Traveling to Latin America in times of Covid-19
This post is also available in: Español
Like you, we are already overwhelmed with the coronavirus situation. Many of us had our trips cancelled and had to postpone our summer plans, but now that the borders are beginning to open and governments are preparing new security measures for travelers, it is very likely that we will be able to travel to Latin America as early as next year.
There’s only 4 months left until 2021, so cheer up!
With this in mind, we thought that the best thing we could do now, was to keep you informed about the changes that some of the most visited countries in Latin America are implementing regarding tourism: Are the borders closed? Can you travel within the country? Do I need to take a test before or after my arrival? etc.
We will explain a little about how the situation is now, so that you can evaluate it yourself, and try to keep the information of each country updated so that you are up to date.
Although most people who become ill with coronavirus (COVID 19) experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment, the problem with the virus is the large number of people that can be infected.
The virus can remain on surfaces for a long time after an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out. It is very easy for someone else to get it by breathing it in or if, after touching a contaminated surface, they touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
So after discovering how easily it spreads, several countries have decided to close their borders and/or isolate their citizens to avoid a possible collapse of health facilities. These measures have not only caused a humanitarian disaster, but have also paralyzed several key sectors of the Latin American and Caribbean economy, such as tourism.
The Impact on tourism in Latin America
With border closures and mobility restrictions, the tourism sector is likely to be the most affected by the pandemic.
Uncertainty may mean that there is less interest or motivation to travel to Latin America or other destinations far from Europe but that is precisely why we will try to explain every detail and, above all, keep you informed about the current situation.
We know that this is a difficult situation, but we would like to insist on reminding you that planning any trip takes time and therefore this is a very good opportunity to investigate a little more about everything that there is to explore.
Latin America is a huge and very diverse territory. A place where you can find the legacy of three different continents, preserving an infinite variety of cultures, traditions, animal species, colors and flavors. Many of them still intact despite the time.
One of the main issues for the re-initiation of tourism activities in Latin America is that there is no certainty about the measures that can be taken individually by the countries, the airlines and the other instances involved.
To be taken into account:
If you decide to travel to Latin America in times of Covid, remember that it will be under your responsibility. Keep in mind that the capacity of the diplomatic representations worldwide to provide emergency assistance is limited. So if you still decide to travel, we recommend that you take a good travel insurance and that you keep an eye on any updates of your destination.
Below you will find the latest updates of the most visited countries in Latin America:
Preventive and obligatory social isolation (quarantine) until September 20 with a staggered opening of activities, closure of borders and prohibition of entry of non-resident foreigners.
There is still no date for the reopening of international commercial flights.
Flights from the United States and Spain to Bolivia will be authorized from September 1st, according to the authorities, which will allow the entry of tourists and travelers in general with a negative test of COVID-19 with up to seven days of completion. There’s also no quarantine required at the destination.
Although it is one of the countries most affected by the pandemic and it is recommended not to travel, Brazil claims to comply with strict sanitary measures for the implementation of tourism. Opening its borders again, so that the only requirement for foreign citizens, is the accreditation of a minimum coverage of R$ 30.000,00 reais (Approximately USD 5500) and during the period of stay.
Border closures and entry restrictions for all travelers.
In order to travel within national territory, you need to get an Affidavit of Health for Travelers (a document in which you confirm that you’re healthy or that at least you take full responsibility for your own health) by entering www.c19.cl.
As of September 1st, the country will enter a new quarantine stage called “selective isolation”, in which anyone who wants to and can remain isolated will be able to do so.
Domestic flights will be reinitiated and international flights will be gradually restarted according to the relevant agreements with the different countries.
In any case, travelers must fill out a preventive control form against Coronavirus before arrival, in addition to being tested before and after the trip.
It allows entry to citizens and residents of Canada, EU countries, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom. Travelers must present a negative certificate to COVID-19 issued within 48 hours prior to departure, as well as have specific insurance for Costa Rica and fill out an online epidemiological form.
Cuba has postponed the date for the reopening of international flights until at least September 30. It has suspended all flights to the country, except for humanitarian aid and some categories of charter flights. Charter flights to Cayo Coco (CCC), Cayo Largo del Sur (CYO) and Santa Clara (SNI) resumed on July 1. Travelers arriving on these flights are required to undergo tests upon arrival (PCR test and temperature measurement) and will be taken directly to their resorts. Those who test positive will be hospitalized.
Flights from this country have reinitiated and the borders are open. However, travelers must submit a health form and an immigration form, in addition to having proof of a negative result for COVID-19.
Upon arrival in Ecuador, you may be required to undergo another PCR test and cover the costs.
Visitors must have reserved transportation and lodging in advance, as well as mandatory travel health insurance.
Although Mexico is not imposing entry restrictions, travelers arriving from countries affected by COVID-19 will be screened and quarantined if necessary. Border authorities are becoming more demanding in meeting the following immigration requirements:
- Being in possession of a return ticket.
- Justify adequate economic means for the stay.
- Having reserved accommodation.
The closure of hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, or specific limitations on roads and cities vary by State and the incidence of the pandemic in each of them.
Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport remains closed and travel to Peru is drastically restricted by the total closure of airspace. Peruvian authorities have not yet advanced a date for the reactivation of regular air connections. Likewise, travel within the country is not allowed. The quarantine has been extended until September 30.
All air operations, commercial or private, to and within Venezuela have been suspended.
Although the current situation is unfortunate, plans for future travel still stand.
After having spent a few months at home and realizing that everything can change at any moment, people are considering traveling now more than ever. Meaning new opportunities for tourism.
One of them, the reduction of mass tourism, since all tourism and leisure services are now limited. Making our way of traveling more responsible and aware.
On the other hand, as each government has a different recommendation and there is a high probability of having setbacks, people have decided to visit places closer to their place of origin. Getting to know destinations that they would not visit before because were “close and could visit them at any time”. Giving way to national tourism.
Anyway, whatever time you decide to travel, don’t forget that while some of the measures are temporary while the pandemic lasts, others are there to stay. This means that learning to travel responsibly needs to be an effort from everyone, not just of tourism businesses. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it out of respect for the people around you 🙂
So if you weren’t able to travel to Latin America this year, take advantage of what is left of the summer and dare to visit places that you’ve always wanted to visit but left for another occasion, to do activities that you didn’t dare to do before. There are a lot of incredible places far from the crowds and most importantly: outdoors, which offer different nature and adventure activities that you probably haven’t tried yet. From hot air balloon rides over Segovia or Toledo, diving in the best beaches of the Balearic Islands, survival courses less than an hour away from Barcelona, to rafting in the white waters of Montanejos.
And you, which destinations are you planning to visit next?