Severity: Warning Alert

Entry/Exit: Travel and movement restrictions in place in all South American countries to combat spread of COVID-19, 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 10 Apr 2020 15:59 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Regional (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least late April
  • Impact: Flight cancellations, quarantine measures, business disruptions

Summary
As of April 10, authorities in South American countries have implemented travel and other restrictions through at least late April as part of their efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of the outbreak.

Argentina: Nonresident foreign nationals barred from entering until further notice. Mandatory quarantine nationwide through April 12. Residents may only leave their homes to attend essential businesses and purchase basic goods. Domestic flights and long-distance trains remain canceled. There are tight controls on interprovincial transport. Restrictions are likely to be extended through at least the end of April.

Bolivia: Closure of all land borders to nonresident foreigners; all international passenger flights remain suspended, and passenger vehicles prohibited from inter-departmental road travel. Nationwide quarantine imposed through at least April 15. Officials permit the purchase of essential goods on days determined by the last digit of a passport or national ID card. Only one person per household allowed to leave, and only between 0700-1200.

Brazil: Officials have banned the entry of all nonresident foreign nationals by air between March 30-April 30. All land borders closed through May 2, and arrivals by sea remain banned through April 30. State and federal level restrictive measures in place, including in the states of Sao Paulo, until at least April 22, and Rio de Janeiro, until April 30; non-essential commercial activity remains limited.

Chile: Officials have banned the entry of nonresident foreign nationals indefinitely, while Chilean citizens and residents must self-quarantine for 14 days since the moment they enter the country. Authorities have imposed a nightly curfew between 2200-0500 until further notice. Additional regional restrictions are in place.

Colombia: Authorities have banned all entries into the country starting March 24. All land borders remain closed except for commercial transport. A nationwide lockdown is in place until at least April 26. People may only leave their residences to purchase basic goods, attend a medical emergency, or go to work at an essential business. Localized restrictions based on gender or ID numbers are enforced in some cities.

Ecuador: Temporary entry ban for nonresidents, citizens and legal residents, and closure of all land borders through April 30. Suspension of all interprovincial public transport services and all domestic passenger flights through April 30. A 1400-0500 curfew remains in effect until further notice. Residents may use their cars only one day between Monday-Friday, according to their license plate, and no one is allowed to leave their homes on the weekends, except for essential personnel.

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

French Guiana: Most international flights remain suspended. Anyone arriving through Cayenne's Felix Eboue Airport (CAY) must remain in the town for at least 14 days. Authorities have imposed a nightly curfew between 2100-0500 through at least April 15. Between 0500-2100, residents may leave their residents 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 are closed to passenger traffic, as are seaports. Ferry services remain suspended. Authorities have also imposed a nightly curfew between 1800-0600 through at least May 3.

Paraguay: All international flights 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: Officials impose nationwide curfew 1800-0400 through at least April 26. Some regions under 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 0500-2000. Only one person per household is allowed to leave to perform essential tasks. No one is allowed to leave their homes on Sundays.

Suriname: Closure of all land, air, and seaports of entry through at least April 14. Nighttime curfew 2000-0600 for two weeks from March 29. Closure of schools and ban on gatherings of more than 100 people.

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 mid-April. Officials will restrict transit in highways between April 10-12.

Venezuela: Nationwide movement restrictions imposed starting March 17; exceptions allowed for essential activities. All flights from Europe, Colombia, Panama, and the Dominican Republic remain canceled through at least April 15.

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