Health Alert – U. S. Embassy Guatemala City, Guatemala – (March 14, 2020)

Location: Guatemala

Event:  President Giammattei announced on March 13 the first case of COVID-19 to be diagnosed in Guatemala; a Guatemalan who had visited Northern Italy.  He also announced new restrictions for people traveling from the United States and Canada.  After midnight Monday, March 16, people who spent time in the U.S. or Canada will not be permitted to enter Guatemala.  Those arriving before midnight Monday, will be asked to self-quarantine for 7 days if asymptomatic. Those with symptoms of fever/cough/difficulty breathing will be sent to Villa Nueva Hospital for testing.

Those with a positive test will be quarantined. Details regarding the location of quarantine are being refined as the number of beds at Villa Nueva Hospital is limited.  It is understood that another adequate health facility will be acceptable. CDC has asked Guatemalan authorities to confirm this.

Guatemalan citizens, diplomats, and legal residents in Guatemala will be allowed to enter after screening and then expected to observe home quarantine under government supervision for 7 days, if asymptomatic, or quarantine at a health facility if positive for COVID-19. Flights are expected to be reduced after the ban is implemented.

The Embassy is closely monitoring events and will provide updates as necessary.  U.S. Embassy operations are normal.

Local Resources:

o   Guatemala’s Ministry of Health – MSPAS (Ministerio de Salud Pública y Asistencia Social) is overseeing preparation for COVID-19 and posting extensive information online: https://www.mspas.gob.gt/index.php/noticias/coronavirus-2019-ncov

o   Guatemalan Immigration Authority – IGM (Instituto Guatemalteco de Migración): http://igm.gob.gt/coronavirus-covid19/

o   Gobierno de Guatemala (Facebook):  Link to Video of Guatemalan President Giammattei’s March 13th speech on the first case of COVID-19 and travel restrictions facing U.S. citizens. (Begins at 13:50 minutes)

o   In Guatemala, call the Coronavirus hotline at 1517

Actions to take:

Assistance:

o   U.S. Embassy Guatemala City https://gt.usembassy.gov/
Tel. (502) 2326-4000

Amcitsguatemala@state.gov

o   State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

o   Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates

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