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15 Mar 2020 | 11:41 PM UTC

Peru: Government orders borders to close March 16-31 /update 3

Authorities to close all borders between March 16-31 due to COVID-19; other restrictions to movement amid state of emergency



On Sunday, March 15, President Martin Vizcarra announced a State of Emergency (SoE) for 15 days from Monday, March 16, and several accompanying measures intended to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Peru. Authorities will close Peru's borders for 15 days from 23:00 (local time) on Monday. President Vizcarra confirmed that all private and public sector operations are suspended during the SoE, and all individuals nationwide are required to self-isolate for 15 days. He similarly advised all individuals against visiting public places such as beaches, parks, squares, gyms, or bars. Authorities previously announced a ban on public gatherings of greater than 300 people. All public and private schools nationwide remain closed through Monday, March 30.

As of March 15, there are 71 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Health officials have recorded the highest number of cases in Lima at 58. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.


The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.


Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.