- Peru cancelled all incoming flights from Europe and Asia
- All schools, universities and institutes will remain closed till April 1, 2020
- All events, gatherings and happenings with more than 300 participants will be cancelled
- The INC will change all Machu Picchu entrance tickets free of charge for new dates
- Losses for the tourist industry in Peru will be felt for years
- Large Easter Celebrations such as Ayacucho and Cusco are cancelled
- So far no restrictions have been put in place for Machu Picchu or other tourist destinations
Today Peru woke up to 22 cases of Coronavirus, one of which is in critical conditions. All of the cases came from Europe and so far no local contaminations have been detected. After the announcement of the two new measures yesterday, meaning schools will close till April 1 and ALL travelers coming from China, Italy, Spain and France have to undergo obligatory isolation for 14 days upon arrival to Peru, today the government enhanced these measures by cancelling ALL flights coming from Europe and Asia as well as closing institutes and universities as well as prohibit gatherings or events of more than 300 people.
What this latest update prohibiting gatherings of more than 300 people means for Machu Picchu or any of the other tourist destinations and attractions in Peru is unclear at the moment. All major tourist destinations have not yet received orders to close their doors and so far all visits can be done normally. Nevertheless, the general sense is that the closure of Machu Picchu could be eminent as the INC (Instituto Nacional de Cultura), who manages the entrance fees for Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, has announced that tickets bought at this time can be changed free of charge for new dates in the future. Agencies can also change the names for the tickets but refunds will not be given. Hotels also have started to flexibilize their cancellation policies but so far the airlines and train companies have been largely invisible when it comes to more flexible cancellation or postponement policies.
If you have booked a trip to Peru and Machu Picchu in March or April, you may want to start considering postponing or canceling this trip as it seems that we have not yet reached the top of this crisis.
As these travel bans and restrictions will become more and more rigid in coming days, they will have to pronounce themselves over this crisis and what options they provide passengers who have tickets booked with them. The tourist industry in Peru is also starting to scratch its head with preliminary reports estimating 300.000 - 500.000 people losing their jobs in the industry and losses into the billions of Dollars.
The whole South American continent tourist industry, the fifth most important on the continent, is on edge as all countries started implementing restrictions that basically prevent several nationalities from arriving to their travel destination. Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina have restrictions in place for many if not all European countries as well as Asian countries such as Japan, China and South Korea. On top of this Argentina has implemented an mandatory isolation period of 14 days for travelers from the USA. This measure may soon be adopted by other countries as well.
It is hard to foresee what will happen in the nearby future but from our point of view, we feel it is safe to say that all travel to South America in the coming two months may best be postponed if you have the chance.