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  • Writer's pictureThe Roaming Scribe

Central America Opens Its Borders - Update on 05/03/2020

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

In summary, the latest provisions are:

  • Closure of air, land, and sea borders in the eight countries of the region. The only exceptions are to guarantee the flow of goods and humanitarian flights.

  • Establishment of quarantines and mobility restrictions within each of the territories.

  • Monitoring and applying of the health protocols recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Financial measures to ease tax burdens, bank, mortgage, and service payments, as well as the provision of financial aid to the informal sector directly affected by restrictive mobility measures.

The seven Central America countries of Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic have all set out plans to open their borders even as the Corona Virus pandemic spreads through out the globe.

Each country has separate plans though a negative result from a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is required by all accept for the Dominican Republic who only need a signed Health Affidavit. All countries require the wearing of masks, frequent handwashing and use of hydro alcoholic gels and social distancing.


Each arrival must fill out a Belize Health Application which will produce a QR code to be monitored by the government during that person's stay. Every traveller entering Belize should have a negative PCR test 72 hours before arriving; if not, they must have a test on arrival. For those who test positive, there will have a mandatory 14 day quarantine period.


Those travelling to Guatemala must have a negative PCR test less than 72 hours in advance. If they test positive, the person must serve a 14 day quarantine which will be monitored by the country's Ministry of Health and Social Assistance.

Costa Rica

The PCR test is not required for entry into Costa Rica. But international visitors must have complete a digital epidemiological form called the Health Pass; enabled 48 hours prior to the flight. It is also mandatory to prove a national or international medical insurance that covers the visit.


A PCR test with a negative result and an immigration pre-check is required 72 hours in advance of flying.


Panama is slightly different from other Central American countries as it requires a negative PCR or antigen test 48 hours before flying. It is also essential to sign an affidavit agreeing to comply with the sanitary measures and protocols of Panama as well as being monitored by the Ministry of Health through a mobile app. If no test results are provided on arrival, a test at the airport is required with a positive result resulting in being confined to hospital for an undisclosed number of days.

El Salvador

A negative PCR test 72 hours before flying plus passing a temperature detection facility are both mandatory being entering the country. During the stay, visitors who suspect they may be infected should call service number 132.

Dominican Republic

There is no PCR test required at the airport on arrival but random tests will be carried out. A tourist must sign an Affidavit of Health of Travellers stating that they have had no Covid19 symptoms in the last 72 hours. Until December 31, travellers will have free medical coverage in case of contagion or exposure to the virus, courtesy of the government of the Dominican Republic.

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