The world is waiting for international travel to reopen. Nearly all travel was abruptly put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of flights have been cancelled in the ensuing months. Now we are seeing small signs of reopenings and restrictions being lifting around the globe. In some cases, Latin America Coronavirus travel restrictions are being relaxed to allow for gradual reopenings with summer target dates to welcome visitors.
We are providing a series on global reopenings from the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are our current offerings in the series:
Studies show post Coronavirus travel is ready to take-off with a lot of pent-up demand for leisure and business travelers. Before going, travelers should know the latest Latin America Coronavirus travel restrictions by country.
Unfortunately, many of the Latin American nations are struggling to control the COVID-19 virus within their borders. This spells bad news for travelers seeking to visit most of these destinations. However, there are a few opportunities for travelers looking for a Latin America destination.
The most important thing to note is that the situation must be reassessed daily. We are keeping information updated, so check back for the latest Latin America Coronavirus travel restriction as they are revised. Before going make sure to take a good mask, plus sanitizer and wipes everywhere with you. Make sure to check Google Flights for the cheapest airfares to Latin America.
Now let’s take a look at the reopenings, current as of October 24, 2020.
Latin America Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by Country
The Philip Goldson International (BZE) airport reopened October 1, 2020.
Travelers must download the Belize Health App and complete the required information within 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Belize. This will create a unique QR code for contact tracing while in Belize.
Travelers must take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel. Those who present a negative PCR test upon arrival will be able to utilize the ‘fast track’ entry lane for much faster arrival processing.
Travelers who do not have a negative test will be required to undergo testing by the Ministry of Health upon arrival at their own expense. Those who test positive will be quarantined at their Gold Standard hotel until the Ministry of Health gives clearance.
Belize requires the wearing of face masks when in public at all times.
Visitors are required to stay at a Belize’s Recognition Program “Tourism Gold Standard” hotel. These properties offer full services, which is argued will reduce potential interactions with locals. Rental cars will not be available in the early phase of reopening. Parks and tourist sites will only be accessible with an approved tour operator. Wearing of a face mask is mandatory in public.
Where to Stay: Tradewinds Paradise Villas offers guests incredibly large rooms, beachfront location and close proximity to the Belize Airport.
Mangata Villas – A five-star resort, on Sale right now for about 20% off ($220/night) If you like, you can even fish off the dock next door!
More information found at the Belize Tourism Board
Costa Rica is welcoming tourists from the United States. Costa Rica currently allows visitors from 44 countries to enter; including Canada, the European Union and the United Kingdom.
In addition, all arriving passengers must complete an online health form. Costa Rica has relaxed its entry restrictions to allow citizens and residents of Canada, the EU, the Schengen Area and the UK to enter Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is no longer requiring travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID test (as of October 26) and all U.S. travelers—as well as travelers from all other countries—are welcome as of November 1.
Costa Rica has a complete vehicular restriction from 7 pm to 5 am on weekdays. On the weekends there are partial restrictions. All restrictions are based on the vehicle’s license plate number.
Where to Stay: Jardin del Eden Boutique Hotel, one of my favorite hotels, located on the beach in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Rates for their stays include breakfast and dinner!
More information found on the Ministry of Health’s social media website
El Salvador has reopened. It has opened the airports with enhanced health protocols. All arriving passengers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers with a negative PCR test result will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.
El Salvador has ordered enhanced health protocols (wearing of mask at all times, social distancing, and temperature checks) to be practiced by all.
Where to Stay:
Sheraton Presidente San Salvador – A five-star resort, with the latest required health protocols in place. Another great property with a sale going on right now. (about $105/night)
More information here
Guatemala has reopened their borders and the Guatemala International Airport. Arriving passengers are required to register a Health Pass form online, and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival.
Upon arrival, travelers age 10 and older must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. In addition, a printed form must be presented upon arrival. Foreign nationals, who are not legally residents of Guatemala, will not be permitted into the country if they fail to provide a test.
More information from the Guatemala government here
Honduras reopened on August 17. The country also reopened for international flights at that time. Travelers must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. In particular, travelers must present a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR or Rapid test result issued within 72 hours before arrival. A completed form must be submitted to the National Institute of Migration of Honduras before departure. Registration is required for anyone who does not already have an account with the NIMH.
Travelers with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, who within the last 14 days have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or traveled to a country with confirmed cases, may be isolated in a medical center or at the traveler’s place of residence/temporary stay for monitoring by the Ministry of Health for up to 14 days.
More travel information available here
Consistently a favorite among tourists, the state of Quintana Roo was among the first of Mexico’s tourism hotspots to re-welcome visitors, starting on June 8. Quintana Roo is home to some of Mexico’s most popular destinations. Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the rest of the Riviera Maya, began welcoming tourists back early in order start to boost its tourism economy. New health and safety certifications were introduced for all of its travel-sector providers.
Puerto Vallarta reopened to tourism on June 15; subject to limited capacity of hotels. Most recently, that means a 25 percent capacity. However, not all Puerto Vallarta area hotels have reopened. Recreation is for the most part allowed. Resort swimming pools, beach clubs, gyms and restaurants have reopened, although spas remain closed.
Mexico does not have any entry restrictions, although travelers arriving from countries affected by COVID-19 are screened. Those showing symptoms will be quarantined.
A completed “Cuestionario de identificación de factores de riesgo en viajeros” (Questionnaire Of Identification Of Risk Factors In Travelers) must be presented to Mexico immigration officials upon arrival.
Furthermore, the land border between Mexico and the US has been closed to non-essential traffic and will remain closed at least through October 21.
More details and information may be found at the US Embassy in Mexico’s website.
The Nicaraguan government has not officially imposed any travel restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its borders and airports are effectively closed. All US carriers have suspended service to Nicaragua. Subsequently, service is suspended until at least early August for most airlines.
Officially, travelers do not need any particular documentation to enter/exit Nicaragua. The only exception is for passengers arriving from a country with known yellow fever risk. As a rule, then the visitor must demonstrate they have been vaccinated against yellow fever at least 10 days prior to entering any area of potential risk.
Nicaraguan airport and immigration officials have required travelers to report if they visited any of the countries significantly affected by COVID-19 recently. At that point many have been asked to produce proof of a negative coronavirus test result.
The Nicaraguan government has not officially imposed any quarantine policies.
More information is available at the Nicaragua Health Ministry website
Panama has suspended all international commercial passenger flights into the country except humanitarian flights until at least October 11th. Travelers are now allowed to transit through Panama.
Currently, the nation is restricting movement of people. In the provinces of Panama and Panama Oeste movement is determined by gender and ID number. Movement is limited to two-hour blocks of time on specific days. Non-Panamanian residents would use the last digit of their passport as their ID number. In addition, there is a curfew in place. For all other provinces, the quarantine and two-hour movement windows are repealed. However, they are replaced by a curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, Monday through Sunday.
Where to Stay: Taboga Palace SPA Hotel is a special getaway property, located beachfront on the island of Taboga, 13 miles (by ferry) from Panama City. It’s a idyllic island that will make you feel as if the rest of the world is a galaxy away.
For more information you can check the Republic of Panama’s Ministry of Health’s website
Latin America Coronavirus Cases Overview
The chart displays cases of COVID-19 in Latin America are dwarfed by Mexico’s numbers.
The Washington Post covered how coronavirus tore through Latin America’s largest market. It’s a familiar story in poorer countries, people made “vulnerable by the problems of poverty: chronic illnesses, distrust of government, a need to keep earning money.”
PointMe contributor Giovanni has some suggestions for what should be on your travel shopping list for after Coronavirus.
Many of the nations of Latin America are still in some form of lockdown or quarantine. Some have turned a blind eye to problem (I’m looking at you, Nicaragua). International travel has not opened for many. Beyond that, some nations are welcoming visitors, or will be in the near future. Belize, Costa Rica and Panama should offer some great bargains. This guide to Latin America Coronavirus travel restrictions should help you plan a safer trip.
With lots of potential destinations this year, deals may be the best offered in a decade. Let me know, if you have any questions or need help with booking a vacation in the Latin America. I have extensive travel experience in this part of the world.
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