Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Travel and movement restrictions to remain in place in all South American countries due to COVID-19 activity through at least late April.

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 16 Apr 2020 21:35 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

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

Summary
Authorities in all South American countries will maintain travel, business and movement restrictions through at least late April 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 16:

Argentina: Nonresident foreign nationals remain barred from entering until further notice. A mandatory quarantine nationwide has been extended through April 26. Residents may only leave their homes to work at essential businesses and purchase basic goods. Several provinces and the city of Buenos Aires have ordered residents to wear protective masks whenever in public. 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 April 30. 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. Only one person per household allowed may be outside the residence at a given time.

Brazil: Officials have banned the entry of all nonresident foreign nationals by air through April 30. All land borders are closed through May 2, and arrivals by sea remain banned through April 30. State and federal level restrictions are in place, including in the states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro until at least April 22 and April 30, 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 are in place.

Colombia: Authorities have banned all entry into the country since March 24. All land borders remain closed, although cross-border freight transport is allowed. A nationwide lockdown is in place until at least April 26. Residents may only leave their homes to purchase basic goods, attend to a medical emergency, or go to work at an essential business. 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 closure of all land borders is in place through April 30. All interprovincial public transport services and all domestic passenger flights are suspended through April 30. A 1400-0500 curfew remains in effect until further notice. Residents may use their cars only one day between Monday-Friday, as determined by their license plate numbers. Residents are prohibited from leaving their homes on the weekends, except for essential personnel.

Falkland Islands: All flights serving South America remain canceled through at least April 24. Flights serving the United Kingdom are available to essential personnel only. Ferry services between islands remain canceled.

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 through at least May 1. Land borders and sea ports 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 through April 19. A 24-hour mandatory isolation order is in place, except for emergencies, through at least April 19. Most travel from Asuncion and Central Department to the interior of the country is restricted.

Peru: A nationwide 1800-0400 curfew is in force through at least April 26, with some regions being under a 1600-0400 curfew. Borders remain closed to all passenger traffic, and international flights remain canceled. Residents may leave their homes only for essential activities between 0400-1800. Only one person per household is allowed to leave to perform essential tasks. Residents are not allowed to leave their homes on Sundays.

Suriname: All land, air, and sea ports of entry remain until further notice. Nighttime 2000-0600 curfew is in force through at least April 26. Schools remain closed; gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.

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 ten or more people are also in place, through at least the end of April.

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

Countries could expand restrictions in the coming days, particularly if the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increases.

Background and Analysis
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. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

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.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int