Aug. 5 saw a group of more than 230 tourists became the first to arrive in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) after 868 days of border closure, marking the official return of visitors to the Chilean territory.
The arrival took place thanks to a coordinated effort between the government, the communities, and authorities of the island to generate a safe reopening process, considering sanitary, administrative, connectivity and supply aspects.
“We are very happy to begin this reopening stage at Rapa Nui. Most of the tourist services are ready to receive visitors, with the appropriate sanitary protocols and with the hope of reactivating their local business. We would also like to reiterate the invitation to each one of them to apply to the Chile Apoya programs, especially the Recupera Turismo of SERCOTEC, which extended the application deadline,” said Undersecretary of Tourism, Verónica Kunze.
Among the main measures adopted, the team of the local SEREMI of local health was reinforced to increase testing, traceability, and isolation capacity, increasing by 500% the staff assigned to these tasks. Hanga Roa Hospital staff was increased by 40% and a new oxygen plant was installed to provide adequate medical care for Covid-19.
“Expectations are high, people are eager to finally have their bridge open, not only to receive guests, which is necessary for the economy, but also to have that feeling of freedom to leave and return from the island,” said Pedro Edmunds, mayor of Rapa Nui.
From now on, tourists who want to visit the island must present a negative PCR test taken within no more than 24 hours before boarding while children under 6 years of age will be allowed an antigen test from a health center.
In addition, they must have their Mobility Pass (complete vaccination schedule for Chileans and homologation of vaccines for foreigners) and for those arriving directly from abroad, they must take an antigen test upon arrival to Rapa Nui.
Those who visit Rapa Nui must also comply with administrative requirements, in force since 2018. Here is the check list to have in mind before travelling:
- Visitors must complete the Single Form for Entry to Easter Island (https://ingresorapanui.interior.gob.cl/#)
- Have a valid ID or passport
- Have a round-trip air ticket
- Stay no more than 30 days on the island and have a reservation in some tourist accommodation registered with Sernatur (https://serviciosturisticos.sernatur.cl/) or a letter of invitation written by a resident or person belonging to the Rapa Nui community, which must be processed at the Provincial Presidential Delegation.