Restrictions in Entry and Quarantine Requirement for Travelers from Certain Countries, Updated COVID-19 Testing Validity

Health Alert: Embassy of the United States of America, Guatemala City, Guatemala (December 23, 2020)

Location: Guatemala

Subject: Restrictions in Entry and Quarantine Requirement for Travelers from Certain Countries, Updated COVID-19 Testing Validity

Event: The Guatemalan government has announced that, as of December 23, all arriving passengers 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.

The government has also announced an extension of the validity of COVID-19 tests for arriving passengers.  All persons aged 10 or over arriving in Guatemala may now present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 96 (up from 72) hours of arrival or an Antigen test result conducted within 72 hours of arrival.

The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor the rapidly changing conditions due to COVID-19 in Guatemala and in other locations worldwide.  The most current information regarding the impact of COVID-19 may be found at our COVID Information Page https://gt.usembassy.gov/alert-covid-19-2/.

Quarantine Requirement for Travelers from the UK and South Africa:

The Government of Guatemala has announced that, starting December 23, all arriving passengers, regardless of nationality, 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 could be added.  You may want to adjust your travel plans accordingly 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.

COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Travel to Guatemala:
The Government of Guatemala has mandated that all persons age 10 or over entering Guatemala by air must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 96 hours of arrival or an Antigen test conducted within 72 hours of arrival. All persons entering Guatemala by air must also complete a Health Pass in advance of arrival, available online in both English and Spanish at https://sre.gt. Any individuals experiencing respiratory illness should not travel. Non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.

Locality-Specific Tiered Health Alerts and Regulations Implemented:
Guatemala’s tiered system of health alerts remains in effect, with regulations on social distancing to be maintained within businesses and other public facilities 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 are 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 Public Transportation:

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 capacity, are permitted to operate.

Restrictions on Alcohol Sales:

Alcoholic products may not be sold from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Restrictions on Public Sector Activities:

All public and private businesses must maintain appropriate social distance between employees at all time. Public sector offices will operate from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mandatory Use of Masks in Public:

All individuals, with the exception of children below 2 years old, must wear masks in public spaces, including in grocery stores and on the street, to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Update on American Citizen Services:

As a reminder, due to COVID-19-related health and safety measures, the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City has suspended most routine consular services for U.S. citizens.

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 visit https://gt.usembassy.gov/appointments/.

The Embassy continues to accept adult passport renewal applications by mail. For more information on this process, please click here.

Guidance for American Citizens:

The United States Embassy in Guatemala urges all U.S. citizens to comply with the regulations outlined above.

As a reminder for U.S. citizens registered in the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), your registration expires automatically based on the dates entered and you will not receive updates after that date. Update your account to show that you are still in Guatemala.  Follow these instructions to keep receiving messages from the STEP Program. From within your account settings, update to INDEFINITE to ensure that you continue receiving messages. If you have any trouble, please email CASTEP@state.gov.

Please contact Amcitsguatemala@state.gov for any urgent inquiries.

Assistance:

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