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Authorities in Colombia Tighten Covid-19 Entry Restrictions

The health ministry of Colombia, MinSalud, has publicized new rules affecting all travelers back and forth to Colombia, effective since April 7, 2021. All non-resident foreign nationals are no longer permitted to board a flight to Colombia without presenting a negative Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken merely 96 hours before departing from their homelands.

Under this new strict order, the country’s current requirement for negative test results is still applicable to all arriving foreign passengers, including Colombian residents. Subsequently, they will have to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days or take a PCR test immediately as they arrive at the airport and stay in quarantine until the test results come. Travelers must obey all necessary regulations as soon as they arrive. If any traveler is found to show signs of coronavirus symptoms, they will strictly not be permitted to enter.

Current Traveling Conditions in Colombia

Besides these restrictions, there have hardly been any significant changes regarding foreign travel controls. The approved international passenger commercial flights continue to go back and forth on all of Colombia’s main airports. These include the Dominican Republic, Curacao, Bolivia, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, Mexico, and the United States of America.

International flights with the United Kingdom still have restrictions because of the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 that recently hit the country. Presently, there is still no certainty as to when the restriction for the UK will be lifted.

Once again, only the Colombian residents, citizens, and other approved travelers who have traveled or been to the United Kingdom within fourteen days before arriving at Colombia are granted entry. However, these travelers will be compulsorily subjected to a 14-day quarantine, at minimum.

All flights back and forth between Brazil and Colombia continue to remain suspended. The river and land borders of Colombia are also closed till June 1, 2021, at least, excluding humanitarian and cargo aid.

Measures to Combat Covid-19 in Colombia

As measures to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic, no domestic or foreign passengers are permitted to fly if they are Covid-19 positive, have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who is under suspicion of being infected with the virus.

Moreover, all air travelers should register via Check-Mig for international flights and CoronApp for domestic flights. These applications enable the government to keep track of all passengers. The data is further matched with all the Covid-19 tests taken by individuals within Colombia. The test results that are positive will mechanically be shared with the government of Colombia.

As part of Resolution 411 of 2021, the new regulations update and harmonize the travel-associated measures for travelers. Some actions are lenient, while others are a bit more restrictive.

Airplanes facilitated with entertainment systems are now permitted for use as long as they are adequately disinfected. Most airlines also deliver blankets for one-time use. As far as the airport VIP lounges are concerned, they are expected to reopen.

All passengers are instructed to wear their masks throughout (except while drinking or eating during specified intervals). Passengers aged 60 years and above are especially advised to wear N95 type masks.

The emergence of newer and more life-threatening variants and the contact with people from different places in enclosed spaces, despite the air circulation of airplanes, have led to the undertaking of severe measures.

According to MinSalud, more stringent testing measures are expected partly due to the emergence of newer SARS-COV-2 genetic mutations, including the British, South African, and Brazilian variants. The testing management for domestic flights along with foreign flights enables epidemiologists to keep track of infections.

Advice for Travelers

The recommended advice for travelers is to follow all the instructions that have been officially issued, along with the recommended national safety and health measures. If you have any travel arrangements planned for Colombia, it is advised to reconfirm them.

The best thing to do is delay your travel plans if you are experiencing any of the coronavirus symptoms, as they can most likely elicit further delay and scrutiny. For additional guidance and updates, you can get in touch with the trusted contacts in charge.

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