• Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:30 pm

South American Countries Mull Reopening Borders

  • Published at 04:27 pm August 28th, 2020
Covid-19 Brazil
File photo: People walk at a popular shopping street amid the outbreak of the Covid-19, in Sao Paulo on July 15, 2020 Reuters

Latin America has been severely affected by the virus, with more than 260,000 deaths and almost seven million infections

Foreign ministers from nine South American countries held talks Thursday to examine reopening borders in the region, closed for months over the coronavirus pandemic, Chile's Foreign Minister Andres Allamand said.

He said ministers from the nine-country Prosur bloc had formed a commission that will have 10 days to present measures on reopening borders.

"Chile will propose that this opening will require a passport and a negative swab test for Covid-19, but it is very important that the countries have coordinated and established concrete mechanisms," Allamand told reporters after the video-conference meeting.

The Forum for the Progress and Development of South America, or Prosur, was created in 2019 to promote economic integration and political coordination in the region.

Latin America has been severely affected by the virus, with more than 260,000 deaths and almost seven million infections, forcing most countries to shut their land borders.

"The evolution of the pandemic is changing. There are countries that are making advances, while there are others experiencing setbacks," said Allamand, whose country holds the bloc's rotating presidency.

"We will have to be particularly attentive that the reopening under no circumstances generates negative effects," he added.

With international air travel restricted in most of the region, countries such as Brazil and Chile maintain skeleton international services.

The commission will be made up of officials from the foreign and interior ministries of the Prosur countries.

It will also monitor progress on various coronavirus vaccines currently being developed and the possibility of purchasing them as a bloc once they become available.

Prosur is made up of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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