Coronavirus & Uruguay
Covid travel restrictions & what you need to know to stay safe
Can I get into Uruguay right now?
Covid travel restrictions have been in place in Uruguay since March 2020 when the borders were closed to everyone other than citizens and residents. On May 12 2021 the health minister has talked about tourists being welcomed from September 2021.
- Who is allowed into Uruguay at this time includes exceptions
- Getting a travel permit to study Spanish
- What airlines are flying to Uruguay just updated May 27 2021
- Sign up to the Guru’Guay newsletter & be first to find out when the borders open
Do I need to quarantine?
If you are fully vaccinated at least fourteen days before travel and have a negative covid test, or can show a positive Covid test within the last ninety days, you will not be required to quarantine.
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. Everyone who wants to get vaccinated (around 70% according to surveys) will have an opportunity to do so by mid July.
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.
- Uruguay’s vaccine roll-out is one of the fastest in the world
- Read about 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.
- 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? You might be surprised.