As the Coronavirus restrictions in Peru begin to ease, traveling to Peru is no longer a distant horizon dream. The borders in Peru are now open to travelers, with a mandatory quarantine being lifted in favor of a negative antigen test that can be taken either at the airport or on arrival to your destination, organized by either your hotel or your travel company.
While it is possible to do a ‘DIY’ tour, it’s not necessarily recommended as you will come into contact with many people, and thanks to the current rule that molecular tests must be taken for bus rides that last longer than 5 hours. This rule essentially renders the previous popular backpacker route no longer viable, as it would require 3 to 5 molecular tests throughout your journey and expose you to unnecessary risk.
A tour company will have existing Covid-19 Protocols in place, which will ensure your safety. At Amazonas Explorer, we already have existing commitments to safety and offer advice for traveling Peru safely.
Can I Travel to Peru During the Pandemic?
Yes, you can. There are several different ways that you can travel around Peru during the pandemic. You can opt to travel to one area and stay there- such as Cusco and the Sacred Valley. In fact, certain companies like Amazonas Explorer are offering Bubble Tours, which offer you a chance to see everything that you want to see and not be exposed to unnecessary risk.
There are certain protocols in place when traveling to Peru in the Pandemic that you may not expect at home. They may seem extreme but over the time that COVID has passed across the planet, they have become the total norm for Peruvians and Expats alike.
Travel Restrictions for Peru
Wear a Mask in Public
Masks are a regular feature of Peruvian life in the post-pandemic world. They are worn at all times both outside and in public spaces (transport, shops, outdoor markets, etc).
You will be expected to wear a mask at all times, and when on public transport (such as the train to Machu Picchu and on flights) and public enclosed spaces such as supermarkets, you will be expected to wear two masks and a face shield.
Both masks and face shields are readily available throughout Peru, in shops, and from street sellers. You will have no problem getting your hands on one.
Regular Temperature Checks and Hand Wash
When entering any public building (including health centers, supermarkets, restaurants, and your hotel) you will be expected to have your temperature taken and either wash your hands or accept a squirt of hand sanitizer or alcohol. There will be a sort of doormat full of disinfection fluid for you to stand in too in order to disinfect the bottom of your shoes.
Your temperature will be taken with an infrared thermometer and is usually taken from your wrist, your forehead, or your neck. The process takes around 2 seconds and you will not be touched.
Maintain Social Distancing
Social Distancing is required while traveling around Peru in the pandemic. This is to protect yourself and the others around you. When queuing up in a place, such as your hotel lobby, in the airport, and at the supermarket, there will be markers on the floor to indicated where is safe to stand.
Carry Your Health Affidavit
When you are entering Peru you will be asked to complete a health affidavit. Print a copy of this off and keep it with you at all times, along with a photocopy of your passport and identification information. You should also keep evidence of your most recent negative test with you at all times.
You can find help and guidance for filling out your health affidavit here.
You May Need a Molecular Test to Fly
A molecular test is no longer a travel restriction for domestic flights to Peru, however, they are a requirement from almost all international airlines for travel. This means as you enter and exit Peru, you will need to take a molecular test. This can be organized through your hotel or through your travel company.
Get Insured Before your Trip to Peru
While we always recommend travelers to have a travel insurance policy, now more than ever it is very important to do so. This is because a good insurance claim will protect you if anything goes wrong, and some will even cover a hotel and a new flight if you contract the virus and need to self-quarantine in Peru for 14 days. While this is not likely, it is always best to be prepared.
Are Peruvian Tourist Sites Like Machu Picchu Open?
In short, yes. They are all working at a 30% to 50% capacity but the number of visitors seen rarely reaches the already lowered capacity. This is because previously Peru was suffering from over-tourism, whereas now there is hardly a tourist to be seen.
There are some things that are closed, such as the Inca Trail. However, alternatives are available, such as the Lares Trek.
So, Why Travel to Peru in a Pandemic?
It is a wholly unique opportunity to see some of the most incredible ruins in South America with hardly anyone there. Machu Picchu which, pre-covid would see 5,000 visitors a day now hardly sees 50. Watch below a video of visiting Machu Picchu during the pandemic:
If traveling to Peru in the Pandemic, Please Remember:
These precautions are not optional. If you are found without a mask in the street then you could be fined. If you refuse temperature checks or hand sanitizer then you will be denied entry to where you intend to go.
It’s very important to remember that these precautions are not there to impede or disrupt your time in Peru, rather they are there to protect you and the people around you in an uncertain time, in a country with uncertain healthcare.
These are the current travel restrictions in Peru. If you would like to know more information about Bubble Tours or exploring Peru please don’t hesitate to contact us. Alternatively, stay up to date on Coronavirus Updates here. If you suspect you may have contracted the virus, just want to check for safety, or you need a negative test for onward travel, find a list of recommended COVID testing facilities here.2