President Ivan Duque announced Sunday that Colombia, starting today, March 16, is completely closed to foreign visitors in an effort to contain the global Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Exceptions are diplomatic missions, citizens, and permanent residents.
Anyone violating health & quarantine orders is subject to criminal sanction. Non Colombians are subject to expulsion. The past weekend, Colombia expelled 3 Spanish & 2 French nationals for violating quarantine.
Colombian citizens and permanent residents who return to the country are subject to a mandatory 14 day quarantine. The measures apply to all land, sea and air travel, and borders with neighboring countries Venezuela, Peru, Brazil & Ecuador have been closed.
Colombia now counts 33 coronavirus infections, though the government is hoping to prevent a public health calamity as seen in Wuhan, China or Italy. This includes 10 new infections registered over the weekend.
As tourism is one of Colombia’s fastest growing and most important industries, these measures are bound to have a significant negative effect on the country’s economy and fiscal stability.
Photo: César Carrión – Presidencia de la República