Peru combines rich ancient culture – home to one of the world’s six cradles of civilization – along with unparalleled natural beauty and world-renowned gastronomy. In Peru, visitors can see where the Amazon River originates, be wowed by well-known attractions such as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines and Kuélap, and immerse themselves in the untamed landscapes of the Amazon rainforest.

Can British travellers go to Peru?

resized_shutterstock_1282675123British visitors cannot go to Peru at present.

Peru’s borders are open for travel from some countries, but on January 15, the UK government introduced a ban on arrivals from Peru, following the outbreak of a new variant of coronavirus in Brazil.

The country has since been added to the UK’s ‘red list’, meaning any returning British or Irish nationals must go into quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 10 days from their arrival.

Regional flights from within South America resumed on October 5, 2020, to destinations including Guayaquil and Quito in Ecuador, La Paz and Santa Cruz in Bolivia, Bogotá, Cali and Medellín in Colombia, Asuncion in Paraguay, Montevideo in Uruguay, Santiago in Chile, and Panama.

Since November 1, flights arriving from destinations up to eight hours away are permitted, including from New York, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro and more.

Travellers will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, taken 72 hours before the flight.

Domestic flights are operating to some regions in Peru and there are strict protocols in place for hotels, airports, restaurants, tour operators and guides.

When will Peru be open to travellers?

For now, international tourism is restricted and only humanitarian or repatriation flights are allowed from the UK.

Like many other countries affected by Covid-19, Peru is facing an unprecedented situation and the relevant authorities such as the Ministries of Transport and Communications, Health and Tourism will determine when long-haul flights will resume and when tourism will be permitted.

How can British travellers reach Peru once borders reopen?

Before the borders closed, there were regular flights from the UK to Peru with the following carriers:

  • British Airways: Direct flights between Gatwick and Lima on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • KLM/Air France: Connections in Paris and Amsterdam daily
  • Iberia/Latam: Connections in Madrid and Barcelona

It is expected that the same flights and frequencies will operate once the pandemic is over.

What safety measures can travellers expect on arrival in Peru?

While the current restrictions on foreign travel are still active, the Peruvian government is developing measures that will be implemented once the borders are open again to ensure a safe visit to Peru.

These measures, as well as private ones that have been implemented by operators, hotels and tourism representatives, include safety protocols and good practices to keep high-quality services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mandatory protocols for restaurants, travel agencies, tour operators, guides, adventure providers and airports have been put into effect in the past few months.

Among other rules, wearing a face mask is mandatory in public and there is limited access to shops. Restaurants are open with reduced capacity (up to 50%) and with strict sanitary measures. Delivery services are available too.

Machu Picchu reopened on November 1, and further protocols are being implemented to allow visitors to the citadel.

Only 1,116 people will be allowed to visit per day in groups of eight (seven visitors and a guide). Entry will be permitted every hour, a distance of 20 metres should be kept between groups and there are four circuits around the citadel to allow for social distancing. A temperature check will be performed on arrival, and those with temperatures over 38 degrees will not be permitted to enter.

Visitors to the citadel will need to wear a face mask at all times, and comply with social distancing of 1.5 metres. Consumption of food inside the citadel is prohibited.

What other safety measures are in place across Peru?

Airports
The following health protocols will be implemented for international travellers once services resume:

  • Temperature checks will be taken on entry; passengers with symptoms of fever will be referred for further screening.
  • A mask must be worn throughout the airport.
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  • Only passengers will be allowed to enter the airport. If they require additional help, they may enter with a companion.
  • Footwear will be disinfected before entering.
  • Social distancing will be mandatory in queues, at check-in, when passing through security and while boarding.
  • Electronic check-in is recommended before arriving at the airport.
  • If passengers have luggage, they must check it in themselves.
  • All passengers (including minors) are required to sign a sworn declaration prior to boarding stating that they are not presenting Covid-19 symptoms and that they have not been knowingly exposed to Covid-19 within the past 14 days.
  • All staff will have biosafety personal protection equipment and alcohol gel dispensers will be available for passengers to disinfect their hands.

Hotels
Hotel staff must comply with mandatory health protocols for interaction with customers in reception, dining areas and other public spaces. They also outline cleaning and disinfection procedures for each area of the hotel.

Restaurants
Restaurants are limited to 50% capacity and must comply with a series of measures to avoid contact between staff and customers. It is mandatory to maintain a safe distance between tables, and staff must wear a mask.

Travel agencies, hostels and tourist guides
Staff working in this sector must follow hygiene and sanitation provisions, use protective equipment, have protocols in place for administrative and operational areas, and have trained staff able to identify symptoms.

Adventure tourism
Hygiene and sanitation provisions are required for anyone working in adventure tourism, including canoeing or hiking, along with the use of protective equipment, and staff training to identify symptoms.

Natural areas
Nature sites will be among the first attractions to open to tourism, due to the wide open spaces. They will operate at less than 50% capacity, with ticket sales taking place electronically and in advance. Visitors must also submit proof of health prior to entry.

Museums
Capacity in museums and institutions will be less than 50% to ensure more than one metre distance between visitors. Mask wearing is mandatory as is the disinfection of hands and shoes. Tickets need to be reserved in advance.

Click here for the latest information and the safety measures and rules for the different regions of Peru.

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Pictures: Shutterstock

Last updated February 15, 2021