Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: El Salvador to reopen airports to all commercial passengers from Sept. 19; COVID-19 entry requirements to be enforced.

Alert Begins 17 Sep 2020 08:54 AM UTC
Alert Expires 05 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions; increased security

Officials in El Salvador will reopen the country's airports to all international travelers from Sept. 19; commercial passenger flights will resume gradually, with authorities intending to operate at full capacity from early October. The flight suspension, which excludes cargo and humanitarian flights, was previously implemented in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Additional health protocols and screenings are also likely at all airports, including mandatory requirements to wear facemasks and maintain 2 meters (6.5 feet) physical distancing.

As of late Sept. 16, President Nayib Bukele has reaffirmed that to be permitted entry, all citizens, permanent residents, and nonresident foreign nationals will be required to present proof of a negative COVID test, taken no more than 72 hours before travel. The announcement was made in response to the Supreme Court's Constitutional Chamber stating that citizens and permanent residents cannot be allowed into the country without a negative test.

Domestic Measures
Authorities allowed most commercial activity to resume Aug. 24 as part of Phase 2 of the nation's economic recovery plan to lift COVID-19 movement and business restrictions. Some nonessential and recreational facilities will remain closed until at least Sept. 19, including cinemas and water parks. All businesses must enhance sanitation procedures, ensure social distancing measures, and promote the use of facemasks by employees. All residents must limit face-to-face interactions, work from home where possible, and wear facemasks in public. Additional security will be deployed to enforce adherence to operating protocols, especially in the public transport sector.

All measures, as well as the status of international airports, are subject to amendment at short notice. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all appointments and travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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