Vaccinated travelers in Chile can skip quarantine with a test on arrival

Chile is giving people the option to skip quarantine if they present a second negative COVID-19 test ©Lara Henriquez (Newlink)

A week after opening its borders to international visitors, Chile is changing its entry requirements again. From November, the recently-introduced five-day quarantine period will be scrapped for vaccinated travelers who take a second negative COVID-19 test on arrival.

Some of the world's best hiking trails—through deserts, volcanoes and snow-capped peaks—will soon be available to tourists as Chile opens up to tourists, just in time for summer in the southern hemisphere. And while there are plenty of new attractions to look forward to, including a new UNESCO site, there are a few steps to consider before traveling there, regardless of your COVID-19 status.

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All travelers will have to present a negative COVID-19 test result before traveling ©Lara Henriquez (Newlink)

All travelers are required to fill in the Travelers Affidavit no later than 72 hours before traveling. Under new rules announced today, visitors have the option to complete the full five-day isolation period announced in September or temporarily isolate while awaiting the results of a COVD-19 PCR test, which can only be taken in Chile.

In both cases, travelers will need to get their vaccination certificate validated by the Chilean health ministry through the mobility pass app before traveling to Chile, a process that could take about a month. Chile's public health secretary Paula Daza has warned travelers not to book their trip until that step is completed to avoid the potential hassle of rescheduling flights.

Vaccines the Chilean Health Department is currently accepting include Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, CanSino and Sputnik V.

In addition to testing, travelers will need to take out health insurance with a minimum coverage of $30,000 USD to cover any medical expenses should they contract COVID-19 on their trip. Once they're in Chile, a tourism spokesperson said "every person must comply with the traveler’s follow-up process, which is done over a period of 14 days and consists of daily self-reporting of health status, current location, and testing" through the mobility pass.

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Travelers have the option to take a second PCR test on arrival to avoid quarantine ©Lara Henriquez (Newlink)

Chile has reported a successful immunization campaign with almost 87% of the eligible population fully vaccinated, according to the health ministry.

Discover: Chile's Atacama Desert

When borders reopen, visitors will be permitted entry through dedicated airports in the capital Santiago, the beach resort of Iquique, and Antofagasta, the gateway to the Atacama Desert. American Airlines is improving connectivity between the US and Chile by launching direct flights between New York and Santiago this month.

There are also plenty of exciting attractions for travelers to enjoy too. Earlier this year, Chile added its seventh UNESCO site: Arica and the mummies of Chinchorro. The Chincorro people are believed to be the world’s oldest ancestral civilization and their mummies date back some 7000 years, meaning they pre-date the Egyptian mummies by two millennia. The glass-protected mummies can be viewed at a smaller version of the anthropological Museum of San Miguel de Azapa, just outside Arica, before a new and larger version of the museum opens in 2024. 

This article was first published on September 16, 2021 and updated on October 7, 2021

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