Guatemala Travel Alerts and Warnings

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How are coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions affecting travel to Guatemala? Read the latest travel warnings and alerts.

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A volano erupting in the distance, Guatemala Photo © Getty Images/Kryssia Campos

Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Guatemala – updated 30 November, 2020

Travel to Guatemala

Guatemala’s Aurora international airport reopened to commercial flights on 18 September. Travelers must register their travel 24 hours before arrival via the Guatemalan Health Pass website. Inbound travelers must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test that is no older than 72 hours upon entry.

Land borders with Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Belize are also now open, but only to travelers who can show a negative COVID-19 PCR test that has been conducted within the past 72 hours.

What to expect in Guatemala

Modified restrictions of movement have been applied to departments depending on the level of COVID-19 risk. Areas are color-coded according to the number of cases: red (highest), amber (high), yellow (moderate) and green (low). Check Guatemala's government website to see how restrictions apply to each region.

Social distancing of at least 1.5 meters is in place, and people must wear a face mask in all public spaces.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Previous travel alerts for Guatemala

November 2018 - Volcan de Fuego Eruption

Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego has erupted to life once again, spewing out ash, lava and volcanic gases, causing thousands of people to flee to safety. Local authorities say there is still a very high risk of volcanic mud flows (lahar) and pyroclastic flows impacting nearby villages. Evacuations have extended as far as 6.2 miles (10km) from the volcano.

Volcan de Fuego (Spanish for Volcano of Fire) is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. It's located 25 miles (40km) west of the capital, Guatemala City, and is close to the popular tourist spot of Antigua. This latest eruption is the fifth this year and comes five months after the devastating eruption in June which resulted in 200 deaths and many more people missing. 

If you are planning to fly to or from Guatemala, it's important that you check with your airline or tour provider and travel insurance company prior to departure in case of schedule impact and coverage.

If you are on the ground, please check with authorities for more information, follow any official warnings and listen to local news reports to monitor the situation. Failure to comply with directives from government authorities will result in you not being covered by travel insurance.

June 2018 - Volcan de Fuego Eruption

On Sunday June 3rd, Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego (12,346ft) erupted spewing plumes of ash and pyroclastics into the air shortly before midday, burying nearby villages and killing at least 62 people with the death toll expected to rise. Many people are injured and some are still missing.

Pyroclastic flows (composed of volcanic gases and tephra) rushed down the side of the mountain, destroying everything in the way. Some locals survived by escaping early or reaching higher points as the flows powered across corn fields. Thousands have been evacuated and rescue efforts are being challenged by further eruptions. Authorities are also concerned with the increasing risk of flooding and moving debris with heavy rain.

Volcan de Fuego (Spanish for Volcano of Fire) is considered to be one of the most active volcanoes in Central America. It's located 25 miles (40km) west of the capital, Guatemala City and is close to the popular tourist spot of Antigua. Ash had also fallen as far away as the capital due to wind changes.

The President of Guatemala, Jimmy Morales has declared a national state of emergency and three days of mourning. The country's main airport, La Aurora International, had shut down its only runway at the time of the eruption.

If you are planning to fly to or from Guatemala, it's important that you check with your airline or tour provider and travel insurance company prior to departure.

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.

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14 Comments

  • Nate Wolf said

    Do you know what the 7 day quarantine upon arrival will look like?

    Reply

  • Claudia said

    Im wondering how the 7 day qurantine upon arrival will be like as well. Where? With whom? Can we take a test and show its negative covid test to not have to be qurantined?

    Reply

  • Summer said

    Will the airport only be reopening for Commercial flying only? On august 15?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Summer,

      At this stage it looks like commercial flights may resume from 15 August. Check closer to the date, as with many other countries, these dates are often pushed back depending on the epidemiological situation.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Michelle said

    So im flying out in November to la aurora airport , for 2 weeks does that mean i will have to spend 1 week of my flight in quarantine even i am negative on covid and have proof ??? That would suck if i only go for 1 week

    Reply

  • Robbie said

    Yes I’m wondering about the above questions as well. We have tickets to go in September

    Reply

  • Amelia Brady said

    Hi everyone,

    The quarantine requirement is for 15 days. At the moment, only Guatemalan nationals, citizens, residents and diplomats are allowed to enter. All I can see online is that arrivals must complete an immigration form and provide the address of where they intend to stay. It looks like it will be up to authorities who will decide where you will undergo quarantine – but I'm afraid I can't confirm any more details.

    Try reaching out to the tourism board via their Facebook page for information relevant to you and your circumstances: https://www.facebook.com/VisitGuatemala

    I have reached out for further comment to update the alert with more clarity once this is available.

    Keep your eye on updates as your trip nears, as the requirements may change at short notice.

    All the best,
    Amelia, World Nomads

    Reply

  • Adam said

    Desperate for Advice or absolutely any Guidance on steps I can take to gain entry into Guatemala as soon as possible - I am a US Citizen.. My wife and 2 sons live in Guatemala. My wife does not have a current U.S. visa but our 2 boys(15 months old & 3.5 years old) both have American Passports. Prior to Covid-19, I split my time between The U.S. (for work)and Guatemala(with my Family). In early March, I rushed down to Guatemala before the Airport and Borders closed. I stayed in Guatemala until mid-May, at which time I took a repatriation flight back to The U.S. as I needed to get back to work. Since then I have booked more than a dozen flights to go back only to have them keep getting cancelled. I am positively desperate to get back to my wife and kids. I currently have a flight booked for September 2nd, but I am extremely worried that it will either get cancelled or I will be denied entry. At this point I am open to absolutely any option to get back to my family - I have looked at the possibility of entry at various land crossings but I have Found no information that gives me any hope of success.. Is it possible for me to get Special Permission to enter the country? Please please help me if you have any knowledge or direction to give I am all ears and will forever be grateful.

    Reply

  • Cliff said

    The only 1st hand info I have is that Mexico is unrestricted for travel but im not sure if that is only for Canadians, but if you could get to Mexico im sure you could find a way across the border to visit your family as many Guatemalans have done in the past crossing over to Mexico, I sure feel for you in your situation.
    Cliff

    Reply

  • Elizabeth MacCallum said

    I am trying to get a friend, Guatemalan citizen and passport holder, home to Guatemala. He is 62 and has terminal liver cancer and only a few months left. He hasn’t been home or seen his family in 15 years. The Guatemalan government has just extended its airport shut down for commercial passenger flights until Sept 14 (originally Aug. 17, then Sept. 1). Do you know if private aircraft or air ambulance are able to get in? I’m afraid he’ll die here in USA at this rate. Any advice from anyone please

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Elizabeth,

      I'd recommend contacting a local Guatemalan consulate or embassy for this information. Humanitarian, medical or military flights are permitted to enter, but I'd assume this requires prior permission.

      Sorry I'm unable to provide any further information or help.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Lisa Henry said

    I have read conflicting information about the PCR test vs. the anitigen test. US Embassy in Guatemala says we only need an antigen test from the US. Which is it? Thank you for your help.

    Reply

  • jackie Cajas said

    I'm I need of some information and desperately need help. I want to visit my husband in Guatemala but here in Winnipeg Canada it's so hard to get tested for covid 19 and it's next to impossible to get it in the 72 hr . If I go see my sister in law Los Angeles and get it done there would I be able to continue to Guatemala. Or if i go straight to Guatemala what will happen? I really need help thanks

    Reply

  • Scott Johnson said

    According to the Guatemala website, the health pass questionnaire form you fill out asks the question, "Type of test performed?" PCR or Antigen?
    So you don't need a PCR test.

    Reply

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