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Coronavirus in Latin America: What’s the Latest News?

As global cases of coronavirus hit 118,000 infected and 4,000 dead and the World Health Organisation declares the outbreak a pandemic back in March 2020, countries began to shut their borders.

South America quickly followed suit. As of July 2020, most countries remain closed to visitors as they continued strict lockdowns aimed at containing the spread of the virus.

While it remains to be seen whether any open to tourism in the next few months – with several countries set to make decisions about extending or ending lockdowns in the next few days – tourism in the region doesn’t look set to recover for many months.

Plane on runway

To keep on top of international border closures in the region, I’ll be keeping this document as up-to-date as possible as a broad overview of what is going on.

However, I highly recommend heading directly to the state or foreign office for your country of residence to see their latest travel recommendations.

You can also read my articles in this series: things you need to consider being booking a trip to South America in the age of COVID-19 and readers’ experiences oc cancelling and curtailing their trips.

Current status of travel and border openings across South America

Last updated: 30.07.20*

Argentina

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. All scheduled international flights have been suspended until September 1st 2020.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in all public spaces.

Bolivia

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. Borders are closed until August 31st 2020.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in public spaces.

Brazil

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Portuguese).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: Yes. Scheduled international flights are operating and available to foreign tourists as of July 29th 2020, despite Brazil having the largest number of coronavirus cases in the continent, with 70,000 new cases registered on this date. Tourists travelling to the country are required to show evidence of valid travel insurance.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in some public spaces.

Chile

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. As of March 18th 2020, the country is under a State of Emergency, which was extended on June 16th 2020 for a further 90 days.
  • Further information: N/A

Colombia

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. Airports are closed to international traffic until September 1st 2020. The country has introduced the “check in certificado, COVID-19 bioseguro”, a biosecurity stamp that recognises hotels, bars restaurants, and other tourism companies who are implementing strict biosecurity measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in some public spaces.
Silhouette of person in airport

Ecuador

Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).

  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government are still advising against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: Yes. Visitors require proof of a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken up to 7 days prior to departure. If this is not available, visitors must agree to a COVID-19 test at the airport in Ecuador upon arrival.
  • 14-day quarantine required: Yes. All arrivals must be subject to mandatory self-quarantine, at their own expense.
  • Borders open to international tourists: Yes. Flights are operating from different countries around the globe, although with a reduced frequency.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in some public spaces and fines are being administered to those who do not comply.

French Guiana

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here.
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No.
  • Further information: N/A

Guyana

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here.
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A. Once borders open, visitors must take a PCR Test seven days before travel and submit a negative molecular result to the airline to be able to fly
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. Borders are closed until at least September 30th 2020.
  • Further information: N/A

Paraguay

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. Borders are closed until further notice.
  • Further information: N/A

Peru

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No. A national State of Emergency is in place until August 31st 2020 and borders are closed indefinitely.
  • Further information: Masks are mandatory in some public spaces.

Suriname

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Dutch).
  • Official travel restrictions: The US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No.
  • Further information: N/A
Horseback riding in the Rupununi in Guyana, one the must-do tourist attractions in Guyana, South America

Uruguay

  • Official, up-to-date information: From the British government here; from the US government here; and from the official government coronavirus website here (Spanish).
  • Official travel restrictions: Even though Uruguyan citizens are now allowed to travel to Europe, the US and UK government advise against anything other than essential travel to the country.
  • Covid-19 negative test result required: N/A
  • 14-day quarantine required: N/A
  • Borders open to international tourists: No.
  • Further information: N/A

Venezuela

  • Venezuela is not a country I recommend visiting in normal circumstances.

The Americas Society-Council of the Americas have even more detailed information about the situation in each country.

*This information is accurate as of the last updated date. Please refer to the guidelines issued by your country of residence for the most up-to-date information.

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