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by on March 12, 2020

Coronavirus in Peru and its famous tourist sites

You want to plan your vacation or perhaps already have travel plans to the South American country of Peru. But with Coronavirus in Peru and other locations throughout South America, you aren’t sure its the best idea. On March 11th, Coronavirus has officially deemed a pandemic, which WHO defines as when a new disease in which people do not have immunity spreads around the world beyond expectations. Globally, 4,943,378 cases of Coronavirus have been reported, leading to 322,000 deaths as of May.    Internationally, over 200 countries have over ten cases including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. Within this blog, we discuss the risks of travelling to South and Central America along with Coronavirus in Peru.

Current Status of Coronavirus in Peru

Currently, as of March 12, Peru has 17 confirmed cases of Coronavirus, with the first case on March 6th. Peru is setting some of the strictest general policies including delaying the school year, the government providing hygiene kits and providing millions of funding to the health department. Most extreme, travelers arriving from France, Italy, Spain, and China will be quarantined for two weeks. It is unclear whether this applies to tourists or Peruvian national citizens traveling throughout these areas. The locations where Coronavirus in Peru has occurred as of March are in Chincha, Huánuco, Lima, and Arequipa. The president stated in a conference that all patients  are “stable” and “have comprehensive care and permanent monitoring.”

May 2020 Update

There are currently 94,000 cases in Peru. Peru is currently in a state of emergency, with curfew running from 8:00 pm to 4:00 am. Gloves and facemasks are currently required in all grocery stores, food markets, and banks. Peru will begin reopening for tourism at limited capacity in July, with speculation for all business as usual in August.

Travel Restrictions from Coronavirus in Peru

In Peru, to this date (March 12), all flights coming to and from Peru are operational. Additionally,  tours, attractions, buses, and shuttles remain functional. Despite all unrestricted travel and tourism, we recommend all visitors following the WHO recommendations for international travel as we outline below.

WHO recommendations for international travel

It is crucial for sick travelers to delay or avoid travel to affected areas, in particular elderly and people with chronic conditions or underlying health conditions.WHO recommendations for personal hygiene, cough etiquette and keeping a distance of at least one meter from those showing symptoms remain particularly important for all travelers. These include:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene;
  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose;
  • A medical mask is not required if exhibiting no symptoms, as there is no evidence that wearing a mask – of any type – protects non-sick persons. However, in some cultures, masks may be commonly worn. If masks are to be worn, it is critical to follow best practices on how to wear, remove and dispose of them and on hand hygiene after removal (see Advice on the use of masks”)

Should I buy Travel Insurance for Coronavirus in Peru?

When calling trip insurance, you’ll find most policies do not provide for disease outbreak, including Covid-19 in Peru. However, one policy exists, the CFAR, cancel for any reason policy, may cover cancellation. The CFAR policy is a luxury upgrade to a standard travel insurance policy, and it will cost extra. These policies come are typically 40% to 60% more than standard travel insurance. These policies can provide up between 50% or 75% of trip costs reimbursed. This is useful for any visitors that want to cancel at the last minute if they are uncomfortable traveling. Keep in mind that CFAR upgrades aren’t available on all policies nor to all travelers.

The Silver Lining of Traveling to Peru

The number of tourists traveling to famous destinations in Peru is growing exponentially. Up to 5,000 visitors per day at Machu Pichu the high season. With the fear of Coronavirus in 2020, this number will likely dramatically decrease. For those looking to visit the sites Machu Pichu as tourism begins to reopen, it will likely be a unique experience with significantly fewer people. This will likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity for witnessing the tourist sites in a less crowded way, and great for taking amazing pictures. If you are interested in travelling to some of the famous destinations in South America like Machu Pichu, the Galapagos Islands, and the Amazon rainforest, contact our veteran travel agency today and ask any questions you may have.

 

 

About Keenan Ennis

Keenan Ennis studied Conservation and wildlife biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This eventually lead him to a program in Ecuador studying hummingbirds and their keystone nutritional species in the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve. Since, he has worked with the critically endangered Bandurria Andina, or black-faced Ibis of the Andean Páramo. Through his ecological background, he provides an in depth insight into the conservation processes of the Galapagos Islands.

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