Disclaimer: The travel rules and official government instructions are changing rapidly during the pandemic times and this article might NOT be up to date within a matter of hours. Therefore, you should always double-check the information with local authorities or your embassy in a given destination. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel during pandemic.
Guatemala reopened borders and international airports for tourism on the 18th of September. All countries are welcome but a negative PCR COVID test is required. It must be taken at least 72 hours before the flight.
If visitors arrive without a COVID test, they will be required to stay in the 14 days quarantine at their own expense.
As of Oct. 13, Guatemala has 97,826 confirmed COVID cases, and 3,387 recorded deaths caused by the virus. Rates are decreasing and there are only between new 100-600 cases daily cases! (Source: Wikipedia)
As of Sept 21, Guatemala is quite a safe place to visit right now! It has 85,444 COVID cases and 3,119 deaths caused by the virus. Daily rates are around 200-500 new cases. (Source: Worldmeters)
Information below was up to date as of, September 4th.
Guatemala reopens commercial flights on September 18th and launches an ambitious multi-sector strategy for economic recovery
After going through a more-than-5-month-long lockdown, the Guatemalan government has just announced the country is finally ready to open La Aurora international airport for commercial flights on September 18th.
In the light of this good news, can we say that the time has come for you to seriously consider including this often ignored Central American destination on your list of tropical places to escape to when the cold season hits this 2020?
We think chances are high, but before you grab your passport and start dreaming of beautiful beaches, nice cold drinks and not being confined at home, let’s find out a little bit more about the current situation in the country.
So, what can you expect if you decide to visit Guatemala? And most importantly is it a safe place to visit regarding the current pandemic and the regular personal safety concerns?
The first and foremost – Has this small country actually controlled the pandemic yet?
According to the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, the country reports 9,155 active cases and 2,804 deaths. Unfortunate figures, but not even close to its neighboring country, Mexico, that currently has 606,036 confirmed cases and 62,241 deaths.
Therefore, although the pandemic is not completely controlled – like in the rest of the countries – it is accurate to say that -at least- it is not out of control. In any case, we recommend you to observe the basic biosecurity measures so that you can fully enjoy your trip.
Guatemala is determined to bounce back after the pandemic’s negative economic impact
You may have heard of Guatemala as a Central American country sadly famous for the security issues it experienced in the past, which prompted the USA Department of State to publish a travel advisory for US nationals to exercise extreme caution when visiting. Despite its reputation, in recent years the country has been silently improving its economy, security rates and increasing its tourism. Their efforts appeared to have been hindered when the pandemic hit, halting the economy and delaying Guatemala’s goals for the future.
The promotion of Guatemala as a tourist destination.
Support in international events.
Strengthen the market intelligence management system.
In order to achieve these things, national authorities have reportedly announced that they are working on the opening of commercial counseling offices in Italy, Belgium, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
The best thing about all this seems to be that the country is truly coming together around a common strategy. Just a few weeks ago, “The Center for Corporate Social Responsibility -CentraRSE-” launched a high profile talk featuring national authorities, decision-makers, and CEO’s to discuss strategies, perspectives and opportunities that may contribute to sustained economic growth. Guatemalan officials’ strategy in these times of crisis is to double down on their efforts and perhaps see the opportunities arising from a tragedy that has shaken bigger and more stable countries.
Minister Antonio Malouf, spoke about the main challenges they have encountered so far and how they will tackle them with a commercial reactivation strategy created by the Ministry of Economy. In addition, they will articulate public-private alliances directed at fostering a fast and responsible economic reactivation.
What does this mean for travelers?
It’s simple, you are about to discover a country where outdoor activities are almost limitless. Make sure to follow the general protocols regarding the use of masks, and the gathering of crowds and you will be safe.
Guatemala was home to part of the famous Mayan Civilization. It enriched the country with more than 1,500 interesting ruins to visit. All of these, surrounded by volcanoes, mountains, waterfalls, such as the famous Atitlan lake and beaches. All of which already has been (or soon will be) made available for visitors from within and abroad. Enjoy!