Entry restrictions in place in Central and South America and the Caribbean due to COVID-19, likely through March.

Severity: Warning Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guyana
  • Guatemala
  • Paraguay
  • Suriname

This alert began 11 Mar 2020 15:44 GMT and is scheduled to expire 31 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Travel restrictions, increased health screenings
  • Location(s): Caribbean, South and Central America (map)
  • Time Frame: Through March
  • Impact: Increased immigration and customs screening times, quarantine measures; possible flight disruptions

Summary
Authorities in several countries in the Caribbean, as well as parts of Central and South America, are likely to continue implementing travel restrictions and additional health screening measures through at least mid-March to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of the outbreak in China and other countries.

  • Antigua and Barbuda: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China recently. Residents of Antigua and Barbuda who have been in mainland China recently may be subject to immediate quarantine.
  • Aruba: Restricted entry for those who have traveled to Italy within 14 days.
  • Bahamas: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea within 20 days before their arrival. Residents of the Bahamas who have been in these countries within 20 days will be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Barbados: Persons that have been in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea within 14 days before their arrival will be subject to quarantine protocols.
  • Belize: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival.
  • Costa Rica: Travelers who have been in China within 14 days must inform their airlines as well as immigration authorities so that additional screenings can be conducted.
  • Dominica: Restricted entry for those who have traveled in China recently.
  • Ecuador: All travelers arriving in Galapagos Islands will be subject to medical assessment; persons experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 will be denied entry.
  • El Salvador: Restricted entry for nonresidents traveling from China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Nationals of El Salvador who have been in these countries recently will be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 30 days.
  • Grenada: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival.
  • Guatemala: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 15 days before their arrival.
  • Guyana: Restricted entry for persons arriving from China; persons arriving from China will be subject to quarantine protocols.
  • Jamaica: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, and Spain within 15 days before their arrival. Residents of Jamaica who have been in mainland China recently will be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Paraguay: Suspension of issuance of new visas for Chinese passport holders.
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: Nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival are advised not to travel to Saint Kitts and Nevis; officials may deny them entry.
  • Saint Lucia: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival. Residents of Saint Lucia who have been in mainland China within 14 days will be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Persons that have been in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival may be subject to immediate quarantine for a maximum of 14 days.
  • Suriname: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China within 14 days before their arrival.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Restricted entry for nonresidents who have traveled in mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, or Singapore within 14 days before their arrival.


Countries could expand their response in the coming days, particularly if the number of cases in-country increases. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays and possible quarantine of at least 14 days, especially for passengers from China. Several countries in Central and South America have implemented advanced health screening measures in response to the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These measures are likely to vary across the region and could result in increased wait times at international airports.

Advice
Confirm entry requirements before embarking on travel to the region. Follow all official instructions. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and potential quarantine.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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