After having closed all borders and having suspended all international and national travel by air, land, sea and river at the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March 2020, in October of last year travel restriction were gradually eased a bit in the last months and today (April 2021) traveling by air to and in Peru by air and land is possible again however with strict entry requirements and constantly changing travel regulations.
Additionally, the Peruvian travel and tourism sector has adopted strict health and hygiene global standardized protocols which was awarded by the World Travel & Tourism Council with the WTTC “Safe Travels” label recognizing tourist destinations such as Machu Picchu, Cusco, the Sacred Valley, Ayacucho, Miraflores and some beaches in Piura (Mancora, Cabo Blanco, Vichayito, Los Organos and others located in this region) for safety and hygiene against COVID-19.
However, travelers should know the Corona situation in Peru is still serious and extremely acute. In February 2021 with case numbers on high levels, hospitals still - as usual even before Covid-19 - on the verge of collapse, fear of mutations spreading and vaccinations just starting the Peruvian government extended the national health emergency until the beginning of September 2021. Depending on case numbers and hospital utilization, different alert levels – ranging from moderate to high to very high and extreme - with corresponding public health measures and movement restrictions - were implemented on regional level and are reevaluated every three weeks.
Covid entry requirements for Peru
As crossing the Peruvian land borders is still restricted to Peruvians and residents of Peru, entering the country for all other travelers is only possible by air. For international passengers on commercial flights, Peru requires the following (April 2021):
- a negative real-time COVID-19 molecular (RT-PCR) test result that is no more than 72 hours old after being issued and before boarding the plane
- or a negative antigen test result that is no more than 72 hours old after being issued and before boarding the plane
- or a medical certificate of epidemiological discharge that is no more than 72 hours old after being issued and before boarding the plane
- Children under the age of 12 can present a certificate of health issued by a medical doctor in lieu of a negative test.
- Pre-registration on the immigration app prior to arrival - here an explanation on how it's done
- All passengers must also complete an affidavit of health before boarding the plane
- Passengers from the UK, Brazil and South Africa and those having visited or transited through these countries in the past 14 days may not enter Peru (doesn’t apply to Peruvians and residents of Peru) – however they can quarantine for at least 14 days in another country and then may enter.
- All passengers are subject to a 14-day quarantine; however, a negative antigen test after arriving in Peru eliminates this obligation.
- All passengers have to wear a mask and face shield inside the airport.
Above requirements may change, so we highly recommend contacting your airline a few days before your flight to Peru. Additionally, check the airport website for the latest information.
International flights arriving in Peru
Because of the restrictions (compared to the times before Corona) only a very limited number of airlines service Jorge Chavez Internal Airport in Callao, Lima. So, if you are looking for a flight to Peru, check out the following airlines and departure airports:
- US: from Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami with American Airlines, United Airlines or Delta Airlines
- Europe: from Madrid (Spain) with Iberia or from Amsterdam (Netherlands) with KLM
- Latin America: from Santiago (Chile) with LATAM; from Buenos Aires (Argentina) with LATAM; from Asuncion (Paraguay) with LATAM; from Bogota (Colombia) with LATAM or Viva Air; from Panama City (Panama) with Copa Airlines; from Mexico City and Cancun (Mexico) with Aeromexico or LATAM.
If above mentioned departure airports / countries aren’t the point where you start your travels, please check entry and transit restrictions for your nationality and country of origin before booking a flight.
Traveling in Peru
Peru surely is one of the most amazing countries to visit: amazing landscapes, diverse and partly untouched nature, ancient cultures with all the impressive monuments they left us, lovely and inviting people and an incomparable gastronomy.
However, Covid hit Peru hard. Case numbers are still high, hospitals still can not cope with the situation and because of many factors can’t treat ill patients the way they need it, the economic and financial situation of the country and many people is disastrous, and we are in the middle of presidential elections with extreme polarizing candidates. If you still want to visit Peru, here some general information and recommendations:
- Using masks is mandatory in all public places; at most airports and hospitals, additionally a face shield is required.
- Be aware that since October 2020, Migraciones at the airport has suspended the stamping of passports upon arrival and departure to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19. So, while you won’t have a physical stamp in your passport anymore, your arrival and departure will still be digitally recorded.
- Keep an eye on the alert levels of the region you are traveling in or to. While for example on “extreme alert” only essential activities are allowed with everything else from museums to archaeological sites, restaurants, churches, etc. closed and social immobilization / curfews implemented, on “very high alert”, “high alert” and “moderate alert” a decreasing number of businesses / tourist attractions is closed or an increasing number can operate with a limited capacity and restrictions for citizens and visitors are eased a bit by bit.
- Follow official regulations and respect restrictions and curfews. Fines are costly.
- Respect safety and security protocols and hygiene measures in places you visit and follow the instructions of tourism professionals, guides, drivers, hotel staff, etc.
- Avoid crowded places, keep your distance, wash or sanitize your hands regularly, and sanitize your luggage and gear as well.
- For now, national flights operate; a negative PCR test result is no longer necessary to board, just a sworn statement that you are healthy and don’t have any Covid symptoms. Some national bus companies operate as well.
- Make sure that the attractions and sites you are planning to visit are open and have available spaces and other planned activities take place. Best schedule your visit in advance.
- Best book as well in advance at restaurants or opt for delivery or takeout.
- If you need a negative PCR or antigen test result for the return to your home country, many hotels and other accommodation providers in Peru either offer this service at their own implemented facilities or can advise and / or coordinate an appointment with a laboratory or clinic nearby. You can as well make the test at the Jorge Chavez International Airport (be aware that PCR test results usually take at least 12 – 24h).
- Make sure you have a good travel insurance that provides medical coverage not only for injury and illness during your travel in Peru, but also for the treatment of Covid and a possible repatriation.
Stay safe and healthy!