 percent of Argentina's gross domestic product (GDP), Lammens said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

On December 23, Argentina announced it was barring entry to tourists from the five countries on its border (Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) from Dec. 25 to Jan. 8.

Argentina registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 3 and confirmed 1,648,940 cases of infection and 43,634 deaths from the disease as of Monday night. (ANI/Xinhua)