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
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.
- Vaccines are halting the pandemic in Uruguay (July 2021)
- Are Uruguayans getting vaccinated?(July 2021)
- Which vaccines are being given (July 2021)
- Uruguay’s vaccine roll-out is one of the fastest in the world
- Uruguay’s vaccine plan
- Scheduling your shot – for residents and citizens in Uruguay
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 Medium.com 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.
- Six reasons I’m grateful to have been living in Uruguay during this pandemic (Nov 2021)
- Uruguay covid cases back to 2020 levels (July 2021)
- COVID-19 cases rise in Uruguay (Mar 2021)
- Why Uruguay’s borders remained closed despite being on the EU’s travel list (Jan 2021)
- Coronavirus in Uruguay II: The (long-expected) first wave came after 9 months of almost no cases (Dec 2020)
- Coronavirus in Uruguay I: The first 9 months of pandemic Guru’Guay’s chronicle of the pandemic handling including restrictions, education, testing, industries returning to work (I kept this page updated regularly throughout Mar-Nov 2020. It’s an interesting document to understand the approach)
- Property enquiries from US and Europe booming (July 2020)
- Uruguay wine industry The 2020 grape harvest went on undeterred and the 2020 vintage is one of the best in decades (Apr 2020)
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.
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?
- We were looking for a sense of community. We found it in a pandemic in Uruguay (Kris and Ryan from Oakland, California)
- Pregnant, South African and stuck in a pandemic in Uruguay (Vici from Pretoria, South Africa)
- Canada motor-bikers in a pandemic in Uruguay (Elle and Jeremy, Canada)
- US actor turned digital nomad finds Uruguay ideal place to settle (Chris from NYC)
- Love & shelter in Uruguay for Clipper round the world sailor (Clara from Spain/USA)
- Amazing coincidences for Russian stranded in Uruguay (Kate from Russia and Jao from France)
- She never lived anywhere more than five months before Uruguay (Heidi Lender from San Francisco, USA)
Curious about who stayed and who left? Click on the images below. You might be surprised.
Page updated October 26 2021