Authorities in Paraguay have begun the gradual reopening of the country's borders as of mid-October. As part of a mutual agreement, officials reopened the land borders with Brazil Oct. 15, specifically the crossings in Ciudad del Este, Pedro Juan Caballero, and Salto del Guaira. Meanwhile, authorities have indicated plans to resume international flights at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) from Oct. 21. All other ports of entry and exit remain closed, except for repatriation and humanitarian flights, and cargo transportation. The following entry requirements and quarantine protocols will be enforced for all travelers:
- All persons entering the country must complete a 14-day self-quarantine.
- Persons who present a proof of a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test taken within 72 hours before arrival may self-quarantine for seven days, provided a second test is taken on the seventh day. The self-quarantine generally ends when the second test is confirmed negative.
- Persons intending to visit the country for less than seven days do not need to self-quarantine but must present proof of a return ticket and a negative RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival.
All travelers must adhere to the internal restrictions being imposed. Authorities launched standard nationwide measures, after ending the nation's four-phased "Smart Quarantine" Oct. 5. The following measures will remain in place through at least Oct. 25:
- Individuals are only allowed outside their homes 0500-2359 daily.
- Commercial activity is permitted 0500-2359; however, common areas are to stay closed.
- Restaurants and other food establishments may operate between 0500-2359, by reservation only. Dance and bar areas are to remain closed.
- Home delivery and call center services, as well as pharmacies, may operate 24 hours.
- Cultural and religious activities are permitted with a maximum of 50 people, and with individuals maintaining 2 meters (6 feet) between each other.
- Social events in public and private spaces are permitted with a maximum of 30 people, and with individuals maintaining 2 meters (6 feet) between each other. Social events in the home are limited to 12 people only. Children's events are prohibited.
- Outdoor group exercise is limited to a maximum of four people.
- All face-to-face classes remain suspended.
- Interdepartmental travel is permitted without restriction.
All businesses and individuals are required to adhere to strict social distancing protocols and enhanced sanitization measures. It is mandatory to wear facemasks in closed public spaces, on public roads, on public transport, and in places where physical distancing is not possible.
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
President Mario Abdo Benitez launched the country's COVID-19 recovery plan thorugh the Smart Quarantine May 4 to allow for the reopening of the economy while maintaining adequate standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, restrictions may be reapplied nationwide or in targeted, localized areas. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.
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.