MARCH 16 UPDATE; Corona Virus and Peru - State of Emergency Declared - COVID-19

  • Peru closed all borders as of today for 15 days - no in and outbound travel possible
  • Most internal traffic and movement has been cancelled (airlines, bus companies, trains)
  • State of emergency has been declared - people have to stay at home - only essential travel allowed
  • Only essential services (supermarkets, pharmacies and banks) can remain open
  • Military and police have been deployed to enforce new restrictions

Last night, Sunday March 15 the president of Peru, Martin Vizcara took to national television to announce the latest of a list of restrictions and obligations for the population in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Peru. During his speech, the president announced the closure of all borders, land, air and sea from Monday March 16 at 8.00am as well as an obligatory house arrest for all citizens, both for the duration of 15 days, Monday March 30.

From today, no flights, cruises or overland arrivals to Peru will be allowed anymore in an attempt to contain the number of Coronavirus cases in Peru to the approximately 100 cases now known. The same restrictions have been implemented in the neighboring countries and airlines have cancelled all flights making international travel to Peru impossible for the next 15 days.

The obligatory house arrest has been invoked as part of the state emergency Peru (and many places in the world) finds itself in and means that from today, Monday March 16 all unnecessary movement and social interaction has been declared illegal. Only places attending to the first necessities can operate during the next 15 days. These are places such as banks, pharmacies and supermarkets. Furthermore people movement is completely restricted to filling the basic necessities, medical or other emergencies. Police and military are patrolling and informed to enforce the state of emergency. This effectively means that in the coming 15 days no tourist destinations can be reached or visited and that all visitors that find themselves in Peru at this time will be confined to their hotel more or less. Machu Picchu has not been closed but with domestic flights, trains and most transportation cancelled is impossible to reach.

The situation today in Cusco is still relatively calm and there is still quite some movement on the streets. More police and military can be seen around but so far they are not taking any action. It can be expected that some flexibility will be applied today in order to allow people to stock up for the coming days and attend any urgent business. The situation in Lima is similar with many people still going to work in order to make arrangements for the coming days.

Therefore we can officially say that social life, most of industry and tourism has been officially paused for the coming time. Let’s hope that everyone takes the measures seriously and that together we can protect Peru from the potential harm that can be done by the COVID-19 virus allowing the health care system to cope with any new cases. At this time the situation in Peru is still very much manageable but it will depend on the effort of all of us to make sure we keep it this way.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy!

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