After three months of living in a pandemic, many wonder when things will start to normalize, and when we might be able to travel again. South America was one of the last areas in the world to be hit with the coronavirus, and so will likely be one of the last regions to reopen for international travel. Each country is different, however, and so here is a look country-by-country of what plans for opening looks like right now.
Argentina, home of the tango and Malbec wines, currently has one of the strictest in the world. They have restricted all commercial flights, both internal and international, until September 1st, 2020. As of June 5th, they have 20,197 cases of COVID-19, with 615 deaths. Travel may reopen towards the end of the year, however planning for 2021 is probably more prudent at this time.
Bolivia is also currently closed to tourism at this time, with national quarantine measures in place through June 30th, 2020. As of June 5th, they have 12,245 cases of COVID-19, with 415 deaths. It is unclear when travel to Bolivia will be open again. However, we are hopeful that come 2021, we will be able to revisit Bolivia.
Brazil is a tricky one… the Brazilian government hasn’t officially imposed quarantine restrictions. This is because the president feels there is no need for them and that only those in high-risk groups need to stay home. Brazil does have the highest number of COVID-19 cases, however, with 618,554 cases total, and 34,072 deaths as of June 5th, 2020, second only to the United States. Even though the Brazilian is looking at relaxing its already lax restrictions and possibly allowing travel soon, we can’t recommend travel there right now. Hopefully, come 2021, things will be different, and Brazil will be ready to have people visit again.
As with most South American countries, Chile is also closed to tourism for the next few months. Most of the country is under mandatory quarantine. LATAM did resume some flights between Santiago and the US; however, these are mostly humanitarian and repatriation flights. As of June 5th, 2020, Chile has 118,292 cases of COVID-19, with 1,356 deaths. If you are looking to travel to Chile, 2021 or later is also the best way to go for this beautiful country.
Like Argentina, Colombia already has a stringent travel ban in place, with no international flights being allowed until the beginning of September. As of June 5th, Colombia has 35,120 cases of COVID-19, with 1,087 deaths. While it is possible travel may open up toward the end of 2020, it would likely be best to plan for 2021, to be on the safe side.
Ecuador has been one of the hardest countries hit by the pandemic, with its medical infrastructure unable to handle the pandemic scope. As of June 5th, 2020, Ecuador had 41,575 cases of COVID-19, with 3,534 deaths. Travel to Ecuador will likely not be advisable until next year.
Although Peru was the first country in South America to implement strict quarantine measures, it has the continent’s second-largest number of cases, with 183,198 cases total and 5,031 deaths as of June 5th, 2020. The number of confirmed cases is likely much higher due to Peru’s rigorous testing, however. Peru is under quarantine restrictions until June 30th; however, the government has put out a four-stage reopening plan and is in the first stage now. International tourism is included in the fourth stage, and they are hoping to implement this stage four later this year, likely November.
As the world slowly wakes up and restrictions are being lifted, many are starting to think about international travel. Realistically, 2021 will be the time to actually come and visit us in South America, however it’s never too early to start to think about your future travels. Six months or a year will fly by, and before you know it, you’ll be on a plane ready for a South American adventure!