Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Travel and movement restrictions of varying degrees to continue in South American countries through at least the end of 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 21 May 2020 16:11 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

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

Argentina: Nonresident foreign nationals remain barred from entering until further notice. A mandatory quarantine order has been extended through at least May 25. Domestic flights remain canceled, and there are tight controls on interprovincial transport. A progressive reopening of the economy has begun across the country, except in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area.

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 implemented as of May 11, with all major population centers and departmental capitals categorized as high-risk, the highest level. Internal movements are regulated by the last digit of the individual's national identification card or passport.

Brazil: Officials have extended 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 31; 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 June 30; all ground and maritime borders are closed until further notice. A nationwide lockdown has been extended through at least May 31. Additional restrictions based on national identification card numbers are enforced in some cities.

Ecuador: A temporary entry ban for nonresidents, citizens, and legal residents, as well as the closure of all land borders, remains in place. All interprovincial public transport services and all domestic passenger flights are suspended indefinitely. Nationwide restrictions are in place through May 31, with additional municipal curfews and restrictions on businesses, public transport, and vehicular movements, depending on color-coded zoning.

Falkland Islands: A temporary entry ban for nonresidents is in place, and arriving residents are to self-quarantine for 14 days. Nonessential business and services are 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 are maintaining a 2300-0500 curfew until further notice. Movement and business restrictions have been eased as of May 11, except in the border town of Saint-Georges.

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 June 3.

Paraguay: All international flights are suspended, and land borders remain closed. A mandatory curfew between 2100-0500 will be in place through May 25. In the remaining hours, residents may only leave their homes for essential tasks. Vehicular restrictions are also in place.

Peru: The country's borders remain closed to all passenger traffic, and international flights remain canceled. A nationwide 1800-0400 curfew is in force through at least May 24, 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 closed. A nightly 2300-0500 nationwide curfew remains in effect until further notice. Some business restrictions have been relaxed.

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 domestic and international passenger flights are suspended until June 12. The nationwide quarantine measures will also remain in place through at least June 12, with exceptions allowed for essential activities. Nighttime curfew orders remain in place in border areas.

Most ports of entry are still 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 amendments 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. 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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