THE LATEST ON COVID-19 IN PERU

Updated Oct. 23rd 2020-Peru Announces 25 New International Flights for November

The ministry of transportation and communication has announced that starting November 1st the Peruvian government will be opening up 25 new international destinations to now include Mexico, the Caribbean, and North America. After evaluation of the sanitary conditions of the flights and examining the biosecurity protocols established for international travel, the state has deemed flights up to 8 hours of flying time “safe”.

The new destinations are as follows:

  • United States

    • Los Angeles

    • New York

    • Orlando

    • Miami

    • Houston

    • Atlanta

  • Mexico

    • Cancun

    • Mexico City

  • Cuba

    • La Habana

  • Jamaica

    • Montego Bay

  • Dominican Republic

    • Punta Cana

  • Colombia

    • Cartagena

  • Costa Rica

    • San Jose

  • Canada

    • Toronto

  • Brazil

    • Sao Paulo

    • Rio

    • Brasilia

    • Foz de Iguazu

    • Porto Alegre

  • Argentina

    • Buenos Aires

    • Rosario

    • Mendoza

    • Cordoba

    • Tucuman

  • El Salvador

    • El Salvador

Between October 5th-20th, more than 11,694 Peruvians and foreigners flew through the Lima international airport. To enter Peru you still need to provide a negative molecular test, taken at least 72 hours before traveling. Machu Picchu is still set to open up in November for international travelers and is currently open, free of charge to Cusqueños. There is talk of more flights being added in December but nothing has been confirmed yet.

 

 

Updated Oct. 19th 2020-Cultural Sites Open, Machu Picchu open’s to locals & International Flights are Running

On October 15th the Ministry of Culture opened the following archaeological sites:

  • Saqsaywaman

  • Pisaq

  • Ollantaytambo

  • Chinchero

  • Tipon

  • Moray

  • Pikillaqta

These are all major sites around the Cusco area that are currently open for free, in hopes to spark national tourism. The Ministry asks that all visitors adhere to the COVID security protocols as released by the state. Basically, maintain a distance of 1.5 meters, wear a mask, and sanitize your hands frequently.

After Machu Picchu was opened for a Japanese tourist, click here, the famous site is now open to locals. Everyone is hoping this will help pave the way for the famous site to be ready for tourism in November, as announced by the mayor of Machu Picchu earlier this month. Once open, only 675 visitors will be permitted to enter the site per day, in groups of no more than 8 (including the guide).  Tickets go on sale today and entrance is free to all Peruvians.

In the first week of Peru opening, its international borders more than 4,000 people traveled in and out of the country. After facing difficulties of getting molecular tests within 72 hours of leaving Peru, the President no longer has made molecular testing a requirement to leave the country, however, a negative molecular test, taken within 72 hours of arrival is still required to enter Peru.

While there is talk of the state opening international flights directly to the US, to help repatriate the thousands of US citizens still stranded in Peru, nothing has been made official yet. The President has canceled all entry and exit stamps in passports during this time.

 

 

Updated Oct. 13th 2020-Machu Picchu Opening in November

With the collapse of the tourist season in Peru, the state is taking all the necessary actions to begin reinitiating national tourism. The state has finally approved the reopening of national museums to a capacity of 50% and following the reactivation of local tourism they’ve agreed to open Machu Picchu in November. While the exact date in November still has not been confirmed, the initial opening will only permit 675 visitors per day, with small tour-groups permitted of up to 8 people per guide.

On October 5th international flights were reopened to 7 different Central and South American cities and the minister of tourism is talking about having all international flights open by December of this year. Currently, in Peru the rates of infection and hospitalization have gone down considerably and if this momentum continues, Peru would indeed fall in line to open up by Christmas.

Updated Oct. 5th 2020-Peru Opens it’s Borders to International Flights Today

After nearly 7 months of closing borders due to Covid-19, with over a 1,000 foreigners still trapped inside the country and thousands of Peruvians vying to repatriate back to their country of birth, Peru has officially opened its borders.  By Supreme Decree from the President, today, October 5th 2020, the country has started running 70-75 international flights per week to 7 different countries within the region and 11 different cities.

The current routes are:

  • Guayquil, Ecuador

  • Quito, Ecuador

  • La Paz, Bolivia

  • Santa Cruz, Bolivia

  • Bogota, Colombia

  • Cali, Colombia

  • Medellin, Colombia

  • Panama City, Panama

  • Asuncion, Paraguay

  • Montevideo, Uruguay

  • Santiago, Chile

 

The following protocols must be followed by all passengers to board international flights:

  • Masks must be worn at all times inside the airport and aircraft.

  • During the flight, all passengers must wear a plastic facial shield.

  • Before boarding the aircraft all passengers must show proof of a negative molecular Covid-19 test. The test must be administered within 72 hours of boarding an international flight.

  • International travelers arriving in Peru, once landed, must sign a sworn affidavit swearing they are arriving in sound health and that they will quarantine upon arriving at their destination in Peru. Click Here to see the affidavit which can be done electronically.

  • Anyone traveler arriving into Peru with Covid-19 symptoms they are required to report the state, to be monitored, and quarantine for 14 days.

The airlines obliged to adhere to the following protocols:

  • All check-in should be done on-line and boarding passes should be digital.

  • To decrease boarding time, airlines are encouraged to offer incentives to passengers to check-in all carry-ons.

  • Airlines are required to complete all cleaning protocols within the cabin of the aircraft: all seats, seat belts, tables, all call buttons, and all bathrooms.

  • At the end of the trip, the entire aircraft needs to be disinfected inside and out.

  • Food & Beverage service should be reduced to a bare minimum to minimize contact between passengers and staff.

  • Magazines, blankets, and pillows typically provided by the airlines are prohibited, passengers are encouraged to bring their own if needed.

That’s it for now, we will continue to keep you updated as things unfold. Stay tuned.

 

 

Updated Sept. 28th 2020-Peru Open’s Borders to International Flights. What you Need to Know.

On September 25th by Supreme Decree President Vizcarra announced that international flights will be reactivated October 5th. Over the weekend the specific details of when, where, and how was released.

  • Flights will be filled at 100% occupancy.

  • The initial destinations will be Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, & Brazil (only Sao Paulo).

  • To leave the country travelers will be required to show a negative molecular test within 48 hours of taking the test.

  • The number of international flights per week will now be at around 15% of the pre-COVID number of flights per week.

 

The president also announced last Friday that due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in Peru the State of Emergency will be extended until October 31st, 2020.

Updated Sept. 25th 2020-By Supreme Decree International Flights will Begin October 5th 2020.

This afternoon by Supreme Decree President Vizcarra announced that international flights will begin running on October 5th. No further details have been given but tomorrow afternoon the administration will release all the details associated with the reactivation of international flights.

The Vice Minister of Transportation announced that his office has already defined that once activated, flights will run at 154 flights per week which makes up about 21% of the pre-Covid flights. The state expects an uptick of Covid-19 cases with the opening of the borders but, currently, they have the capacity to treat more sick patients and they are working on reinforcing their health centers to take the next wave. Peru is the last country in Latin America to open up its international borders.

October 1st marks the beginning of Phase 4 in Peru, allowing activities that were previously prohibited and signaling a complete reopening of national businesses. Past experiences tell us though that there may be some caveats, currently, we are set to open up.

There is still no official re-opening date for Machu Picchu and the Cusco area is still experiencing elevated numbers of Covid-19 cases, however, the number of deaths are going down. The country as a whole continues to have over 6,000 new cases daily, with mortality rates dropping significantly according to statistics released by the state. Similar to most countries, the accuracy of the numbers reported remains a topic of conversation. Stay tuned for the next wave of breaking news.

Updated Sept. 18th 2020-International flights for October 15th & Peru Makes Moves to Reactivate Domestic Tourism

While nothing is official the Peruvian government continues to claim that international flights will start running on October 15th. In an encouraging move, the Minister of Tourism has put into motion the reactivation of domestic tourism to help stimulate the economy. They are starting with the promotion of the departments of Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Tumbes and Ucayli, focusing on full-day outdoor activities.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade & Tourism in Peru has also announced they will be taking the next steps to start the Choquequirao Archeological Park, which will bring in around 10,000 to 1,000,000 a year, to a site that currently sees around 2,500 visitors a year, click here to see a brief film we made on our stance of this project.

The citadel of Machu Picchu can not receive tourists because they do not have a good health service, or a plan for the resumption of activities, said the mayor of the district, Darwin Baca. He pointed out that the town lacks a good health center and a contingency plan to evacuate tourists in the case of an emergency in the midst of a pandemic.

 

The mayor explained that this is necessary for the reopening of Machu Picchu and until a plan is formed they can’t set a reopening date. The mayor further stated that the delay occurs due to a lack of commitment from the regional government and the state.

Updated Sept. 11th 2020-International Flights for October & Continued State of Emergency

Not much has changed as Peru still remains in a state of emergency with a mandatory shut-in for Sundays and curfews throughout the country. Children are still prohibited from being outside per the law as the rates of Covid-19 infection among children continues to rise. The medical systems are still overwhelmed; however, ICU beds are slowly starting to open up again.

The government announced they are still aiming to start up international flights in October, however, an official date has not been set, as the opening of flights depends on the number of cases and the country’s ability to contain the virus. As many foreigners continue to be trapped in Peru and many Peruvians are trying to repatriate back to their country, repatriation flights will be given priority upon the reinstatement of international flights.

The government is working to reinitiate national tourism as businesses have started submitting their security protocols for approval with the local government. Government officials are currently doing hotel inspections to ensure all protocols are being followed.

Tour guides have not had work since last March and many have been doing any and all odd jobs, they can to survive the year without employment. Unfortunately, all financial aid given by the government was only given to businesses, and as official Tours Guides are independent contractors, they were not eligible for any government aid, grants or subsidies.

 

Updated Sept. 3rd 2020-Minister of Travel gives an official start date for International Flights

Despite the fact that Covid-19 cases continue to rise and the State of Emergency has been extended until September 30 the Ministry of Transportation announced yesterday that international flights will be set to open October 1st, 2020.

Currently this is what we know:

  • Thousands of foreigners are still stuck in Peru and thousands of Peruvians are stuck in other countries waiting to return to their home country after being effected economically by The Pandemic. The Minister of Transportation stated that the first international flights permitted to operate starting October 1st will be for;

    • Work reasons. For international companies that depend on the fly-in and fly-out model such as mining, etc.

    • Humanitarian reasons. Specifically to repatriate foreigners back to their home countries and to repatriate Peruvians back to Peru.

    • Health reasons. For people seeking medical treatment that they can no longer receive in Peru due to The Pandemic.

    • Tourists will not be permitted to start traveling into Peru until all the aforementioned priority travelers have been sorted.

  • Upon arrival to Peru’s international airport, Covid-19 tests will be administered to each traveler. It’s still not clear if there will be a mandatory quarantine period upon arrival.

  • The minister stated that they will implement their new security protocols for international arrivals to help identify any weaknesses in the execution and effectiveness of the state’s protocols. Once everything seems secure Peru can move forward in reopening its borders for tourism.

Details for the extended State of Emergency is as follows:

  • On August 28th the government passed a new law for the extended State of Emergency that prohibits children from being outside of their home. The prior law permitted children to be outside for up to 30 minutes a day, no further than 500 meters from their homes. Exceptions are made for medical emergencies and doctor appointments.

  • Citizens of Peru are still locked inside their homes from 4am Sunday morning until 4am Monday morning, anyone caught outside will have to pay a fine of over 6,000 soles, or just under $USD 2,000.

  • Curfews are still in effect all over Peru, the hours vary depending on the province and the number of cases.

 

Stay tuned for daily changes as it unfolds.

 

Updated August 28th-The State of Emergency has been extended to September 30th.

Covid-19 cases are rising to a crescendo, beating out the daily numbers from the first wave of cases last May and topping out at more than 9,500 cases. The continuing increase in Covid cases and the illegal openings of discotecas in Lima which have further propagated the virus in the capital city have prompted the government to extend the “State of Emergency” until September 30th.  For tourism this means the following:

  • Cusco is still under a strict quarantine and national flights will continue to be grounded. There’s a curfew and a shut-in every Sunday, which means nobody is permitted to leave their homes except in the case of an emergency.

  • The Minister of Transport and Communications has recently announced that International flights will continue to remain closed during Phase 4 “The Reactivation of the Economy” and only travel for healthy, study or work purposes will be allowed. As there are still many foreigners still waiting on flights in Peru, everyone is hoping the government will follow through with their commitment of allowing more humanitarian flights repatriate their citizens to their home countries.

  • Machu Picchu has still not been assigned a tentative opening date, and will not be assigned one until the number of Covid-19 cases begin to decline in the area.

  • Children under the age of 14 are prohibited from leaving their homes due to an increase of children testing positive for Covid-19.

 

Other than the extension of the State of Emergency things still remain somewhat static. We are all locked-in our homes waiting for everything to pass.

Updated August 21-More security protocols are published and international flights pushed back again.

Not too much movement as far as restrictions but little by little we are getting more information from the new set of ministers and the president. Here are the basics that directly impact tourism:

  • The Cusco area remains under quarantine as the number of cases continue to rise. National flights to the Cusco area remain cancelled until the number of reported cases and the occupancy of hospital beds begin to decline.

  • The Minister of Transport and Communications has recently announced that International flights will continue to remain closed during Phase 4 “The Reactivation of the Economy” and only travel for healthy, study or work purposes will be allowed. This pushes international flights to 2021, but as we’ve seen this could change.

  • The government has officially released the new “Safety Protocols” for the Adventure Sport industry in the Tourism sector so that operators can begin operating their adventure sport outings again.

  • Machu Picchu has still not been assigned a tentative opening date, and will not be assigned one until the number of Covid-19 cases begin to decline in the area.

 

Changes since the last report;

With the second wave of Covid-19 cases people are feeling tired and the enthusiasm for the reactivation of the economy has waned as people begin to realize that this isn’t going away anytime soon. Peru continues to have a high report of Covid-19 cases with a majority of cases still in Lima. As a response the government has mandated a 24-hour country-wide “shut-in” every Sunday. This means anyone caught outside of their home on Sundays will be arrested and heavily fined.

While people can now drive private vehicles, shop for groceries, go to restaurants, and exercise in the open there’s still a general feeling of staying inside as resources for treatment continue to remain scarce. Traveling from Lima to other provinces proves to be challenging and crossing provincial borders requires an affidavit given with negative Covid-19 test.

In the beginning of the pandemic Peru had only 2,000 hospitals and now Peru has just under 20,000 hospital beds. Despite the increase of beds and equipment,  hospitals continue to collapse.  Currently there are only 117 ICU beds open with ventilators in the entire nation, with only 17 of the 117 representing open beds in Lima. The government is continuing to bring in resources, however it’s not enough. Medical professionals are threatening to protest until they get the resources necessary to treat patients and protect themselves.

 

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