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It’s business as usual in Europe, swathes of Asia, and North America now that Covid is no longer a bummer and restrictions have been repealed. With so many options to choose from, from the pristine beaches of Cancun to the fairytale towns of Europe, it’s easy to forget an important piece of the puzzle is still missing: South america.
It may come as a shock to some, but nearly a year since the first states began abolishing their brutal mandates, Only four tourist destinations in the lower part of the Western Hemisphere are fully open to tourismmaking it one of the most difficult continents to navigate before 2023.
That is – if you are not aware of your vaccination plan:
Which South American Countries Are Open With No Restrictions?
At present, the countries below are the only ones beloved Destinations in South America (SA) where COVID border rules no longer apply:
Argentina took the lead in April, becoming the first country in South Africa to return to normal. It was followed simultaneously by Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru, which reopened within days of each other in late October/early November amid a significant drop in Covid-related deaths across the national territory.
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Entry for any of the four American visitors, as well as any other foreign nationals, are You are not subject to any medical examinations prior to travel and/or upon arrival. This includes not requiring you to be issued a vaccine certificate, undergo testing, fill out a pre-flight form, or observe quarantine once you land in any of the countries.
Interestingly, all of Argentina’s closest neighbors, Ecuador, Paraguay, and Peru are Yet to reflect their movement And continue to discourage the unvaccinated from visiting. An obvious example is Brazil, which is the largest country in South America in terms of territorial reach, its leading economy, and its most influential sovereign state.
Most of South America still needs unvaccinated people to get tested
When traveling to Brazil, Americans must either present a vaccine card or a negative test taken up to 1 day before travel. Other countries such as Chile, Colombia and Uruguay adopt a similar policy, usually denying entry to unvaccinated tourists who do not present a negative PCR test result issued in less than 72 hours when crossing the border (or rapid antigen within 48 hours).
Among all South American countries, Venezuela has the hardest statesVaccination cards have a validity period of up to 270 days prior to arrival. In other words, Venezuelan authorities expect that those vaccinated with an initial course of only two doses will receive a booster shot to be eligible for entry. Instead, they should get tested before they travel.
More detailed information on admission requirements applicable to specific South American countries can be found here. Interestingly, the states of South Australia stood in between most relaxed In terms of covid management early in the pandemic, at a time when Europe and most of Asia had an outright ban on all forms of tourism. so what happened?
Was vaccination the main turning point here?
While we don’t know for sure why South America will enforce Covid restrictions well into 2023, vaccination clearly marks an attitude shift. For health advisors and local legislators. For example, for all of 2020 and most of 2021, Brazil remained open to tourism without restrictions, even in the darkest days of the pandemic when the death toll reached thousands per day and the health system was on the brink of collapse.
Everything changed once the vaccine became available, a turning point in epidemic management for Brazil and South America as a whole. Effectively, they’ve swapped places with Europe as the oddball country with hardline policies, especially after EU members began scrapping travel rules. collectively.
At first, we thought South America’s precautionary stance would be temporary, seeing that immunization against Covid was a long-overdue technology that some hard-hit countries like Brazil and Colombia may not have felt ready to concede as a condition yet. However, even after widespread immunization and eradication of the most dangerous types of the pathogen, These countries have not raised their border requirements.
in the case of brazil, There is no actual political push, or even pressure from the tourism sector, on the government to remove remaining travel restrictions, making it impossible to predict when a broader reopening will take place. Somehow, they seem to have gotten a little too comfortable with these outdated regulations – they’ve proven to be of little use time and time again and have already been abandoned by many former “Zero Covid” countries (with the exception of China).
Even Japan, which barred entry to all non-Japanese travelers for nearly three years, is now a restriction-free haven. Of course, you can always get past the South American border obstacles by getting immunized or being tested, but as you can see, The area is not as open as you would hope it would be at this point.
Traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com