Faced with the record number of Coronavirus cases after the year-end holiday season, several countries have announced new travel restrictions in this second year of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Chilean authorities announced that both citizens and resident foreigners must present a negative PCR test to enter the country. So did those from Colombia.
Following an unprecedented suspension of global flights when the Pandemic was declared in the first half of 2020, countries have adopted varying levels of travel restrictions ranging from rejecting travelers from certain countries, requesting negative evidence to allow entry, considering health passports, declare quarantines or simply ask for a symptom declaration form. The Travel Center page of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a map that it claims updates with information from airlines and government agencies.
The nations with the least restrictions are Mexico, Costa Rica, the US, Haiti, Albania, and Afghanistan. Among those with the greatest restrictions are Honduras, Uruguay, Algeria and Mongolia.
Those with the greatest restrictions to travel in times of COVID-19
Among the countries with the most travel restrictions is Honduras, those who have been to South Africa and the United Kingdom in the previous 21 days will not be able to enter that country. Two previously known variants of the Coronavirus recently originated in these two places. This measure does not apply to residents or citizens, who, however, must be quarantined if they come from these two countries.
Honduras also asks travelers to present a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus test at least 72 hours before their direct flight to Honduras. They accept antibody, antigen and PCR tests. Similarly, individuals must fill out a form found online. There is also a transit restriction for passengers, excluding residents of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay passing through Montevideo or Punta del Este.
Passengers who arrive in Honduras must submit a negative PCR test and fill out a health declaration and border form upon arrival. There are also measures for airline crews: they must either submit a negative PCR test or undergo lockdown upon arrival. Likewise, they must have health insurance. This Wednesday the government of that country announced that the border closure will continue until the end of January.
Other strict countries
One of the strictest is Trinidad and Tobago, where airports are closed with occasional exceptions for national security issues. Algeria and Libya, in Africa, have suspended flights except for cases of repatriations and medical emergencies.
With the fewest travel restrictions
They are few on this list:
To travel to Mexico you have to fill out a questionnaire to identify risk factors. And nothing more. Mexico exceeds 1.4 million cases of Coronavirus and 127,000 deaths from the disease.
From Afghanistan, the IATA Travel Center only says that airports are open. According to information from the US embassy in that country, no proof is needed to travel, passengers are not subject to a possible medical examination and there are no restrictions to move through the territory.
For Haiti, says IATA, passengers can expect a medical check upon arrival and must fill out a health form. North Macedonia and Albania, the other two countries on the list, have no restrictions.
And all the others?
Travel restrictions in times of COVID-19 vary. In Latin America, for example, due to COVID-19, Venezuela suspended flights until February 11th, 2021, but allows flights on routes from Bolivia, Mexico and Turkey, in addition to repatriations and medical emergencies. Passengers entering or transiting the country must have a negative PCR test at least 72 hours prior to arrival, as well as obtain clearance to disembark, and airline crews may be subject to quarantine until their next flight.
For its part, Brazil suspended flights from the United Kingdom and asks passengers and crew for a negative PCR test maximum 72 hours before arrival, among other measures. In Ecuador, if you do not present a negative PCR test performed maximum 10 days before arrival, upon landing you have to take an antigen test and enter into confinement. A statement of health must also be submitted.
In the United States, there is a restriction for passengers who have been to certain European countries, such as the United Kingdom, as well as China and Brazil. Finally, in Spain there are restrictions for some passengers, with the exception of citizens and residents of certain countries of the European Union and the United Kingdom. Likewise, a negative PCR test must be presented, with some exceptions.