Enigma Peru's Guide to Travelling in Peru in times of COVID: Protocols & FAQs
To help you have total peace of mind as you get ready to travel to Peru, and to help ensure that you smoothly navigate the different requirements throughout your trip, we have developed the following small guide for you to download. This way, upon your trip confirmation, you know exactly how to align with travel protocols , including what to pack and what to take on board the plane, as well as how to follow the specific requirements for different phases of your travel: confirmation, before travelling, transport, airplanes, hotels, trains and more.
In a nutshell:
Before travelling: arrive in Peru with a negative COVID-19 test done a maximum of 72h before travelling.
While in the country, wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines at all times. Face shields are compulsory in all transport means. Regular temperature checks are done in some of the sites accessed and there are a limited number of people allowed in places and sites.
Please download our guide to the Health & Safety Protocols clicking the button below and do not hesitate to contact us for any further information you may need.
Since sending our “Peru is OPENING” newsletter several days ago, we have received quite a number of questions from clients, and we thought it would be helpful to share our answers to the most frequent ones. Having everything clear to solidly assess your guests is of the essence to us, especially in the current times.
What is the current COVID-19 situation in Peru? Peru had a peak of COVID cases during the months of August and September, with now levels being back to those of April and decreasing. The occurrence has been mostly on the coastal densely-populated areas, although it has touched all the country. On a positive side, hospitals are prepared and trained to treat COVID-19 cases. Of course the statistics depend on the number of tests carried out, and Peru has made a high effort to make tests as available as possible since the virus hit the country. The counting and reporting of cases also varies between countries, therefore resulting in statistics that are not directly comparable. This is a well-sourced link to follow updates (and practice Spanish!), with comprehensive explanations on each measurement index: you will appreciate how the area of Cusco, for example, is one with extremely low incidence of deaths per inhabitants, a more reliable index than just total cases or total deaths. The country has undergone a severe country lockdown since March 16th and is now ready to welcome travellers. On October 5th, Peru opened its borders to regional short-haul flights and, as of November 1st, visitors flying in from specific cities located a maximum of 8-hours away are also allowed. Is Peru a safe destination? The Peruvian government has taken time to define and implement Health and Safety Protocols applying to all sectors, including travel: hotels, transport (public and private), guiding, adventure, attractions and sites, agencies, among others. It has also obtained the SAFE TRAVEL stamp by WTTC, ensuring that protocols developed are aligned with the international standards of this organization. Enigma is also ready to welcome guests, having trained our team to follow government protocols as well as the protocols that we have established in-house. Our journeys have always been privately operated and our experiences have been slightly modified where necessary to minimize risk exposure as much as possible. Finally, Peru is a country with its main attractions being outdoors, in contact with nature, and avoiding crowds. And even more so now, with reduced allowance in main attractions such as Machupicchu, where maximum daily capacity has been reduced by 70% to a total 675 people. Considering all of the above, we consider Peru to be a safe destination to visit when following protocols. Is everybody allowed into Peru or are any nationalities restricted? There is no nationality restriction to enter Peru. The only restriction today applies to incoming flights, only arriving from South, Central and North America. For any other nationalities wishing to visit, travellers should arrive in Lima through one of the connecting cities. We are expecting authorization for travel from Europe to resume in the coming weeks. What are the requirements for domestic flights? Wearing a face shield, a face mask and signing an affidavit according to which the traveller declares not having been in contact with COVID-19 infected people and does not present COVID-19 symptoms. Each traveller signs and carries his or her own affidavit, and it is not necessary to go through any official procedure; Enigma, of course, will help make the process as easy as possible. Is Enigma providing masks or other PPE? Yes, Enigma will provide masks for its arriving guests. However, due to the importance of masks and to the need to wear them throughout the day while guests are outside of their hotel room, we kindly recommend our clients to bring their own masks, for higher comfort. Since Cusco and the Sacred Valley are in high altitude areas, guests may want to make sure their masks offer the appropriate breathability, as well as a correct fit. Face shields are also mandatory in all means of transport, including flights as well as any private transport. Guests will need to bring their own face shields, as Enigma will not be providing them. Is there any place that I can't visit during my trip to Peru? As we informed in our last newsletter, most places are open but working with reduced capacity or frequency, and others are in the process of gradually opening. Read our previous newsletter for more information.
Is Travel Insurance a must when travelling to Peru? Which company do you recommend? It is not mandatory to have a travel insurance to enter Peru, but we strongly recommend all of our guests to have a travel insurance plan valid for the entire duration of their trip. As a general policy, Enigma will not accept guests who are not insured. We recommend that insurance covers:
General cancellation in the event that you are unable to carry out your trip. We suggest you to look for policies that allow for “CFAR = Cancel for any reason”.
Medical coverage, including COVID-19.
*** Enigma works with an internationally-based rescue and insurance company to provide both medical coverage including COVID-19 and medical evacuation if needed, along with optional CFAR travel insurance. Please contact us for further information and have this extra added to your journey cost. ***
What happens if I test positive 72 hours prior to my trip to Peru, do you reimburse the money? We have negotiated flexible terms with our suppliers, with some hotels not charging penalties for changes made to bookings right up until guests have their negative Covid-19 test prior to travel. Should you test positive before leaving your country, we may be able to carry forward the booking value to a future booking within 12 months, but please note there may be expenses incurred. This is why we strongly encourage you to travel with an insurance that covers cancellation pre-departure.
What happens if I test positive while travelling? How are the facilities in the country for COVID patients? In the event of a positive test, the protocols established will be followed. Enigma has a Health & Safety supervisor in charge. By coordinating with our supervisor, and in contact with local authorities who require reporting, you will be evacuated to a medical center, and the protocols determined by the travel insurance company will be activated. Main cities in Peru have excellent health facilities. It is important to mention that under no circumstances will we be able to offer refunds for lost services due to the interruption of the trip in the event of a positive testing or other individual circumstances or force majeure events. Should alternative arrangements be made, guests will have to pay for the extra costs. Again, this is why we strongly recommend that you be protected by an insurance that covers health services and also lost services that may occur.
What happens if while travelling there is another lockdown? Based on our previous experience back in March, we will coordinate for you take the first commercial flight available to return to Lima, from where you can take your flight back home. That said, we are confident that, should a lockdown be enforced again, the government will be able to provide travellers with substantial notice, therefore avoiding rushed exit travel.
I have active clients who are looking to have outdoors experiences and would love trekking in the Andes. Is the Inca Trail open? To date, only the so-called Short Inca Trail is open, which is usually operated as a two-day program. This departs from km.104 and reaches Machupicchu on the first day. After spending the night in Aguas Calientes, trekkers visit the citadel on the second day. Enigma generally offers private departures and availability is open. For Group Services to be operated, the group should comprise a “social bubble”. Social bubbles will have a maximum 7 people + 1 guide. For this, an affidavit needs to be signed. Please contact us for more information. The Classic Inca Trail, a 42km trek running from km82 to Machupicchu, is still closed with no opening date defined yet.
What is the situation in Lima with the protests and government changes? Are they quite localized, centered around downtown government buildings? Anything for travellers to be aware of? Like many places in the world, Peru is going through a great political shift, as President Martin Vizcarra was impeached due to accusations of previous corruption. When Manuel Merino, president of the Congress, was appointed in his place, with his even more marked history of corruption, caused the people to rise up, with many demonstrations taking place in several cities and especially Lima. Two young adults were killed in demonstrations in Lima, and, after just three days in his position as President, Merino resigned, along with several ministers. Francisco Sagasti is now the new president, and with the general population accepting him, the country has returned to normal operations, and is expected to remain so until the Presidential elections take place as scheduled, in April 2021. We are aware this can scare some travellers, but very honestly, the events spanned only a few days, and the demonstrations, which were not unlike what many countries have been experiencing worldwide these months, are now over. Additionally, Enigma is used to operating in Peru and trained in back-up planning to sort out special situations, should there be the need to, as we have proven to our clients in the past. However, we trust and believe this will not be needed in the coming weeks and months as governmental protests and changes have ceased. Please feel free to contact us should you need further clarification or have additional questions -- we are available and happy to assist.