Instituto Antártico Chileno

Travelling to Antarctica: Recommendations for National Antarctic Programs

Update: October 15, 2021.


The following are the recommendations that you should take into consideration when planning your trip to Antarctica through Chile. These recommendations will be updated according to the current provisions of the agencies in charge of managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Chile and in the Magallanes and Chilean Antarctic Region.

PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED

In the country of origin

Every person entering the Antarctic territory must have their complete vaccination schedule against COVID-19 (14 days post 2nd dose or 14 days post single dose, depending on the vaccine). For national travellers, a Mobility Pass will be required to travel to Antarctica.

The vaccines that will be allowed to enter Antarctica will be those that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Institute of Public Health of Chile (ISP). Currently these correspond to the laboratories:

  • Moderna
  • Pfizer / BioNTech
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson)
  • Oxford / AstraZeneca
  • Sinopharm
  • Sinovac
  • CanSino
  • Generium (Sputnik-V)

At least 30 days before travelling to Chile:

Submit background information on your trip to Antarctica via Punta Arenas, through your Chilean Consulate/Embassy abroad, via diplomatic note with copy to the Antarctic Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Christine Stockins cstockins@minrel.gob.cl, Paula Gonzálezpgonzalezg@minrel.gob.cl and to INACH (inach@inach.cl; vperez@inach.cl ) , considering the following information:

  1. Date and number(s) of flight(s) entering Chile
  2. Passenger list (download document)
  3. Contact details of the MNAP (Manager National Antarctic Program), which will act as counterpart with the Chilean authorities.
  4. Contact details of the Agency, or the Agent in Chile that will coordinate the operations in Chile, considering transport, accommodation and sanitary corridor.
  • It is suggested that each NAP, in its Antarctic personnel selection protocols, considers the COVID-19 risk factors indicated by the WHO, avoiding sending people who are in the risk group.
  • In order to validate the vaccination schedule, the Chilean health authority has implemented a digital platform to manage the «Mobility Pass» at mevacuno.gob.cl. Obtaining this pass is imperative for access to Antarctic Territory. (Download information).

Maximum 72 hours before travelling to Chile:

  • Before the trip, every person must have a RT-PCR test for SARS CoV-2, the result of which must be carried on arrival in Punta Arenas, with no more than 72 hours of validity or an Antigen test (validated by Chilean Ministry of Health) with no more than 48 hours prior to entrance.
  • Personnel must have health insurance that provides for all-risk care in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis (minimum coverage of US$30,000).

On arrival in Chile

Regulation applicable until October 31st, 2021

  • Any person entering Chile must, in addition to presenting a negative PCR result, undergo preventive quarantine (isolation) for 5 days. NAPs must organise the flight itinerary to Punta Arenas taking into account this stay in the city of Santiago.

Regulation applicable from November 1st, 2021

  • Passengers with a valid Mobility Pass must be tested with a PCR test, the result of which takes between 6 and 24 hours, during which time they must remain in isolation.

In the event of a positive result, the health authority will be informed and the isolation protocol for the patient and their companions will be activated, following the corresponding procedure (Protocol for the detection of suspected cases of COVID-19).

If you have any questions on this subject, we recommend that you channel them to your Agency or Agent in Chile.

Upon arrival in Punta Arenas

All personnel must undergo strict quarantine for a minimum of 7 days until departure to Antarctica. At the beginning of the quarantine, a PCR test must be performed, coordinated by the SEREMI of Health with INACH. No sample will be taken from people who have been infected with COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

In the event of a positive result, the health authority will be informed and the isolation protocol for the patient and their companions will be activated, following the corresponding procedure (Protocol for the detection of suspected cases of COVID-19).

For proper compliance with the preventive quarantine, all usual activities outside the contracted premises will be restricted and the patient must remain in isolation for 7 days. The hotel, hostel or quarantine site must have the necessary facilities to allow strict isolation and quarantined individuals must follow the protocol.

Considerations prior to boarding or sailing to Antarctica

Between 48-72 hours before the flight or departure, a new RT-PCR test or in case of emergency, an antigen test for SARS CoV-2 will be carried out at the hotel, hostel or established quarantine place, which will be coordinated by the Local Health Authority, INACH and the requesting Institution.

Only people who, complying with the above, have negative results (except those who did not take an examination for previous contagion within 90 days) and without symptoms on day 7 of quarantine will have authorization to travel to Antarctica.

Once the social isolation has been completed, people should be transported through a sanitary corridor to the airport to board the plane directly to Antarctica.

Considerations for means of transport

Depending on the means of transport to be used, each company or institution responsible for transport services must apply specific protocols aimed at reducing the risks of spreading the virus and must include all the indications recommended by Chilean or international authorities as measures of prevention of contagion. These institutions must activate the corresponding protocols when they suspect positive COVID-19 cases and immediately inform the Antarctic Focal Point of the Health Authority.

From Antarctica to Punta Arenas

Any person who stays at least 7 days in Antarctica or navigating in the waters of the Southern Ocean, it will be understood that they have made an effective quarantine, which will allow their arrival in Punta Arenas without special considerations, as long as the Health Authority does not have new sanitary measures on them.

Actualizado 23 de Dic del 2021