Health Alert: U.S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala – (April 27, 2020)

Location: Guatemala

Event: On Sunday, April 26th, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced that all restrictions to movement and activities currently in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus will remain in effect through May 3, 2020.  The Government of Guatemala may further extend their duration at any time.  This includes the following restrictions:

Curfew:

A mandatory curfew is in place, which now lasts from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. each day.  Every individual in Guatemala — including U.S. citizens — is required to remain inside their domicile during curfew hours (with exceptions for health and security, restaurant delivery services, certain media and legal personnel in pursuit of their duties, and patients receiving urgent treatment for chronic conditions).  More information on the curfew can be found on the U.S. Embassy website.

Inter-Departmental Travel:

All travel between or into the departments of Sacatepéquez, Chimaltenango, Guatemala and El Progreso is prohibited.  Travel between other departments in Guatemala is permitted by taxi or private vehicle only, provided that it does not take place during daily curfew hours between 6:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.  In departments for which inter-departmental travel is still prohibited, the United States Embassy in Guatemala is not able to assist in procuring waivers to this prohibition on an individual basis.

Mandatory Use of Masks in Public:

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.

Closing of Borders:

The Guatemalan government is currently barring entry to most non-Guatemalans (with specific exceptions for accredited diplomatic personnel, health and security personnel, and exceptional cases as designated by the Guatemalan government) – by its land, sea, and air borders.

Airport operations and routine commercial flights out of Guatemala have been suspended.  The U.S. Embassy continues to work with Guatemalan authorities to allow passengers manifested on outgoing commercial flights to travel to the airport in Guatemala City.  These passengers will receive letters requesting safe passage from their commercial carrier.  The Guatemalan government can adjust its policy on national border closings at any time. We refer you to the Guatemalan government for updated information on its national borders.

Suspension of Public Transportation:

Public transportation within Guatemala is suspended.

Suspension of Public and Private Sector Labor Activities:

Public and private sector labor is suspended through Sunday, May 3th, with the exceptions for certain essential government and health personnel, and for specific industries and utilities whose activities are essential to Guatemala’s security, food production, sanitation or infrastructure.

Prohibitions on Alcohol:

The sale and purchase of alcohol is permitted between the hours of 4:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.   Consumption of alcohol in public areas is prohibited.

Other Restricted Activities:

All beaches, lakes, rivers and other tourist sites in Guatemala will remain closed.  All tourist travel to these areas is prohibited.

Public religious gatherings and celebrations of any size are prohibited.

Visits to individuals in hospitals or prisons are prohibited.

Academic activities at all levels are suspended through April 30th.

Additional Department and Municipality-Level Restrictions:

Beyond the national-level restrictions mentioned above, different municipalities within the country may adopt additional restrictive measures on travel and outdoor activities.  Please monitor local news reports to receive the latest information.

Guidance for American Citizens:

The United States Embassy in Guatemala urges all U.S. citizens to comply with the restrictions and regulations outlined above.  In his April 12th statement, President Giammattei indicated that failure to comply will be punishable by up to six years in prison.

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.

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