Officials at Santiago International Airport (SCL) have announced significant domestic and international flight disruptions as of Sunday, October 20, through to at least Monday, October 21, due to the ongoing military curfew in Santiago from 19:00 (local time) on Sunday until 06:00 on Monday. LATAM Chile announced flight cancelations from 19:00 on Sunday through 10:00 on Monday, and Sky Airline also announced several flight cancelations during this period. Local media outlets have reported that dozens of travelers are stranded at SCL on Sunday evening.
Airline representatives are advising its customers to confirm flight reservations prior to departing for the airport, and to avoid traveling to SCL in the case of a canceled flight. SCL officials have said that individuals who do travel to the airport during the curfew will be required to provide a valid boarding pass to authorities. Equally, authorities will ensure the safe passage of individuals arriving at SCL during the curfew.
At least 240 people were reportedly arrested on Sunday for violating the military curfew imposed on the evening of Saturday, October 19, from 22:00 to 07:00 on Sunday. In addition to military reimposing a curfew in Santiago from Sunday through Monday, a curfew is also in place in Valparaiso, Rancagua, Coquimbo, and La Serena from 20:00 on Sunday through 06:00 on Monday, as well as in Concepción from 22:00 on Sunday through 06:00 on Monday. A state of emergency remains in effect in Santiago amid violent protests and lootings that have left at least three people dead. The Metro in Santiago has announced that it will only operate the L1 line between Pajaritos and Los Dominicos from 07:00 to 20:00 on Monday. American retail corporation, Walmart, has closed all its stores in the capital as well as in other areas after individuals torched six and looted a further 111.
A heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in the coming hours and days across Santiago. Further protests are likely - particularly in and around the capital. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
On October 6, the Chilean government announced an increase in metro and bus fares. Students subsequently began jumping over metro turnstiles to protest the fare hikes, presaging mass demonstrations in the capital over the perceived high cost of living.
Individuals in Santiago or individuals traveling via SCL are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, confirm flight reservations, budget extra time to reach their destinations, prepare for disruptions to transportation and business, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
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