Health Alert – Update on end of State of Calamity, revised COVID-19 testing requirements for entry

Guatemala City, Guatemala (September 30, 2020)

Location: Guatemala

Event: The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala wishes to inform U.S. citizens that the State of Calamity will come to an end at midnight, September 30th. The nationwide curfew in place from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. will end, though the sale of alcohol will remain prohibited between 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  All businesses, entertainment facilities, and public spaces will be allowed to open, with appropriate measures for social distancing following Locality-Specific Tiered Health Alerts.

Additionally, the Guatemalan government has announced updates to its COVID-19 testing requirements for arriving passengers.  All persons aged 10 or over arriving by air or land in Guatemala must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or Antigen test result, conducted within 72 hours of arrival.  All persons arriving by air must also complete, in advance of arrival, a Heath Pass, available at https://sre.gt.  Note that air carriers will request proof of negative test and completion of the Heath Pass prior to boarding.  Health protocols are in effect at ports of entry for the screening of arriving and departing passengers.  Any non-resident foreigners presenting symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival may be denied entry to Guatemala.

Commercial Flights To/From Guatemala: 
La Aurora International Airport reopened for routine commercial flights September 18, and several airlines have resumed flights 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 reach out to the airlines directly.

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 or Antigen test result, 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.

The below COVID-related regulations are currently in effect in Guatemala. The Embassy recommends that all U.S. citizens in Guatemala continue to restrict their activities and movements to the maximum extent possible, and to wear a mask and practice social distancing at all times when in public spaces. The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala continues to offer limited consular services on an emergency basis and is restricting on-site staffing to only essential personnel.

Locality-Specific Tiered Health Alerts and Regulations Implemented:
While the Guatemalan government’s mandatory curfew ends midnight September 30, the 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.

At the current time, over half of the 17 municipalities in the department of Guatemala are in red status, the highest threat level:

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 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 all routine consular services for U.S. citizens as of Monday, June 22, and will continue to do so until further notice.

While this suspension is in effect, the Embassy will provide in-person passport services on an emergency basis only. U.S. citizens with expired or soon-to-expire passports who have imminent travel plans to the United States may request an emergency appointment at the Embassy through the following email address: amcitsguatemala@state.gov. The Embassy urges U.S. citizens to communicate all requests and confirm all appointment times through this e-mail; for health and safety reasons, the Embassy may not be able to accommodate walk-in requests.

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

Due to reduced operations at U.S. domestic facilities, U.S. citizens who have previously applied for routine passport or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) services may expect delays in receiving their documents. Applicants with documents in transit who have imminent travel plans to the United States may apply for emergency passports by scheduling an emergency appointment through the email address listed below. As a reminder, U.S. citizen children do not require a CRBA to qualify for an emergency passport.

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: 

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City https://gt.usembassy.gov Tel. (502) 2326-4000 mailto:Amcitsguatemala@state.gov

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

Guatemala Country Information and Travel Advisory Page

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

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter