This is how Uruguay prepares for the resumption of flights with Europe

Carrasco International Airport (AFP) Screens for check-in, separate seats in pre-boarding, “traffic lights” in bathrooms, gel alcohol everywhere and a single companion per passenger who says goodbye or welcomes: this is how the Montevideo airport for its first commercial flights with Spain. Authorities had new prevention measures (AFP) after the European Union (EU) gave its approval on Tuesday to reopen its borders to tourists from fifteen countries, including Uruguay, the small Latin American nation praised for its successful Control of the coronavirus epidemic, will see the first commercial flights from Iberia land and take off next Sunday and Monday since the health crisis broke out. Although in these months the international airport of Carrasco has received dozens of humanitarian flights, the officials of the main Uruguayan air terminal are preparing for the return of the flights to the “Old Continent” as if it were a debut. In pre-boarding lounges, the distance (AFP) will have to be maintained to the marks on the seats and the floor to maintain physical distance or the green or red lights that will indicate if you can enter the bathroom, the update of some technologies will be added. Stereoscopic cameras will be useful “to detect crowds or when the distance is not met,” said Federico Cabrera, manager of the Airport Passenger Experience, consulted by the AFP agency. One of the new signs placed on the floor to keep the distance (AFP) Other measures, such as temperature measurement, came “to stay for a long time,” he said. This is why “we have equipped the airport with (thermal imaging) cameras and smart helmets with which our security officials can monitor large areas when walking,” he added. Officials will rely on technology to avoid crowds (AFP) The government authorized Iberia to resume commercial flights. The Spanish airline already has four Montevideo-Madrid and four Madrid-Montevideo trips planned. Uruguay has not yet authorized the arrival of foreign tourists (AFP). At the same time, AirEuropa is processing the permit and even would have already obtained a first authorization for two weekly frequencies, according to the Minister of Tourism, Germán Cardoso, to the newspaper El Observador . But everything will end depending on the demand for tickets. Uruguay was the only South American country to which Europe opened its borders (AFP) “Since mid-March we have had humanitarian and repatriation flights, coordinated by consulates or embassies,” said Ricardo Cerri, manager of Corporación América Uruguay, which manages the airport . “What is going to change on these commercial flights is that passengers can buy their ticket directly from the airline and have an operation quite similar to what the pre-pandemic was. So we expect an increase in passenger flow, “he said. Uruguay is one of the few countries in the region that managed to contain the coronavirus (AFP). However, the Uruguayan authorities clarified that these first flights are not intended to attract tourists. Uruguay has kept its borders closed since March, when it detected its first cases of coronavirus. Currently, only nationals, foreign residents or members of diplomatic corps can enter the country, among other exceptions, such as entry for humanitarian reasons or family reunification. ”The country is not open to tourism. And there is no intention that this will be the case, “President Luis Lacalle Pou said Thursday after being asked about the possibility of allowing regular frequencies of ships to and from Buenos Aires. Many things will be the same as before for passengers, but others will not (AFP) One day before resigning his post, Foreign Minister Ernesto Talvi said Tuesday that Uruguay was evaluating a policy of reciprocity with Europe “so that there is a bilateral opening of border”. For Talvi it ​​is a matter of pragmatism: “For flights to be profitable, they cannot come full and leave empty.” Carrasco International Airport (AFP) The EU ambassador to Uruguay, Karl Otto Koenig, told AFP that “the situation in Uruguay regarding (the arrival of) Europeans and legal residents is not clear” and that the country ” it is still defining its line and its protocols. ” “I hope that during the (next) week we know more,” he added. Cameras were installed to measure the temperature of people (AFP) The Minister of Public Health, Daniel Salinas, said on Thursday that the government will update the requirements that must be met by people who enter the country from Spain. In addition to the mandatory 14-day quarantine, an affidavit will be requested notifying if you have had symptoms or contact with a case of positive coronavirus, and record your domicile in Uruguay. He also said that the possibility of requesting a Covid-19 test be studied. Uruguay, which has fought the coronavirus without compulsory quarantine among its population of 3.4 million inhabitants, has registered until Friday 947 cases and 28 deaths. . Currently, only 91 people carry the disease. At the moment, the flights will not be enabled for tourists (AFP). “We know that Uruguay did very well,” said Otto Koenig, emphasizing once again why the EU included the country in its select list as the sole representative of Latin America. But he clarified that it is “a developing situation”, as the list will be updated every two weeks. He stressed that “it is a recommendation, it is not an obligation.” “It is the responsibility of each country,” he added. With information from AFP (by Gabriela Vaz) MORE ON THIS ISSUE: The European Union confirmed that Uruguay is the only country in Latin America to which it will open its borders as of this Wednesday. Uruguay will evaluate reciprocity in Opening of borders with the EU The European Union will reopen its borders on July 1 and only one country in the region is on the select list of allowed nations