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:
- Reopenings – Europe Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by Country
- Reopenings – Caribbean Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by Country
- Coronavirus Domestic Travel Restrictions – USA States, Cities
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.
Now let’s take a look at the reopenings:
Latin America Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by Country
All airports in Belize are closed. Belize has suspended all commercial passenger flights in and out of the country and the closure of land and sea borders.
Belize has closed its airports to international travelers until at least August 14, setting August 15 as a targeted reopening date in its third phase (of five) plan. Most US carriers will resume passenger flight service on this date.
All visitors to Belize must download the Belize Health app (which is currently being developed) on their mobile phone. After booking your hotel you’ll use that confirmation to register your travel on the Belize Health app. Each visitor is provided a unique QR code ID which they need upon arrival in Belize. In addition, arriving passengers who provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours can use a “fast track” entry lane. Otherwise, others will have to undergo testing at the airport (at their own expense.) passengers testing positive will not be allowed to leave the country, but instead must isolate for at least 14 days. That isolation will be at the passenger’s expense.
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.
More information found at the Belize Tourism Board
Costa Rica has determined that as of August 1, only foreigners arriving from countries which have “controlled the spread of the coronavirus” will be allowed to enter Costa Rica. The government has not specified which countries are included. This list of countries is still forthcoming.
International arriving travelers in Costa Rica must self-quarantine for 14 days. Any passenger displaying COVID-19 symptoms are tested at the airport. Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health is following up with all individuals under a quarantine order.
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’s airports are closed to all international passenger flights until at least August 6. All arriving travelers are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
El Salvador planned to begin reopening its economy on July 7. However, the government delayed the second phase of reopening the economy and easing COVID-19 now until July 21. This decision follows a sustained rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and accompanying fatalities.
More information here
Guatemala has suspended all international passenger flights into the country while restricting the entry of all foreign nationals.
The public and municipal markets, as well as supermarkets and convenience stores may be open from Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Every person must wear face masks in public spaces.
More information from the Guatemala government here
Honduras closed its airports to all international commercial passenger flights through August 15, 2020.
To prevent the virus from spreading, President Juan Orlando Hernandez has suspended public transportation, closed government offices and businesses, and ordered people nationwide to stay indoors at all hours. Hernandez recently warned that the country’s medical system ‘may collapse’ from the surge in cases of COVID-19.
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 at least through July 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 July 22.
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.
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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