Colombia’s government has closed the country’s borders and decreed a quarantine in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some embassies are coordinating flights to repatriate stranded visitors.
Borders closure and repatriation
Colombia is officially on lockdown and in quarantine. This means that you can’t get in or out of the country and are not allowed to travel between cities.
Because flights were canceled ahead of the border closure already, foreign travelers got stranded throughout Colombia. Embassies have been working to arrange flights to repatriate foreign visitors.
These repatriation efforts should include transport from people who are not in Bogota.
The land and sea borders are also closed, meaning that nobody can get in or out of the country over land. Cargo ships are still able to load and unload, but their personnel are not allowed to leave the restricted area in the ports.
The transit and disembarking of cruise ships has been banned until further notice.
While you are in Colombia, it is compulsory to comply with the quarantine that will last at least until April 13. If Congress approves, this quarantine may be extended.
During the quarantine, one individual per household may leave his or her home or hotel to:
- Go to the grocery store to buy food
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up medicine
- Walk a pet for 20 minutes in the vicinity of one’s residence
- Access emergency services, including veterinarians
- Attend a necessary medical appointment
- Visit an ATM or bank to access financial services or get a notary
- Take a licensed taxi or public bus when necessary to leave the house for one of these approved reasons.
Foreign visitors are allowed to travel only if this is part of the repatriation process coordinated by your embassy.
Why these strict measures are in place
The measures taken by the government are in place because the coronavirus could collapse the country’s healthcare system within weeks, meaning that healthcare would become unavailable not just for people infected with coronavirus, but anyone, including emergency cases.
These measures are constitutionally decreed by the president for a period of three weeks and can count on broad support, These extreme measures can only be extended with the approval of Congress.
Colombia Reports will update information provided by the national government and migration authority in the event of changes, but all foreign visitors are strongly advised to to contact their embassy and inquire about repatriation measures as soon as possible.