For better, and during a pandemic for worse too, countries which have opened to travelers without any covid-19 testing requirements are proving the ‘Field Of Dreams’ model true. Build it, or rather open it, and they will come. A lot of them too!
Take Mexico, or the Dominican, which may be the only destinations on earth where airlines are desperately adding flights just to cope with demand, as other routes grind to a halt.
After a successful reopening of travel in September which required a covid-19 test prior to departure, Colombia is loosening travel restrictions in hopes of capturing the hearts of vacation starved visitors who don’t want to take the extra step of a test. Here’s everything you need to know, and whether it’s a good idea to join the fun.
Colombia Drops PCR Testing For Travelers
Colombia is open to travelers from much of the world once again, including Americans, Europeans; and virtually anyone previously eligible to enter the country before covid-19 became the most notable thing on the planet.
With temperatures a balmy 70°F, 21°C in December and January, winter is one of the better times of year to visit this South American paradise, with just enough sun, and far less humidity, making the country a perennial top choice.
Colombian cities like Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, Medellin and Santa Marta have climbed the world ranks as some of the most sought after tourism destinations in recent years, mixing great value with welcoming culture, exciting food and mesmerizing views, and no one has ever complained about the coffee.
Now, aiming to cash in on pent up travel demand, Colombia has dropped covid-19 testing requirements for travelers.
The previous entry restrictions demanded all passengers headed for Colombia must submit a negative covid-19 test result taken no more than 96 hours prior to departure. The move is seen as a surprising change, while other countries are experiencing great success with pre flight testing.
If you wanted to leave for a vacation to Colombia today you could, and there’s no testing requirement before departure or quarantine necessary upon arrival.
Is it a good idea? Well, that depends on your assessment of risk. Covid-19 levels haven’t dropped in Colombia, and remain relatively high in relation to others in the region. Authorities however don’t appear worried with how travel does, or does not, impact the fight to mitigate the virus.
The changes are already in effect, so any traveler booking a ticket to Colombia today would simply need to fill out a ‘Check-Mig’ form between 24 hours and 1 hour prior to departure, which is effectively a health declaration.
All arriving passengers are screened upon arrival in Colombia with temperature and other checks, and somewhat ambiguous remarks from a recent press release suggest that a contact tracing app will be introduced at some point, though there’s no obvious way to download one now.
In theory, much like measures introduced in New York, Colombian officials will soon be able to check in on visitors via text message or a phone call, and all travelers would be obligated to inform authorities if symptoms develop during their visit.
Getting To Colombia
Anywhere there’s good weather, there’s easier opportunity to do things outdoors from exercise to eating. In covid-19 times, that’s vitally important for picking a safe travel destination.
Colombia will undoubtedly see a mega boost in travel demand with the big news, and flights from a variety of US gateways including New York and Miami already resumed in September, and will continue.
This means a trip to Colombia from most of the world would likely be a non-stop, or one stop flight, and for many American visitors, not a particularly long one. Basically, it’s easy enough to fit Colombia into a long weekend, and with work from home, you might as well work from Colombia.
If you need a getaway, this one is now even easier, but not without new risks worth considering too. Be sure to always check IATA’s free official tools for the latest entry requirements into Colombia, or any country you’re considering. Entry requirements can change by the day, so it’s always good to double, and triple check.