Tourists not permitted to travel to Uruguay this summer season

Uruguay’s president Luis Lacalle Pou announced October 22 that–to keep cases down and to avoid overwhelming the up-till-now very efficient tracing and testing–, Uruguay borders will be closed until further notice.

Uruguay is a classic holiday destination for neighbours Argentina and Brazil

Uruguay has been applauded internationally for its thoughtful response to the coronavirus pandemic. However with the Southern hemisphere summer season arriving, the authorities were increasingly concerned about the consequences of tourists. That’s Because Uruguay is a classic holiday destination for neighbours Argentina and Brazil which are currently amongst the five countries with highest infection rates in the world at the time of writing. 

“The borders will be closed with exceptions which have already been defined and perhaps a few more,” said the president. Exceptions include foreigners with Uruguayan residency, work permits and others outlined here

This is despite the fact that the EU had named Uruguay as one of just fourteen countries on their accepted travel list

Newly arrived quarantine breakers to be penalised

Quarantine in Uruguay has never been obligatory—except for people arriving from abroad. However there is concern that there have been some cases of foreigners arriving who do not quarantine or falsify contact information meaning they cannot be traced.

Anyone arriving in Uruguay currently needs to have a negative coronavirus test carried out no more than 72 hours before flying, sign a sworn health declaration, and provide their contact details while in Uruguay. Also, they must quarantine for seven days on arrival in Uruguay before having another coronavirus test. If this is negative they are free to leave quarantine.

The sworn declaration is completed on the plane before entering the country and confirms the signer agrees to quarantine. 

The Ministry of Public Health has begun to receive complaints which they pass on to the justice system. Anyone found contravening their sworn health declaration can be charged on two counts: crimes against public health and document falsification. Besides, the government is analysing penalties including fines and deportation.

 

Picture: The Washington Post

[This article was first published on October 24 2020 and last updated at the date above]

A guide to Coronavirus in Uruguay

No place I’d rather be in a pandemic than Uruguay 

An 8-part co-production by Guru’Guay and El Pais, Uruguay’s oldest newspaper featuring travelers who found themselves stranded in Uruguay when the borders closed.

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