Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Entry restrictions in place in most South American countries due to COVID-19 through at least late March. Confirm flights and appointments.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

This alert began 13 Mar 2020 22:37 GMT and is scheduled to expire 20 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

As of March 13, authorities in several countries in South America have implemented travel and other restrictions through at least late March as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of the outbreak.

  • Argentina: Travelers arriving from China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Belgium, Austria, Czech Republic, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia, Ireland, Poland, and US will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period. Temporarily, no new visas will be issued for residents of the most affected countries. All flights from Europe, US, South Korea, Japan, China, and Iran have been canceled through at least mid April.
  • Bolivia: Officials temporarily canceled all flights to and from Europe starting March 14.
  • Brazil: Authorities advise all travelers from abroad to remain in quarantine for seven days from the time they enter Brazil, even if they are asymptomatic. Symptomatic travelers are advised to isolate for 14 days.
  • Chile: Persons arriving from Spain and Italy will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period.
  • Colombia: Persons arriving from China, France, Italy, or Spain will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period.
  • Ecuador: Travelers arriving from China's Hubei Province, Spain, France, Italy, or Iran, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine.
  • Guyana: Travelers arriving from Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Brazil, French Guiana, Panama, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, US, China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, or Iran will be subject to additional screenings and may be subject to quarantine.
  • Paraguay: Suspension of issuance of new visas for Chinese passport holders.
  • Peru: Persons arriving from China, France, Italy, or Spain are subject to a 14-day self-quarantine.
  • Suriname: Restricted entry for non-residents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival.
  • Venezuela: All flights arriving from Europe and Colombia have been canceled.

Countries could expand travel restrictions in the coming days, particularly if the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases. Officials in most countries have also announced additional measures to combat the spread of the virus, including a ban on mass gatherings, and temporarily canceling in-person classes at schools and universities. A number of 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.

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.

Confirm all travel arrangements and entry requirements before departing. 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).

WHO advice for international travel

WHO coronavirus knowledge base