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Traveling abroad 2021

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    I had my first swab this morning at CentralLab in Palermo Hollywood. My appt. was for 7 AM with a tolerance of 10'. I was there at 6:50. The security guard of the facility of CentralLab across the Avenida said that location opens at 7:30. He didn't care my reminder and reservation read 7 AM.

    Other people with appointments at 7AM and 7:15AM started to arrive and queue outside in the cold. At 7:20 a clerk arrived, then shut down the window as soon as he was in. I showed him the confirmation at 7AM and he babbled it must be an error. The sticker on the door said they opened at 7:30...

    At 7:30 other staff (nurses) started to arrive and 4 people were allowed to enter the waiting room. I was first come and thus first served. The price had increased by 500 ARS compared to when I booked. Final price $6500 (i.e. 40 USD).

    The nurse (?) swabbed my cheek and I though 'Easy-peasy!', but then took another swab and she did one nostril and with the same swab did the second nostril. Ouch! That hurt and it make me want to puke. It also made me cry. We went for pizza at Angelito's in Villa Crespo at 8 AM. It was a glorious breakfast. We even had moscato! And a medialuna. And coffee!

    I got my results by email at 9:25PM by email, in both English and Spanish, when I was writing this post.

    I have my DDJJ to exit Argentina ready (, the honor declaration to transit through France and the self-certification for France, and I filled in a 'passenger locator form' ( to enter Italy. This is specific to Italy, albeit it is a European form. I guess we still require it. Italy will drop mask requirement outside starting from June 28. I will have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival and take a test (even a rapid one) on the tenth day.

    Not fun and definitely not indicated if traveling for tourism.

    Note 1: unlike I read on the internet, you do NOT need to upload the PCR results to fill in the DDJJ to exit Argentina.

    Note 2: you have too meet the requirement of your final destination but also of your transit country. In my case, France required a PCR test 48 hours before getting there and Italy 72 hours. Given that labs take 'up to 24 hours' to deliver the results, and the longer leg of the flight is 13 hours alone, plan carefully.

    Note 3: requirements keep changing, luckily they are getting more relaxed. Initially, France gave me a 36 hours window which was impossible to meet, but since they moved to 48 hours, I am all set with a single swab.

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    • Helpful

    I am finally safe, sound, half-rested at my mother's. The trip went as usual and the only difference was the obligation to keep your mask on.

    Ezeiza (outside): there is a line outside in the cold where you have to stand with your baggage to access the terminal. Visitors are not allowed, so my husband dropped me off outside, I went to queue and in 15' I was let in by showing my boarding pass and passport. There are screens telling you which line is yours based on your flight. There were 2-3 flights taking off that morning and you can enter the terminal only if your plane leaves within 4 hours. So, don't go there too early.

    My flight was leaving at 1:30PM, check-in closed at 12:40 PM and I arrived at the airport at 11. I was able to do everything comfortably.

    Note: if you want to have your bags wrapped in plastic, it costs 1000 pesos or 9.30 EUR, cash or card. You have to do that before queueing outside. The spot is quite hard to access with the cart, but doable.

    Ezeiza (inside): most stores are closed. There is a farmacity and a store selling artisanal goods. You have to queue to check-in as usual. Since there are just 2-3 planes leaving in the morning, the building is less crowded than it used to be, but half the people are in your line, so it is the same waiting time as usual. I think I queued 30-40' at the check-in.

    The lady at the counter asked if I wanted to check-in my hand luggage for free and I said yes. It was a good choice, because then I just have my computer backpack to carry around, which was very easy to do! She checked my documents, reservation and PCR test result. She didn't check the QR code to verify the results. I brought a printout, but several people were showing the results from their smartphones.

    Security check was an actual check. I was wearing a jumpsuit with a hood and the female police officer felt also the hood, and all my arms/legs.

    Passport check. Very quick and pleasant. My agent asked if I was living here and I told yes. I was exiting on my Argentinian passport, which he stamped.

    After that there are a few more shops open to eat, have a coffee or buy goods. However, there is just a handful and most curtains are down. You can see they are fully stocked inside - it seems like Chernobyl: one day they closed the door and it was left as it was. I spoke with a person working there and he said they've been like this since 2020. There was a Starbuck's and a Burger King, plus 2-3 cafés. Not a wide selection, but enough to eat something if hungry. Prices were higher than usual, or at least there weren't any precio cuidado like before.

    Despite it was advertised everywhere on the airline website, half the people did not wear a surgical mask or a FPP1, 2 or 3 mask. They just wore the fabric one or the Atom Protect. The airline website also said that they wouldn't supply masks and that your should bring your own. Regardless, in the waiting room a hostess was checking people's mask and handing out surgical masks for free to allow them to board. It felt really third world. People were confused and they wore the surgical mask under or above their usual mask. The seatings are alternate to allow social distancing. Some seating are marked with a red cross meaning you can't sit there.

    Boarding was done as usual. To my surprise, the plane was full and there were no empty seats. The previous night I had done my online checking and the seating map displayed an empty middle seat for all rows, so I was expecting a half empty plane. It was not the case.

    You are still served meals and you take your mask off while eating/drinking. Your are also given a 'health kit' consisting of a sanitizing wiper and another surgical mask (which I put on after I landed in Milan). You are encouraged to NOT move around the plane. I personally didn't notice any strict observance of this rule. I got up 5-6 times to drink and have a snack. There is free beverage/snacks as usual and you have to pour your own drink, so these bottles get touched by everybody.

    In Paris, some people were asked to exit the plane before others - maybe they had a shorter connection?

    We did passport control and the automated gates for EU passport holders were NOT working (perhaps because you'd have to take your mask off with the previous biometric system). It was a manned check and went very smooth.

    The various declarations I had to file electronically... useless. Nobody asked. Instead, on the plane to France we were handed hardcopy declarations, for a generic 'public health authority', no logo of France or of the EU or of Air France. It seemed really anonymous. Nobody was checking you were actually filling in and returning the paper to the crew. You basically had to state your name, your flights, who you were traveling with and where you would stay in the next 14 days and your contacts and one emergency contact.

    Transit in Paris consisted simply of the passport check. No temperature was taken and the declarations I filed on paper at home were never asked. The terminal was very busy and crowded. Seating were alternated to allow for social distancing but it was crowded, nonetheless.

    Arrival. The shorter flight to Milan was also full, no empty seats. We were served a refreshment and that was it. In Milan, I was out in 20' and there were thermal cameras checking people coming in. No passport control (since it was from Schengen) and no health declaration control (mandatory online for Italy).

    Overall, it seems that what is written on the website, based on laws and rules continuously changing, is hardly enforced. The crew is not the police and will remind you to wear a mask, but won't keep scrutinizing you are wearing it correctly. It is more: wear it well for your own health.

    I was very stressed in preparation of this trip and it turned out to be one of the easiest flights I had so far.

  • Thank you, serafina , for taking the time to give us such a detailed report! Very helpful. After all your pre-trip work and stress, I’m so glad the trip went so smoothly, without any unpleasant surprises. Enjoy your well-earned time with your Mother!

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    The govt. is considering imposing a mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine for those returning to Argentina.

    Knowing how things work here, it means tomorrow morning we will read that it is a done deal - "the President last night (today) signed a new DNU which will come into force on Sunday night". They want to disincentive people from traveling abroad for tourism, which I get. When I filled in my online DDJJ to exit Argentina, it asked for the reason of traveling. There was no 'medical reason' option, which is one of the options to enter Italy and the main reason of my trip. I checked Tourism because there was no option fitting my case.

  • Daily arrivals at EZE limited to 600 per day for the next two weeks.

    the government has handled it extremely well again.....a flight due to leave Panam City for Ezeiza a couple of hours ago was cancelled with all the passengers onboard. ANAC ( Argioe Civil Aviation , canceled its permission to land and said new measures take effect tomorrow Monday.

    The Aerolineas Argentinas flight from Madrid was brought for ard by 5 hours to allow it to arrive today , Sunday

    Nothing like looking after tour won boys.....

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    It is going to be a long summer. I feel Argentina is really down a very worrying path.

    Unable to manage their people, their politicians, their words and their actions with the International community, yet another occasion in which they pursue a closure instead of reaching for help.

    This really shows how good it is to burn bridges and try to be self-sustainable without being able to even govern your country.

  • It is going to be a long summer. I feel Argentina is really down a very worrying path.

    Unable to manage their people, their politicians, their words and their actions with the International community, yet another occasion in which they pursue a closure instead of reaching for help.

    This really shows how good it is to burn bridges and try to be self-sustainable without being able to even govern your country.

    To be honest they've been making a pigs ear of it for years before any of us came here.

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    Just a little update. I am halfway through my vacation and I am enjoying summer, although so far I spent my time here just to run from public office to public office to renew my documents.

    As you know, Argentina still has a cap to limit the number of passengers entering the country from abroad. Although it was gradually raised from 600 travellers per day to 1000, it is still considerably less than what was sold by airlines.

    The Government published a list of authorised flights until August 6. Of course, I leave on August 8 so I am still in the limbo.

    I have joined a local FB group of Argentinians where stranded ones are reporting their experiences.

    Apparently, not only there are just a few authorised flights, but since they arrive in Argentina at different times, they might not even allowed to fly at full capacity because the cap was met before they land. Hence, there are people whose flight was NOT cancelled who are not allowed to board the plane anyway. They sleep at the airport waiting for the next authorised flight, often the next week. A guy and his family of 4 are stranded in Paris and a couple of Belgian tourists asked if they were Syrian refugees. NO COMMENT - inclasificables HDPs......

    So, they did the PCR test (which costs €100+ in Europe), travelled to the airport, stood in line and were denied boarding. Airlines are giving priority to people residing in Argentina, elders, at-risk subjects, disabled people. Like it is a war. A war against civilisation.

    It would be interesting to know whether the 'reason for travel' checked upon leaving Argentina plays any role in the passenger selection. I had to select Tourism since there was no Health option.

    Of course, this girl (me) has a connection flight to take before boarding her international flight (in Amsterdam).

    People flying the same route as me, with KLM from Amsterdam to Ezeiza, were told by the KLM call center operators that flights may resume in September. MAY... They expect these restrictions to be extended throughout August, at least. Hence, don't hold your breath!

    KLM has also stopped selling tickets TO Buenos Aires.

    Now, I don't pay to stay here longer and I am able to work even from Italy, plus it is summer and it is glorious, so I'd gladly move my return flight of a couple of weeks. However, I am also afraid to postpone voluntarily my flight back home since I may miss my chance to return for God knows for how long. I don't want to arrive in Amsterdam just to find out I have to go back to Milan, PCR and all.

    Argentina, you really outdid yourself this time...

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    You really couldn't make up this shit.