On Dec. 1, Chile opens its land borders and begins requiring booster shots for those over 45 who want mobility passes. These announcements come as Chile is experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases. The government is trying to contain the virus as it continues to re-open the country.
Chile’s land borders will reopen on Dec. 1, approximately two-and-half months after the country reopened to air travel. Minister of Health Enrique Paris said that more details will follow but assured that the move “will be progressive and with a lot of control.” He indicated the decision was made in light of the public’s need to travel to neighboring countries.
Paris also announced that beginning Dec. 1 people over 45 will also need a booster shot to maintain their mobility passes. He emphasized that those in this age group who have already completed six months since their last shot will need a booster to be eligible for the mobility pass, otherwise their pass will be disabled, regardless of how many prior inoculations they have had. He expressed hope that by implementing this measure Chile could “avoid ICU admissions, deaths, and infections.”
Chile is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases, with an average of 2,000+ per day, despite a generally successful vaccination program. The rise has motivated the government to, among other things, knock the Metropolitan Region back into Phase 3 of the Paso a Paso plan.
The government is trying to walk the line between containment of the virus and relaxation of restrictions as the Southern Hemisphere enters its tourism season. The booster shot is intended to give people extra protection and make it less likely they will transmit the virus, meaning Chile can contain the disease while also allowing people greater freedom. Chile initially required travelers to complete a five-day quarantine, but has since softened that rule.
Harry McKenna is a postgraduate student studying American History at the University of Sheffield. His interests include politics, foreign affairs, and history and he is seeking to cover international politics. He is currently interning at Chile Today.