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Coronavirus & Uruguay

How Uruguay’s handling the pandemic & travel restrictions

The latest on the pandemic in Uruguay

12 January 2022 After six months of between 100-300 cases per day, Omicron arrived in late December. Since Christmas, cases have risen dramatically as we would expect. On Jan 12, there were almost 10,000 new cases.  Fortunately just 54 cases in ICU in the entire country, due to covid.

Seventy-six per cent of the population has received two shots and 45% have had a third shot. Eighty-five percent of 12-19 years olds are also vaccinated and vaccinations are just coming available for 5-11 year olds. Travellers can also be vaccinated for free.

We keep this page on Uruguay & the pandemic updated whenever there's significant news

Uruguay is open for travel since November 1

Six reasons I'm grateful to have been living in Uruguay during this pandemic

70% fully-vaccinated in Uruguay—and getting booster shots

Which vaccines are being given

Can I get into Uruguay right now?

From November 1 2021, yes!

Do I need to quarantine?

Not if you fulfil the requirements

How is the vaccination situation in Uruguay?

Uruguay has a long history of carrying out successful health campaigns and Uruguayans are used to getting vaccinated. All Uruguayan children must be vaccinated to attend school and having your vaccinations up to date is a requirement for anyone wanting to join a sports or leisure centre here.

So though vaccine roll out started later than in many parts of the world because as a small country it took some time to import supplies, Uruguay is currently amongst the top 10. By the end of July, it became evident vaccines are controlling the pandemic in Uruguay. In part because Uruguayans are overwhelmingly eager to get vaccinated.

In line with its science-based approach to health campaigns, Uruguay announced May 13 an upcoming study to measure the effectiveness of the vaccinations. The goal is to measure the efficacy of each of the three vaccines available in the country comparing stated clinical trial results with the reality that vaccinated Uruguayans are living.

Has Uruguay had a ‘good’ pandemic?

Uruguay has never had a mandatory lockdown. Instead the new government–which had come into power on March 1 2020 just thirteen days before the first Covid 19 cases were announced in Uruguay–called on citizens to exercise ‘responsible freedom’ (‘libertad responsable’). This policy worked very well for the first nine months when Uruguay appeared as a case to be emulated. Numbers of cases began to increase significantly after a year. The reasons can be disputed—proximity and dry borders with Brazil and Argentina, pandemic ‘fatigue’, belief that once vaccination started the battle was won, are the main ones. Despite that, we have had privileged freedom of movement, city dwellers respectfully wear masks and the uptake for vaccines is strong. So I still feel as I did when I wrote in in April 2020 that there is no place I would rather be in a pandemic than Uruguay.

Check out our archive to get an idea of what it’s been like living in Uruguay during this time.

Want to know what it was like in Uruguay for foreigners?

In 2020 Guru’Guay covered the stories of eight foreigners who found themselves stuck in Uruguay when the borders closed in March for El Pais, Uruguay’s oldest national newspaper. Uruguayans LOVED reading the stories—they are generally a very self-critical lot and found the appreciation for their country unexpected.

Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs
Guru of Guru'Guay Karen Higgs

You can read them here in English. You’ll definitely get an idea of what Uruguay is like in times of crisis. Good to know, right?

Curious about who stayed and who left? Click on the images below. You might be surprised.

Page updated October 26 2021

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