Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Travel and movement restrictions of varying degrees likely to continue in South American countries through mid-May due to COVID-19.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Falkland Islands
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

This alert began 30 Apr 2020 15:15 GMT and is scheduled to expire 07 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): South America (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least mid-May
  • Impact: Severe transport, travel, and business disruptions

Authorities in all South American countries will maintain travel, business, and movement restrictions of varying degrees through at least mid-May as part of their efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The exact duration of the measures will almost certainly depend on disease activity. The following measures are in place as of April 30:

Argentina: Nonresident foreign nationals remain barred from entering until further notice. A mandatory quarantine has been extended through May 10, particularly in cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants. Conditional easing of restrictions is permitted in smaller areas under certain conditions. The use of a protective mask in public has been mandated in Buenos Aires and other provinces. Domestic flights and long-distance trains remain canceled. There are tight controls on interprovincial transport.

Bolivia: All land borders remain closed to nonresident foreigners; all international passenger flights remain suspended, and passenger vehicles prohibited from interdepartmental road travel. Nationwide quarantine is in place through at least May 10. Residents are permitted to purchase essential goods between 0700-1200 on days determined by the last digit of the individual's national identification card or passport.

Brazil: Officials have extended the entry for all nonresident foreign nationals by air through at least May 28. All land borders are closed through May 29, and arrivals by sea remain banned through May 24. State and federal level restrictions are in place, including in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro until at least May 10 and May 11 respectively; nonessential commercial activity remains limited.

Chile: Officials have banned entry by nonresident foreign nationals indefinitely, while Chilean citizens and residents must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the country. A nightly 2200-0500 curfew remains in force until further notice. Additional regional restrictions and localized quarantines are in place.

Colombia: All international and domestic air travel will remain suspended until May 30; all ground and maritime borders are closed until further notice. A nationwide lockdown has been extended through at least May 11. Localized restrictions based on gender or national identification card numbers are enforced in some cities.

Ecuador: Temporary entry ban for nonresidents, citizens, and legal residents, as well as the closure of all land borders, is in place. All interprovincial public transport services and all domestic passenger flights are suspended indefinitely. A 1400-0500 curfew remains in effect until May 3; no private movement is allowed on weekends. Residents may use their cars only one day between Monday-Friday, as determined by their license plate numbers.

Falkland Islands: Temporary entry ban for nonresidents; arriving residents are to self-quarantine for 14 days. Nonessential business and services limited.

French Guiana: Most international flights remain suspended. Any traveler arriving through Cayenne's Felix Eboue Airport (CAY) will be forced to quarantine for 14 days. Authorities extended movement restrictions through May 11. Residents may leave their homes to purchase basic goods, obtain medical care, or engage in essential economic activities.

Guyana: Officials have suspended all incoming international flights. Land borders and seaports are closed to passenger traffic. Ferry services remain suspended. A nightly 1800-0600 curfew is in effect through at least May 3.

Paraguay: All international flights are suspended and land borders remain closed. A mandatory quarantine order is in place through April 30; however, it is highly likely the measures will continue to be enforced through at least May 4, when the government intends to introduce a new phase of quarantine measures. Vehicular restrictions also in place.

Peru: Borders remain closed to all passenger traffic, and international flights remain canceled. A nationwide 1800-0400 curfew is in force through at least May 10, with some regions being under a 1600-0400 curfew. Residents are not allowed to leave their homes on Sundays.

Suriname: All land, air, and sea ports of entry remain until at least May 8. A nightly 2000-0600 curfew is in force through May 8.

Uruguay: Officials have banned the entry of nonresident foreign nationals, except citizens of Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina who are on transit to their countries. Multiple business restrictions and a ban on gatherings of 10 or more people are also in place until further notice.

Venezuela: All flights from Europe, Colombia, Panama, and the Dominican Republic remain canceled through at least May. Nationwide movement restrictions will remain in place through at least May 12, with exceptions allowed for essential activities.

Most ports of entry have been closed across the region, and repatriation options are limited. However, in all countries and territories where ports of entry and exit have been closed, or where flights have been suspended, the restrictions have been placed on passenger movements and not on cargo, freight, or humanitarian transportation. All restrictions are subject to amend at short notice and the relaxing of any restrictions is reversible.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by these governments correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Some governments around the world have gradually started relaxing some internal measures to allow economic recovery. However, in many countries, restrictions on international passenger movements are likely to remain protracted. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, the relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. 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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