Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Coronavirus-related travel and movement restrictions of varying degrees to continue in South American countries through at least late July.

  • Alert Begins: 21 Jul 2020 10:36 PM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 30 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): South America (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport, travel, and business disruptions

Summary
Authorities across South America will maintain travel, business, and movement restrictions of varying degrees through at least late July 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 local disease activity and the preparedness of local authorities to respond to the disease. The following measures are in place as of July 21:

Argentina: Nonresident foreign nationals remain barred from entering the country until further notice. Movement restrictions have been eased in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, where residents may leave their homes on specific days of the week based on their national identification cars numbers. Public transport in the region remains restricted and is to be used only by essential workers. Movement restrictions have been eased in most of the rest of the country. Gatherings of more than 10 people remain banned nationwide.

Bolivia: All land borders remain closed to nonresident foreigners; all international passenger flights remain suspended, and passenger vehicles are prohibited from interdepartmental road travel. A regional three-tiered system of varying restrictions has been in place since May, with most major population centers and departmental capitals categorized as high-risk, the highest level. Residents must remain at home between 1800-0500 Mondays through Fridays, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays, except to perform outdoor exercise between 0600-1400.

Brazil: Officials have extended a ban on entry for all nonresident foreign nationals by air, land, and water through at least July 29, with exceptions for passengers en route to another country. Most state authorities have imposed business and movement restrictions.

Chile: Officials have prohibited nonresident foreign nationals from entering the country until further notice, while Chilean citizens and residents must self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. A nightly 2200-0500 curfew remains in force until further notice. Gatherings of more than 50 people remain banned. Additional regional restrictions and localized quarantines and sanitary cordons are in place.

Colombia: All international and domestic air travel remains suspended, and all ground and maritime borders are closed until further notice, except for cargo and humanitarian reasons. A nationwide lockdown is in place through at least Aug. 1. Additional restrictions are in effect in some cities.

Ecuador: A ban on international flights has been lifted, but all passengers entering the country must have tested negative for COVID-19 and undergo additional screenings upon arrival. Domestic flights are also allowed. Business restrictions and nightly curfews remain in place but vary by region based on local disease activity. In most of the country, a nightly 2100-0500 curfew remains in place, and use of private vehicles is permitted on certain days of the week based on the vehicle's license plate number.

Falkland Islands: All travelers arriving in the islands, including residents, must self-quarantine for 14 days and provide the address of the place where they will be staying.

French Guiana: A ban on entry by most nonresident foreign nationals remains in place until further notice. Residents and citizens may enter for family, health, or professional reasons but must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Nightly curfews remain in place in most of the territory, and certain neighborhoods are under 24-hour quarantine orders.

Guyana: Officials have suspended all international passenger flights. Land borders and seaports remain closed to passenger traffic. Ferry services remain suspended. Cargo transport and humanitarian travel are exempted. A nightly 2000-0600 curfew remains in effect through at least July 31. Some business restrictions have been lifted.

Paraguay: All international passenger flights remain suspended and land borders are closed, except for cargo and humanitarian purposes. Most of the county has moved to Phase 4 of the nation's COVID-19 recovery plan, except for the departments of Alto Parana, Asuncion, and Central, which remain under Phase 3 until Aug. 3. Under Phase 4, family gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed, as are cultural events with 20 people and religious ceremonies with up to 50 people. Under Phase 3, restaurants may offer dine-in services and gyms may open under strict guidelines.

Peru: The country's borders remain closed to all passenger traffic and international flights remain canceled. A nationwide 2200-0400 curfew is in force through at least July 31, with some regions being under a 2000-0400 curfew. Some business restrictions have been lifted. Domestic flights have resumed, albeit under strict health-related directives.

Suriname: All land, air, and sea points of entry remain closed for passengers. A nationwide nightly 2200-0500 curfew has been in place since July 6. Some business restrictions have been relaxed.

Uruguay: Authorities have eased travel restrictions, allowing international passengers to enter for a number of reasons, including family reunification or business. All arriving passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours and take a second test if they remain in the country for more than seven days. Limited international flights to Spain are also resuming. Some business restrictions remain in place.

Venezuela: All domestic and international passenger flights are suspended until at least Aug. 12. Most nonessential businesses remain closed, and residents must stay at home except to perform essential tasks.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by these governments are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the spread of 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. 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.

Advice
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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