Good News – Middle East Is Reopening For Tourism
Following the news and updates around the COVID-19 pandemic, many airlines were forced to suspend or reduce their daily operations, and countries were forced to introduce travel restrictions. With the pandemic slowing down in some parts of the world, like South America, many countries have started to ease border restrictions and reopen for international tourists.
Definitely one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America – Cuba, is welcoming passengers from all over the world. The country shut its borders back in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Havana will officially be welcoming international tourists starting November 15, 2020. The José Martí International Airport in Havana will also resume international flights on November 15, 2020.
All passengers arriving at José Martí International Airport in Havana will be tested for COVID-19 at the terminal. An additional fee per visitor may apply. Passengers will also be required to fill out a Health Declaration form before checking in for a flight to Cuba, which you can find here.
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After being closed for more than 8 months, Chile will finally open its borders for international arrivals. The Ministry of Health made the announcement confirming Chile’s official reopening starting in December. However, no official date has been given. The good news is that all international passengers will be allowed entry into Chile, with safety measures in place of course.
Passengers arriving in Chile must do that through Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benítez Airport. All other border crossings stay closed. Those arriving in Chile will be required to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72h prior to their departure. Before arrival, passengers will also need to submit a health declaration regarding possible COVID-19 symptoms.
Argentina officially reopened the Argentinian border control at Ezeiza Buenos Aires international airport and the Buquebus ferry terminal on November 2, 2020. Unfortunately only for residents from Brasil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, and Chile. For now, the Argentinian border remains closed for other passengers until November 29, 2020.
Those arriving in Argentina will be required to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72h prior to their departure. Passengers will also be required to bring proof of healthcare insurance that covers an admission in case of a COVID-19 infection. Also, all passengers arriving in Argentina must complete the passenger locator form, which you can find here, no more than 48h prior to arrival. These safety measures will most likely stay in place after Argentina opens its borders to international passengers.
Belize is now welcoming tourists from all over the world, with some safety measures in place. Those arriving in Belize are encouraged to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72h prior to their departure in order to get the fast track at the airport. Passengers who do not bring a negative test will be tested at the airport at their own cost. Those who test positive will be required to quarantine for 14 days.
Guyana officially reopened airports on November 6, 2020. All passengers traveling to Guyana must take a PCR test within 7 days prior to arrival in order to enter the country. If the test was done within 72 hours of travel, you will not be required to do another test upon arrival. If the test was done within 4-7 days of travel, passengers will be retested upon arrival in Guyana at their own cost. Passengers will also be required to complete the Passenger Locator Form at least 24 hours prior to travel, which you can find here.
After a 6 month lockdown, Colombia officially reopened its airports for international flights back in September. Colombia started to ban international flights to Colombia in late March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Colombia is also welcoming passengers from all over the world, with standard visa requirements.
Passengers arriving in Colombia are no longer required to present a negative PCR test on arrival as of November 4, 2020. However, all passengers will undergo a health screening at the airport.
On November 1, 2020, Costa Rica started welcoming passengers from all countries in the world to enter by air, as long as they meet the country’s visa and COVID-19 entry requirements. The government of Costa Rica also eliminated the requirement of a PCR test and quarantine.
All passengers arriving in Costa Rica are required to complete the digital form called health pass 48h before boarding their flight. You can find the health pass here. Also, passengers are required to have travel insurance.
Guatemala reopened its airports on September 18, 2020. Passengers from all countries are welcomed with safety measures in place.
All passengers arriving in Guatemala are required to provide a negative PCR test taken no more than 72h prior to their departure. Passengers are also required to complete a health pass form that you can find here.
Passengers visiting Panama must present negative COVID-19 test results, taken within 48 hours of arrival. Those whose results are older than 48 hours will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the airport, at a cost of around $30. Fortunately, there are no arrival restrictions based on country, which means anyone can enter Panama. Health insurance is not a requirement for entry but is highly recommended.
Before check-in, all incoming visitors will be required to complete an Electronic Affidavit (sworn statement) which will be available here starting October 10. In this statement visitors will be agreeing to:
-Comply with all sanitary control measures outlined by the Ministry of Health of Panama
-Provide localization information for residence while in Panama
-Confirm that you are healthy (no symptoms of any respiratory illness) and that you have not been exposed to COVID-19 within the last fourteen days