Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Guatemala to reopen land, air, and sea borders to all travelers from Sept. 18. COVID-19 curfew measures remain through Sept. 21.

Alert Begins 17 Sep 2020 09:43 AM UTC
Alert Expires 21 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

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

Authorities in Guatemala will reopen the country's land, air, and sea ports of entry, which were previously closed in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, to passenger traffic from Sept. 18. Additional health protocols and screenings will be implemented at La Aurora International Airport (GUA), which will also reopen for commercial passenger flights from Sept. 18. All persons entering Guatemala must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to no more than 72 hours before entry, or must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Health.

Domestic Measures
Domestic restrictions remain unchanged. The nightly 2100-0400 curfew will be enforced through at least Sept. 21. Commercial activity has largely resumed across the country, albeit subject to capacity limits and strict operating protocols outlined in the nation's COVID-19 four-tier alert system. This system divides the country according to the level of COVID-19 activity in each municipality, with different degrees of restriction at each level. The alert levels range from Red, the highest, to Green, the lowest. As of Sept. 17, most of the country is under the Red Alert, including Guatemala Municipality, which includes Guatemala City; there are no countries in the Green Alert level. The status of each municipality is subject to change at short notice.


  • Red Alert: Public transport may operate at 50-percent capacity, malls can open to allow a maximum of 10 customers inside a particular store, and restaurants may offer indoor service to one person per every 10 square meters (108 square feet). Religious services may open for a maximum of 10 people, and markets can continue operating with social distancing measures and offering certain hours for customers older than 60 years of age. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed.


  • Orange Alert: Public transport may also operate only at 50-percent capacity, and markets must also maintain social distancing measures while offering certain hours exclusively for residents at higher risk. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.


  • Yellow Alert: Public transport and malls may operate at 75-percent capacity, and restaurants may offer additional indoor services.


Most public offices are open 0700-1500, and authorities urge private companies to operate 0900-1700. Residents must continue to use facemasks that cover their mouths and noses while in public; failure to do so may result in a fine. The sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited 1900-0500 nationwide. Religious services may be offered for up to one hour at a time.

All measures 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.

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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