COVID-19 Information

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Health Alert – December 28, 2020

 Last updated:  12/28/2020

Country-Specific Information:

All passengers age 10 and over arriving in Guatemala by air and land are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR or an Antigen test within 96 hours prior to arrival, and comply with health screening requirements.  Starting December 23, all persons entering Guatemala who have visited the United Kingdom or South Africa within the past 14 days could be denied entry or be subject to quarantine due to a new variant of COVID-19 found in those countries. Guatemalan nationals, permanent residents, and diplomats with accreditation will be allowed entry, but will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.  This guidance could change rapidly and additional countries may be added.  If you have been in the UK or South Africa in the 2 weeks prior to planned arrival in Guatemala you may want to adjust your travel plans until there is greater definition of these new guidelines as the situation is constantly evolving.  Please make every effort to stay informed before making any travel plans by confirming with your airlines and checking the Guatemalan Government website https://igm.gob.gt.  All businesses, entertainment facilities, places of worship, and public spaces may operate, with appropriate measures for social distancing following locality-specific tiered health alerts. The wearing of a face mask in public spaces is mandatory.  U.S. citizens are advised to restrict their activities and movements to the maximum extent possible.

Entry and Exit Requirements:

Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes. Please see information above on U.S. citizens who have traveled to the UK or South Africa within the last 14 days.

Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes. All persons ages 10 and over entering Guatemala by air and land must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result within 96 hours prior to flight departure to Guatemala or arrival in Guatemala by land. Note that air carriers will request proof of negative test upon departure from the United States. Information on requirements for emergency travel to Guatemala is still evolving. We strongly urge travelers to travel with a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result within 96 hours prior to their flight or risk possible quarantine or denial of entry. Travelers should also monitor Guatemalan travel requirements at the Guatemalan Embassy in Washington D.C. Facebook page here: https://m.facebook.com/EmbaGuateUSA/

Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes.  All persons must complete, in advance of arrival, a Heath Pass, available at https://sre.gt.  Health screening protocols are in place for arriving and departing passengers at La Aurora International Airport and at land border crossings, and any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.

Movement Restrictions:

Is a curfew in place? No.  The Guatemalan government’s mandatory curfew was lifted midnight September 30. However, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to limit their activities and movements after dark.

Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No.

Quarantine Information:

Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine?  Starting December 23, all persons entering Guatemala who have visited the United Kingdom or South Africa within the past 14 days could be denied entry or be subject to quarantine due to a new variant of COVID-19 found in those countries. Guatemalan nationals, permanent residents, and diplomats with accreditation will be allowed entry, but will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days.  This guidance could change rapidly and additional countries may be added.  If you have been in the UK or South Africa in the 2 weeks prior to planned arrival in Guatemala you may want to adjust your travel plans until there is greater definition of these new guidelines as the situation is constantly evolving.  Please make every effort to stay informed before making any travel plans by confirming with your airlines and checking the Guatemalan Government website https://igm.gob.gt.  Arriving passengers age 10 and over must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result within 96 hours prior to arrival and must also complete a Heath Pass, available at https://sre.gt.  Any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.

COVID-19 Testing:  Testing for US citizens is available at private clinics and hospitals in Guatemala City and in many departments outside of the capital. Antigen testing costs between Q300 and Q500. PCR testing is available at private hospitals for Q2,700 – Q3,500. Public hospitals and laboratories offer antigen testing for symptomatic patients without cost, but may require long waits and delayed results.

Transportation Options:

Are commercial flights operating? Yes. La Aurora International Airport reopened for routine commercial flights September 18, and several airlines have resumed flights to and from the United States, but with a currently limited schedule.  Passengers seeking tickets or information for flights, or assistance with inquiries related to any previously cancelled flights, should contact their airline directly.

Is public transportation operating? Yes. Public transportation vehicles that have been authorized by their municipalities and the Ministry of Health, and that operate at 50 percent maximum occupancy, are permitted to operate.

For interdepartmental travel, only public transportation vehicles that have received authorization from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Communications, and that operate at 50 percent maximum occupancy, are permitted to operate.

Fines for Non-Compliance:  

All individuals must wear masks in public spaces, including in grocery stores and on the street, to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in fines of up to 150,000 Quetzales. 

Nationwide Restrictions and Resources

The Guatemalan government maintains a https://covid19.gob.gt/semaforo.html, with COVID 19-related restrictions on movement and activities for a given area based on the health alert level in each location.

The overall threat ranking is as follows:

Type of Alert:           Threat Level:

Green                         Normal

Yellow                        Moderate

Orange                       High

Red                             Maximum

The list of threat rankings for each department and municipality is available on the Guatemalan government’s website at https://covid19.gob.gt/semaforo.html.

The activities that will be permitted at each threat level are summarized on the Guatemalan government’s website at https://conred.gob.gt/site/documentos/covid-19/TablerodeAlertas.pdf.  The Embassy advises U.S. citizens in Guatemala to familiarize themselves with the threat level in their areas, and to keep abreast of any changes.

Restrictions on In-Person Commercial Activities: 

All businesses, including restaurants, bars, and entertainment facilities, may operate, with regulations on social distancing within each facility based on the health alert level in each location.  Alcohol sales are prohibited between 9:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

The list of threat rankings for each department and municipality is available on the Guatemalan government’s website at https://covid19.gob.gt/semaforo.html.

Restrictions on Church Services:

Religious services may operate, with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

Restrictions on Public Sector Activities:

Public sector offices will operate from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

Consular Operations:

U.S. Citizens Services (ACS)/Passport Services:

The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City is scheduling a limited number of appointments for U.S. passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), and notary services.  The Embassy continues to provide emergency consular services, including emergency passports for U.S. citizens with imminent travel, also by appointment.

To request an appointment, please click on the following links;

For passport issuance and renewal, including emergency passports for imminent travel, click here ​

For CRBA issuance, including first-time passport issuance for a U.S. citizen minor, click here

For notarial services, click here

Visa Services:

The Embassy remains unable to resume routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services at this time.  We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date.

Visa appointments and emergency appointments at the United States Embassy in Guatemala are limited to the following categories, as local conditions and resources allow:

Immigrant Visas:

  • IR1/CR1 (Spouse of a U.S. Citizen)
  • IR2/CR2 (Child of a U.S. Citizen)
  • K1 (Fiancée visas)

If you are an applicant in one of the above categories and you believe your case involves an emergency situation, you may request an expedited appointment.  Please email a scanned letter or statement of proof of the emergency circumstances, where applicable to GuatemalaIV@state.gov.

 Nonimmigrant Visas:

Applicants for H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation.

Interviews for all other visa categories, including B1/B2, remain suspended. Applicants of any visa category with an urgent need to travel can request an emergency appointment.

Applicants should visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com/gt/gt-niv-typefandm.asp to schedule an appointment.

In order to protect the health and safety of our personnel and the public, we will institute strict social distancing practices in our facilities. All applicants must wear masks. Any applicant with symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, or fever should contact to support-guatemala@ustraveldocs.com to reschedule their interview.

Local Resources:

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