COVID-19 and South American travel

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20 May 2020

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COVID-19 and South American travel

Dear friends and colleagues,

As you know, the situation and preventive measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic are being constantly and rapidly changed.

In many of the countries of the region, extraordinary measures are being taken to prevent the spread of the contagion and thus be able to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

In this blog we seek to give you the details and updates of the latest prevention measures in each of the countries where we operate. We hope that its content is useful and that it answers any questions you may have.

During this time of quarantine, we are providing the following phone and WhatsApp lines in order to assist you 24/7:

+51 987 942 047 – from 07:00 a.m. to 03:00 pm

+51 933 610 786 – from 03:00 p.m. to 11:00 pm

+51 997 590 890 – from 11:00 pm. to 07:00 am.

Q: Which are the prevention protocols carried out in South America for COVID-19?

A: Currently, all the countries where we operate are following prevention protocols established by the World Health Organization(WHO) .

The population of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, is being kept under lockdown and every country in the region maintains their borders closed.

ARGENTINA:

The Government of Argentina has issued a decree the 15.03.2020 which established to close all borders from 00:00 on Monday, March 16. They will remain closed until further notice.

The population in Buenos Aires and other major cities is in strict quarantine, until May 25th. The Government of some provinces are allowing specific industries and small shops to re-open.

The Argentinian Government has established that commercial flight sales and operations will be re-authorized by September 1st, 2020.

BOLIVIA:

Bolivia has completed now 53 days of total quarantine, the confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been increasing, as expected, but within control and estimates made by the authorities.

The numbers of cases are not high, and the National Government has announced that the quarantine will be gradually lifted and we will have a dynamic or partial quarantine, as identified in each city or department.

In this sense, it has been announced that public institutions and some essential industries will reopen their doors and return to work starting Monday, May 11, under strict safety and health measures.

National and international flights will remain suspended until May 31, as will international borders and restriction of movement between cities.

BRAZIL:

The Brazilian government has prohibited the entry for all foreigners starting March 30th .

It has also closed borders with 9 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guyana, Guyana, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

CHILE:

Since March 18, the Chilean Government has declared a State of Constitutional Exception of Catastrophe for 90 days to face the crisis unleashed by Covid-19 which brings with it the following measures:

  • Closure of all maritime, air and land borders for the transit of foreigners. Only Chileans or local residents will be allowed to enter.
  • Curfew in the entire national territory from 22:00 hrs until 05:00 the next day.
  • Total quarantine in Santiago (all the communes) from May 15th 22:00 hrs until May 22nd.
  • Customs and Sanitary Cords have also been arranged in strategic areas of the country by the military forces as a measure to control the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the population and in Chilean territory.
  • The Health Authority provided that all persons using public transport or private transport subject to payment must wear masks.

ECUADOR:

The borders are closed starting Monday 30th March . This prohibition includes international flights, land and marine transportation.

  • The population is in a strict mandatory quarantine with curfew from 14:00 until 05:00.
  • As of May 04, a color system (red, orange, green) has been implemented for the gradual reactivation of activities on each Municipality, to date the main cities are in red.
  • The National Parks and Protected Areas are closed to the public.

PERU:

A State of Health Emergency has been declared for 90 days. (March 11th- June 9th)

During this period of time, every person that enters Peru from a country that has had a COVID-19 outbreak will be put in a 14 days quarantine period at their own expense. The list of countries is being constantly updated by the Ministry of Health. You can access the current one in this link

All Peruvian borders are closed until further notice and a mandatory quarantine has been declared for the entire population of Peru starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday May 24.

President Martin Vizcarra and his ministers presented a Post-COVID-19 plan to activate the economy, which comprises four phases:

Peruvian Ministers Council

According to this plan, and if there is a positive development in its implementation, borders and the first touristic attractions will start opening in July, and will be functioning in August.

Likewise, the government has mentioned that Peru’s borders will not be immediately opened to all countries and the are working on an opening plan by regions. As soon as this plan is launched we will be sharing it with you.

Likewise, as a measure of reactivation and economic promotion of tourism, the government has decreeted no admission fees to archaeological sites, museums, historical places and natural areas administered and / or protected by the State that are open to the public for children up to 18 years of age, and adults over 60 years of age, whether Peruvians or foreign. This measure is effective from July 1st to December 31st, 2020 and includes attractions such as Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail among others.

CONDOR TRAVEL BIOSECURITY PROTOCOLS

At Condor Travel, we are preparing to receive your passengers under a strict Bio Security protocol that regulates social distancing, hygiene and disinfection of public spaces and work areas of our touristic services in general.

The following measures are included in our protocol:

Field staff:

• Before being able to return to work, field staff will have to undergo a COVID19 molecular discard test.

• Before each service, field staff will go through a discard triage for any risk of infection.

• Hygiene: Constant hand-washing is mandatory and our filed staff will be making sure passengers do this too.

• Our field staff will carry a personal first-aid kit at all times that includes mask, gloves and thermometers among other things.

• Our field staff will always wear masks and will make sure that every member in the group wears them too.

• Our field staff will wear latex gloves at all-times.

Social distancing:

• Our field staff will verify that a 1 meter minimum-distance is kept between each person that is under their responsibility.

• Group size will reduce: without audio-guides we will operate a maximum of 6 people per group, with audio-guides we will operate a maximum of 20 people per group.

Transportation

• Before starting and after completing each service, vehicles will be entirely disinfected by following the bio security protocols given by the Health Ministry in Peru.

• In every transportation unit we will have masks, hand sanitizer and a first-aid kit with oxygen masks, at our passengers’ disposal.

• Our vehicles will be operating with less than half of their carrying capacity. The maximum capacities permitted in our vehicles will be the following:

UNIT # PASSENGERS

CAR 2

MINIVAN 2

SHORT VAN 7

LONG VAN 9

MINI BUS (30-34 SEATS) 16

BUS 44 SEATS 21

Suppliers and strategic partners:

The Peruvian Government has established a health and safety protocol mandatory for all hotels and restaurants. Establishments will not be allowed to function if they do not comply with these measures.

Our Customer Service Area will also be monitoring our partners’ adherence to these protocols and demanding compliance affidavits.

Q: What happens if a passenger is reported with COVID-19?

A: In the event that any of our passengers has positive COVID-19 result, all the group and the Condor Travel representant must be reported to the Ministry of Health of the country where they are located.

In parallel, we will contact the client immediately; as well as the passenger’s country embassy and the travel insurance company.

Q: Are there testing kits for COVID-19 available in South America?

A: Currently, all the countries in which we operate have implemented strategic points of attention where COVID-19 tests are taken.

Q: What steps would your team take if a participant on our program was quarantined?

A: The first thing we will do is to follow the instructions provided by the health staff. We will immediately notify the client, the passenger’s relatives and the embassy of their country.

The Ministries of Health have a quarantine protocol that must be respected. From our end, we will monitor all information regarding the case.

Q: What could happen if my client decides to change their trip?

A: We are currently working with a 100% flexible policy. Your clients are able to reschedule their trip with no penalties or additional costs. Please check with your account executives for specifications on your clients’ itineraries.

Sources:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/locations-confirmed-cases.html

  • World Health Organization (WHO):

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

  • Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation (by WHO):

https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd

  • Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Outbreak (by the New York Times):

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/world/coronavirus-maps.html?referringSource=articleShare

  • Coronavirus Global Cases (by Jhon Hopkins):

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

  • Q&A on travelling during the coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak (by WHO):

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