America as a region has been particularly hard hit COVID-19South America has some of the worst outbreaks in the world. Four of the 15 worst outbreaks have taken place on the continent – in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Peru – and have resulted in drastic closures and border closings. In Central America, the outbreaks were less severe, despite the fact that economies closed in the same way – some by choice, others like Nicaragua, simply because international airlines blocked flight routes.

Some of the hardest hit countries were among the first to reopen their borders. Brazil resumed flights at the end of July, Colombia followed closely in mid-September and Peru in October. Some have since added further restrictions during the second and third waves of outbreaks – Brazil, for example, is now requiring negative tests upon entry, which it originally didn’t need. Central American countries like Costa Rica and Belize welcome tourists with few restrictions on exploring their lands through travelers and concerted efforts to bring in more tourism dollars.

However, as the continent optimistically reopens to travel, new COVID-19 strains are the main concern affecting new policies. Several countries, including Panama and Guatemala, are now banning travelers from the UK and South Africa where new variants of the virus have been discovered. On the other hand, a new strain from Brazil is making headlines right now, leading to a British ban on travelers from across South America.

Read on for the latest travel restrictions in Central America and South America, from mandatory quarantines to pre-test requirements. This guide currently covers 15 countries in the region and is updated regularly.

Central America

Costa Rica has been open to all travelers since November 1st who no longer have to bring a negative PCR test or quarantine with them on arrival. Travelers must instead complete the online health insurance form within 48 hours of departure and purchase health insurance or travel insurance from an approved list of Costa Rican companies. The full insurance conditions and health form can be found here.

Costa Rica has been open to all travelers since November 1st.