Message for U.S. Citizens: Changes on COVID-19 Restrictions by Government of Guatemala

April 20, 2020

Location: Guatemala  

Event:   On Sunday, April 19th, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei announced changes to two restrictions on movement and activities currently in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  Unless further extended by the Guatemalan government, these restrictions will remain in place until April 27.  The Government of Guatemala may further extend their duration at any time.

CHANGES TO RESTRICTIONS CURRENTLY IN PLACE:

The United States Embassy in Guatemala City advises all U.S. citizens in Guatemala that the following restrictions have been changed:

Curfew

A mandatory curfew is in place, which now lasts from 6:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. each day.   Prior to President Giammattei’s April 19th statement, the curfew began at 4:00 p.m. each day, but it has now been eased by two hours.  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).   The Guatemalan government may extend the deadline of the curfew at any time.  The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Guatemala that they are expected to obey the curfew, which is being enforced by Guatemalan law enforcement.  Violators of the curfew restrictions risk arrest.  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.

The Embassy will continue to work with the Guatemalan government to request permission for individuals to travel to Guatemala City for the purpose of flying from La Aurora International Airport to the United States, and will provide additional information if this permission is granted.

CONTINUING RESTRICTIONS WITH NO CHANGES:

The Embassy reminds all U.S. citizens in Guatemala that the following restrictions are still in place and unchanged:

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 the Guatemalan government to permit departure of certain flights for U.S. citizens and others from Guatemalan airspace to the United States. As appropriate, the U.S. Embassy will also request authorization for U.S. citizens to travel to Guatemala City to board departing flights.  The Embassy will provide additional information and instructions for American citizens as flights are made available.  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, April 26th, 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 through Monday, April 27th at 4:00 a.m.  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.

Actions to Take:  

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the COVID-19 crisis in Guatemala, and actions the U.S. Embassy is taking to assist U.S. citizens.  

Review the State Department’s Global Level 4 Health Travel Advisory at www.travel.state.gov  

Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.  

For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19 please see the CDC’s latest recommendations

Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.  

Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on the latest travel restrictions to the U.S.  

Monitor local news for updates.  

Assistance:   

U.S. Embassy Guatemala City https://gt.usembassy.gov/ 

Tel. (502) 2326-4000 

Amcitsguatemala@state.gov   

State Department – Consular Affairs 

888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444 

Guatemala Country Information and Travel Advisory Page 

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

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