Argentina is blocking commercial flight sales until September as part of the coronavirus response

BUENOS AIRES, April 27 (Reuters) – Argentina has banned ticket sales for commercial flights until September, according to a decree published on Monday. This is a new measure that the government calls part of its response to coronaviruses.

While the national borders have been closed since March, the new decree goes one step further and prevents the sale and purchase of commercial flights to, from or within Argentina until September 1.

The spread of the corona virus “leaves no certainties” for the end of social isolation measures that would endanger commercial air traffic, the decree says.

“It was considered sensible to set September 1, 2020 to reschedule regular operations or apply for permits for non-regular passenger air traffic operations, provided that commercial air traffic restrictions and operating arrangements are effectively lifted.” The decree of the National Civil Aviation Administration said.

According to the government, part of the goal of the decree is to prevent airlines from doing ticketing flights that have not been approved by the government.

“It has been found that some airlines, themselves or through third parties, promote the sale of regular flight tickets without the approval of this national administration,” the decree said.

A spokesman for President Alberto Fernandez did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

The South American nation had already closed its borders and blocked the entry of foreigners from “affected areas”, including Europe, China and the United States.

Argentina has been under a national lock since March 20. The government extended the quarantine over the weekend to May 10, but said it had managed to slow the rate at which new cases doubled.

The country has 3,892 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 192 deaths.

Some activities are allowed in the new phase of closure, including one-hour walks within 500 meters of people’s homes, with the exception of large urban areas, including Buenos Aires.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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