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Colombia Adds Mandatory PCR Test For All Travelers

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All travelers arriving in Colombia will once again have to provide proof of a negative PCR test upon arrival. 

Originally Colombia had removed the PCR test requirement back on November 4th but now the Ministry of Health has reversed that decision.

colombia jungle

According to the Ministry of Health, all travelers arriving in Colombia must present proof of a negative PCR test ‘whether they are nationals or foreigners'. Children are not exempt from the new testing requirements. 

Failure to provide the negative test will result in a PCR test being administered at the cost of the traveler and a mandatory quarantine of 14 days. A negative test result could result in the traveler being released from quarantine but no timelines was given on how long that could take. 

Airlines have also been strict on allowing passengers to board that do not have the proper paperwork.

colombia historical district

How Recent Does The PCR Test Have To Be?

All travelers must present proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test no older than 96 hours before boarding their flight. 

The reinstatement of the PCR test requirement comes in response to the new variant of COVID-19 that spreads faster than the original strain. 

Colombia beach

Colombia Tightens Other Restrictions

The new ruling additionally added two new measures that travelers need to know. 

  1. Any traveler that shows signs of respiratory illness or fever will not be able to board a flight to Colombia
  2. Travelers that did not fill out the Check-Mig form between 1-24 hours before the flight will not be allowed to board. 

“In any case, passengers with fever or respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 and those who have not previously completed the Check-Mig application will not be allowed to board,” said the Ministry of Health.

Quarantines In Colombia

Any travelers arriving in the country without proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test will face a mandatory 14 day quarantine. 

Although a PCR test will be administered upon arrival, a negative result does not guarantee early release from isolation. 

According to the Ministry of Health ‘it will depend on the epidemiological situation' at the time. 

Colombia Will Not Reinstate PCR Test Requirement

Restrictions Tighten Across Latin America

Countries across Latin America are tightening their entry requirements in response to the new variant of Covid-19. 

Chile: As of January 1, 2021, all passengers arriving into Chile must quarantine for 10 days, on top of the 72-hour PCR testing requirement.

Peru: Starting on January 4, 2021, the government of Peru will be reinstating the blanket 14-day quarantine for all passengers entering the country.

white sand beach in colombia

Brazil: Is now demanding a negative PCR test from all arrivals.

Cuba: All travelers must now present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no older than 72 hours before traveling to Cuba

Dominican Republic: Still open to all tourists with no testing or quarantines, but authorities have tightened rules within the country that will affect travelers including a mandatory curfew.

colombia town
Los Martires neighborhood in Bogota, Colombia

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories


Monday 17th of May 2021

I would NOT recommend travel to Colombia. They are crazy about Covid - they love it - it is very sad but there are no human rights in Colombia. You cannot leave your house.


Sunday 10th of January 2021

@Alejandro Sosa: Just fly via Panama City. Take a PCR test right at the airport. It costs USD 50.- and you get the result back within 5 hours. You might need to overnight in Panama City but you then can fly easily to Cartagena.

Alejandro Sosa

Saturday 9th of January 2021

Oh no. Didn't the Colombian prime minister just say a week or two ago that they would not be bringing back this requirement? Oh, well. I already booked a flight to Cartagena on January 25. I guess it's possible that the requirements might change again by then, right?

Kashlee Kucheran

Saturday 9th of January 2021

No, I believe since they JUST added it back again, it should still be in place for your trip.


Friday 8th of January 2021

More pointless theater....I've read PCR tests don't pick up various mutations...from long past - not just now. And besides...75%+ of PCR tests in USA/Europe are too high cycle -- so false positive, pick up other stuff.

Also look for KARY MULLIS videos on YT. He invented PCR.

seasonality is one of the most important factors. Medical establishment is so misleading.

Another one bites the dust...who's left? Mexico & Costa Rica?


Friday 8th of January 2021

just to be clear PCR test will be needed beginning of 12th January.