Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Entry restrictions in place in Central America and the Caribbean due to COVID-19 through late March. Additional restriction possible.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Sint Maarten
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras

This alert began 12 Mar 2020 21:22 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Central America and Caribbean (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least late March
  • Impact: Flight cancellations, quarantine measures, business disruptions

Summary
As of March 12, authorities in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America are likely to continue implementing travel and other restrictions through at least late March, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of the outbreak in China and other countries.

  • Antigua and Barbuda: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China recently. Residents of Antigua and Barbuda who have been in mainland China recently may be subject to immediate quarantine.
  • Aruba: Restricted entry for those who have traveled to Italy within 14 days.
  • Bahamas: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea within 20 days before their arrival. Residents of the Bahamas who have been in these countries within 20 days will be subject to quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Barbados: Persons that have been in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea within 14 days before their arrival will be subject to quarantine protocols.
  • Belize: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival. Additional screenings for nationals and foreign citizens who have recently been in France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Singapore, South Korea.
  • Costa Rica: Travelers who have been in China within 14 days must inform their airlines as well as immigration authorities so that additional screenings can be conducted.
  • Dominica: Restricted entry for those who have traveled in China recently.
  • El Salvador: The entrance of foreign nationals other than Salvadoran residents, diplomats, and Guatemalan truck drivers engaged in international trade is prohibited. Salvadorans arriving from abroad are subject to a 30-day quarantine period except those arriving through land ports or entry on the border with Guatemala.
  • Grenada: Officials will deny entry to foreign travelers arriving from Italy, Iran, South Korea, China, and Germany. Grenada citizens or residents will be ordered to quarantine for 14 days after arriving from those countries.
  • Guatemala: Officials will deny entry to those arriving from China, Iran, South Korea, and Europe.
  • Haiti: People arriving from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, or South Korea within 14 days are prohibited from entry.
  • Honduras: Citizens and foreigners traveling from China, Iran, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Japan, and South Korea, will be ordered to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Jamaica: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, and Spain within 15 days before their arrival. Residents of Jamaica who have been in mainland China recently will be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: Nonresidents who have traveled to China, Singapore, South Korea, Italy, Japan, and Iran within 14 days before their arrival are advised not to travel to Saint Kitts and Nevis; they will be required to quarantine if they do.
  • Saint Lucia: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Italy, and Singapore, within 14 days before their arrival. Residents of Saint Lucia who have been in any of those areas within 14 days will be subject to immediate quarantine of 14 days.
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Officials will require travelers who have recently been to China (including Hong Kong), South Korea, Italy, Singapore, Japan, and Iran to quarantine for 14-days once since their arrival.
  • Sint-Maarten: Officials will deny entry to any foreign traveler who in the previous 21 days has been in China (including Hong Kong and Macao), Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. The measure does not apply to citizens of Netherlands, or local residents.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or Singapore within 14 days before their arrival.
  • Turks and Caicos: Officials will not allow travelers coming from China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Singapore, and Japan to enter the country.


Countries could expand travel restrictions in the coming days, particularly if the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases increases. Officials in most countries have also announced additional measures to combat the spread of the infection, including a ban on mass gatherings, and temporarily cancelling in person-classes in schools and universities. Multiple private businesses and public offices are allowing employees to work remotely. Health screenings in airports have also increased.

Background and Analysis
Older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illness are more susceptible to infection and are at increased risk for severe complications. Human-to-human transmission can occur, though it remains unclear how easily the virus spreads between people.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions.

Advice
Contact your airline to confirm travel. Confirm entry requirements before embarking on travel to the region. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and potential quarantine.

Exercise 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).

Resources
WHO advice for international travel

WHO coronavirus knowledge base