Friday 9 December 2022

Costa Rica will continue to allow flights from the United Kingdom without the need for a covid-19 test

The discovery of a variant of the virus that could be more contagious has led several countries to suspend their flights from the UK, others require travelers to take a negative test before their arrival

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QCOSTARICA – While several countries in Latin America are banning the arrival of UK flights, Costa Rica will not suspend flights with the United Kingdom nor will it ask travelers from the UK for a negative covid-19 test.

The Minister of Health, Daniel Salas, rules out suspending flights between our country and the United Kingdom, despite the fact that other countries are doing so. (Photo for illustrative purposes).

This was confirmed this Sunday afternoon by Daniel Salas, Minister of Health, saying, “Actually the virus is still SARS-CoV-2, it continues to cause the same disease, covid-19. The virus can continue to mutate, in fact, it will continue to mutate. The fact that it can acquire greater transferability is something that we knew could be presented from the beginning, there is still no corroboration of greater transferability outside of what has already been declared in England.

“This mutation is already in several countries, due to the number of flights, to how people move. What happens is that these countries do not know and we cannot do a traceability. It makes no sense to close England when it can already be in more nations.”

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For Salas, the transmission of the virus will continue if prevention measures are not taken into account, regardless of whether it is the United Kingdom variant or those that are already circulating in our country.

Minister Salas confirmed that a negative PCR test will not be necessary for people entering the country.

“Let’s remember that the incubation period of the virus can be up to 14 days. In reality, the security of having a positive or negative test result is not that high, a person could be starting their infection and test negative and infect at the airport. We rely more on whether they have symptoms,” Salas said.

“The risk is outside, but also here in Costa Rica, the risk inside Costa Rica has never been that high. No tourist has had to occupy an ICU bed, we already have the transmission within our borders,” Sals concluded.

As of Friday, December 18, Costa Rica had 157,472 accumulated cases and 1,996 deaths due to Covid-19. A new update is expected this Monday, December 21, from the Ministry of Health.

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and El Salvador on Sunday joined the list of countries that have prohibited the entry of travelers from the UK.

Meanwhile, Argentina, Chile, Perú, Colombia, and El Salvador announced on Sunday, preventively, the suspension of flights to and from the United Kingdom after the appearance of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK, apparently more contagious.

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Argentina accumulates 1,541,268 cases and 41,813 deaths from covid-19, according to the last official record of this Sunday.

In the case of Chile, with an accumulated 585,545 cases and 16,154 deaths, the Executive canceled flights to the United Kingdom and prohibited the entry of foreigners who have been in that European country in the last 14 days.

Peru, with an accumulated 997,517 cases and 37,103 deaths, banned flights with the United Kingdom, which had been authorized since December 15 along with other European countries, as a result of the appearance of a new strain of covid-19, the government announced Sunday night.

Colombia, with 1,507,222 cases and 40,475 deaths, also made the decision to suspend flights between Colombia and the United Kingdom.

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“As of tomorrow (Monday), flights from Colombia to the United Kingdom or from the United Kingdom to Colombia will be suspended,” said President Iván Duque at a public event Sunday night.

Colombians, resident foreigners and diplomats may enter Colombia, but they must isolate for 14 days, as well as people who have visited the United Kingdom after December 12, the Ministry of Health specified in a press release.

According to Duque, the suspension of flights seeks to “prevent any appearance of this new strain in Colombia”, which has registered a growth in the speed of infections in recent days.

El Salvador, with 43,772 cases and 1,257 deaths, on Sunday, prohibited the entry of citizens who have been to the United Kingdom or South Africa, reported President Nayib Bukele.

“From now on, it is forbidden to enter our country, any person whose flight itinerary has included the United Kingdom or South Africa or who has been in either of those two countries in the last 30 days,” said the president by Twitter.

A medical worker performs a swab test for COVID-19 on December 19, 2020, at a swab testing site at Tor Vergata hospital in Rome. Italy detected a case of a new variant of the coronavirus after suspending flights with the United Kingdom. Patient had recently returned from the UK by plane; relatives are in quarantine. Photo: AFP

In Europe, countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Bulgaria also suspended flights with the entire United Kingdom. France also suspended all types of land transport via the Eurotunel or train, as well as freight travel.

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