Colombia’s authorities said they will isolate all incoming visitors from China, Italy, Spain and France as a measure to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus.
The Health Ministry decided to deviate from the original protocol after the confirmation of three more infections in the country’s second largest city Medellin surprised authorities.
According to Health Minister Fernando Ruiz, all visitors from aforementioned countries will be obliged to isolate themselves for two weeks, be it their homes or hotels.
Those who do not have the capacity to isolate themselves are recommended not to travel to the country.
The stringent measures also apply to incoming visitors from other countries who had a stop-over in one of the high-risk countries.
Those who refuse to follow orders by Migration official orders to present themselves with health officials could face immediate expulsion.
The rigid measures follow the announcement that one American tourist who was quarantined in Cartagena where she arrived on a cruise ship became the ninth confirmed patient in Colombia.
President Ivan Duque said on Twitter that “the preventive isolation of people coming from these countries is to protect public health.”
Visitorss from other risk countries will also be scrutinized, but according to the previously announced protocol.
According to the initial protocol that was put in place, migration officials will refer travelers from risk countries to health officials for a health inquiry.
High risk countries
- United States
- South Korea
So far, four people in Medellin, one in the capital Bogota and one in the southwestern city of Buga have been infected by the virus that has killed more than 4,000 people, mainly in China, and has infected almost 120,000 people in some 110 countries.
The new measures have no effect on internal flights, or other forms of travel and movement.