Opening of Rapa Nui will be on August 1
The process will include a reinforcement of health measures and infrastructure and will be completed with support initiatives for the inhabitants of the island and promotion of tourism
The Government of Chile informs that, through the Ministries of National Assets, Health, Economy, Public Works, Social Development and Family and Interior, and in coordination with the authorities and various local actors involved, as well as with the company LATAM, which operates the air routes that connect to the island, it has been agreed that the opening of Rapa Nui will be on Monday, August 1, 2022.
The foregoing will require the inter-ministerial deployment of a series of concrete actions that enable and accompany a process of responsible opening, which while reconnecting Easter Islanders with the rest of the world, also protects them from the threat of the pandemic.
Thus, improvements will be made both in the infrastructure of the Mataveri airport and -given the context of the pandemic- in the health infrastructure that allows for an adequate response to the detection of Covid cases on the island. Initiatives will also be carried out to support economic development, tourism promotion, enabling the service conditions of hotels, lodging and restaurants, and support for MiPymes that have been unable to carry out their commercial activity.
The process will be gradual: until August 1, the flow of flights (one a week) and the restricted entry of passengers will be maintained, but exceptions will be established in relation to the mandatory quarantine obligation as reported in resolution No. °192 of the Health SEREMI of Valparaíso.
As of August 1, an increase in the flow of flights will be allowed (two or three weekly flights, depending on the epidemiological situation) and opening to tourism under conditions that will be communicated in a timely manner.
To protect the island's inhabitants from the entry of Covid-19, 80% coverage (vaccination rate) must be reached. The Government will deploy campaigns with local relevance and will make its best efforts to achieve the goal, but the collaboration of the citizens of Rapa Nui and their authorities will also be required.
Testing, traceability and isolation tasks will also be reinforced. Testing capacity will be strengthened through PCR and antigen tests to respond to the increase in demand expected by the floating population as a result of the restart of flights.
Health residences will be set up on the island to respond to the new demand, for which joint work between the Interior, Economy and Health will be required to identify and set up spaces. In turn, active case limits will be established so that alerts are triggered to prepare closure measures if the epidemiological situation so requires.
Regarding the economic reactivation of Rapa Nui, the Chile Supports inclusive recovery plan contemplates the delivery of subsidy instruments to support the MiPymes that have been most affected by the pandemic. For its part, the Undersecretary of Tourism and Sernatur will develop special promotion campaigns, and will coordinate the tourist offer of the island.
Since President Gabriel Boric took office on March 11, intense dialogue processes have been carried out with the Rapa Nui authorities, who have shown us the profound abandonment in which they have been since the beginning of the pandemic and even much before her. The citizens of the island have been under strict restrictions on entry and exit for many months. This has not only severely affected the development of the main economic activity, tourism, but has also had an impact on family relationships, on the mental health of the inhabitants, among many other serious effects.
For this reason, and as a first step towards the opening of Rapa Nui, the Government has already started a work table with the Roe family to find a solution to the territorial conflict that has existed for more than 50 years between the family and the State. To start this table, the family promised to put an end to the occupation that it maintained in the airport area and the State to implement a series of measures of historical recognition and reparation. These measures will be agreed in a dialogue with deadlines already agreed with the family, which will be coordinated by the Ministries of National Assets and the Interior, and which will have the collaboration of other ministries.
As a Government, we have the firm conviction that the State must be present throughout the national territory and listen to the demands of its citizens, the consensual process of opening Rapa Nui is one more example of this.