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Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1 - Medellin Guru
Colombia Quarantine: We provide a guide to the nationwide quarantine in Colombia extended for the eighth time to September 1, a total of 160 days.

Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1

On March 20, President Iván Duque ordered a mandatory preventive quarantine throughout Colombia, which is the most drastic measure, to try to stop the spread of coronavirus. We provide a guide to the nationwide quarantine in Colombia starting on March 24 that has now been extended for the eighth time to September 1 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

This Colombia quarantine will affect the daily life of over 50 million inhabitants of Colombia. 

Over 100 questions have been received from Medellin Guru readers about this nationwide Colombia quarantine. So, we published this article that answers common questions.

On November 2, Colombia reached a total of 1,093,256 coronavirus cases. The goal of the nationwide quarantine in Colombia was to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Several cities in Colombia held shorter quarantines starting on March 20 over the Saint Joseph’s Day holiday weekend and the nationwide quarantine in Colombia started after these other quarantines ended.

EDITORS NOTE: on July 28, Colombia extended the quarantine in an announcement to August 30 but when a decree was issued this extension was actually until September 1. The mandatory quarantine in Colombia that started on March 24 has now been extended for the eighth time until September 1, which was the last day. So, the quarantine was for 160 days.

Technically the quarantine is until the 00:00 hour of September 1, which is actually at midnight on August 31.

When extending the quarantine for the eighth time, President Duque said: 

The municipalities that are not affected by COVID-19 will continue to advance in a gradual process of liberation of sectors, without agglomerations or entertainment spaces and the current restrictions regarding the liquor stores are maintained.

In addition, the president added that in the municipalities of low rates of infection will continue to advance with pilots in different sectors for their reopening but with the approval of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior.

The Colombian borders will continue to be closed except for the border with Ecuador that opened on June 23 just for humanitarian transit of citizens and permanent foreign residents. Also, there will be no domestic flights during the period from June 1 to June 30. Domestic flights in Colombia resumed in July..

Also, according to the Minister of transport, international flights will be restricted until August 31 with international flights resuming with a pilot in September. But humanitarian flights are permitted. 

EDITORS NOTE: On August 24, President Duque announced that the national quarantine in Colombia ends on September 1. On September 1, a new phase begins where the concept of mandatory preventive isolation changes to a concept of selective isolation of physical distancing and individual responsibility.

Colombia Quarantine Extended to September 1

Colombia’s initial nationwide quarantine was originally ending on April 13 but it has now been extended eight times:

  1. On April 6, was extended to April 26
  2. On April 20, was extended to May 11.
  3. A third time was extended to May 25
  4. A fourth time was extended to May 31
  5. A fifth time was extended to June 30
  6. On June 23, was extended a sixth time to July 15
  7. On July 7, was extended a seventh time to August 1
  8. On July 28, was extended an eighth time to September 1

So, the national quarantine is now for 160 days and ended on September 1.

However, the quarantine extension that started on April 27 started to lift the quarantine. President Duque announced that the mandatory quarantine, will allow, with very strict protocols, to open the manufacturing and construction sectors of the economy in Colombia.

We have a separate article that looks more in detail at Colombia starting to lift the quarantine on April 27.

Manufacturing, construction and other employers must implement certain sanitary and social distancing measures such as taking temperature and face masks.

During the quarantine extension to September 1, events will not take place and bars and discos will remain closed, restaurants can only provide domicilio (delivery) but some restaurants in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley start a pilot of reopening for table service in July. And universities and other schools will remain closed.

In terms of municipalities in which coronavirus infections have not yet been confirmed with coronavirus cases, President Duque on April 20 said:

In hundreds of municipalities in Colombia, there have been no cases of COVID-19, so there we are going to promote a productive economic recovery but maintaining all the protocols for the protection of health and life.

So, according to President Duque, started to lift the quarantine even more in cities and towns and departments (states) without a coronavirus presence. 

  • On November 2, 2020, the majority of coronavirus cases (77.9 percent) in Colombia were in only 10 departments (states) in Colombia out of 33 departments
  • On November 2, 2020, the majority of coronavirus cases (68.5 percent) in Colombia were in only 18 cities in Colombia.
  • Over 30 cities, towns and pueblos on November 2 in Colombia haven’t reported a single coronavirus case.
  • Over 90 cities, towns and pueblos on November 2 in Colombia with coronavirus cases haven’t reported a case in over two weeks.

New Quarantine Phase Started on June 1

Does the quarantine end on August 1? No, the quarantine was until September 1 and ended on September 1. But a new phase started on June 1.

A new phase of the quarantine started from June 1 to 30 with the reopening of museums, libraries and some other businesses. In addition, reopening of shopping malls was allowed, without exceeding 35 percent of the capacity. 

Also, starting in June, starts an “intelligent lockdown” that would allow the relaxation of restriction of movement measures based on regional conditions. These regional relaxation measures will be expanded “gradually” to recover productive life

Starting on June 1, open-air time outside the home for exercise is permitted for the following groups:

  • Children from 2 to 5 years old are permitted outdoor activities three times a week for 30 minutes a day.
  • Between 6 and 17 years old are permitted outdoor activities three times a week for one hour a day.
  • Adults between 18 and 69 years old will be able to do outdoor activities every day for two hours.

For those over 70 years old and people with underlying diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cancer, the open air time is limited to three times a week, 30 minutes a day.

The mayors of municipalities in Colombia will be in charge of setting the schedules for open-air times and, in general, they will have in their hands the key to gradualness.

Colombia Quarantine Decree Details Starting on June 1

The National Government issued Decree 749 on May 28, 2020, which it mandates the national quarantine in Colombia, starting on June 1, and includes over 40 activities that are permitted, in order to gain a productive life.

This rule, in article 3, Guarantees for the Mandatory Preventive Isolation measure, states that the governors and mayors, in the framework of the health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will allow the right of movement of people in the following cases or activities:

  1. Assistance and provision of health services.
  2. Acquisition and payment of goods and services (shopping and banking).
  3. Assistance and care for children, adolescents, people over 70 years of age, people with disabilities and patients with special treatments that require assistance from trained personnel.
  4. Due to force majeure or fortuitous event.
  5. Tasks of the medical missions of the Pan American Health Organization and of all international humanitarian and health organizations, the provision of public and private professional, administrative, operational, and technical health services.
  6. The chain of production, supply, storage, transportation, marketing and distribution of medicines, pharmaceuticals, supplies, cleaning products, disinfection and personal hygiene for homes and hospitals, equipment and devices of health technologies, as well as maintenance and support to guarantee the continuous provision of health services. The operation of establishments and commercial premises for the commercialization of medicines, pharmaceuticals, supplies, equipment and devices of health technologies.
  7. Activities related to emergency services, including veterinary emergencies.
  8. Funeral services, burials and cremations.
  9. The chain of production, supply, storage, transport, commercialization and distribution of: inputs to produce basic necessities; basic necessities – food, beverages, medicines, medical devices, cleaning, cleaning, and goods of ordinary consumption in the population; laboratory reagents; food, medicines and other products for pets, as well as the elements and goods necessary to attend to the sanitary emergency, and the chain of supplies related to the production of these goods.
  10. The chain of sowing, fumigation, harvesting, production, packaging, packaging, import, export, transport, storage, distribution and marketing of: seeds, inputs and agricultural, fishing, aquaculture, livestock and agrochemical products -fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides , herbicides-, and animal feed, maintenance of animal health, the operation of primary and secondary food processing centers, the operation of the commercialization infrastructure, major and minor irrigation for the supply of population and agricultural water, and the technical assistance. The logistics and transportation of the above activities will be guaranteed. Likewise, the maintenance activities of boats and agricultural or fishing machinery.
  11. Face-to-face marketing of basic necessity products will be carried out in stores, warehouses, markets, wholesale and retail supermarkets and retail markets in establishments and commercial premises nationwide, and they may market their products through electronic commerce platforms and/or for home delivery.
  12. Activities of public servants, state contractors, individuals who perform public functions and other personnel necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend to the health emergency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, and guarantee the operation of State services.
  13. Activities of the personnel of the diplomatic and consular missions duly accredited to the Colombian State, strictly necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend to the health emergency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  14. The activities of the Military Forces, the National Police and State security agencies, as well as the military and defense industry, and officials of the Attorney General’s Office and the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.
  15. Activities of public and private service ports, exclusively for cargo transportation.
  16. Maritime and river dredging activities.
  17. Execution of transport infrastructure works and public works, as well as the supply chain of materials and supplies related to their execution.
  18. Activities of the construction sector, execution of civil works and remodeling.
  19. The air and airport operation in accordance with the provisions of article 8 of the decree, and their respective maintenance.
  20. Commercialization of the products of gastronomic establishments and premises, including those located in hotels, through electronic commerce platforms, by home delivery and by take-away delivery.
  21. Activities of the hotel industry to serve its guests, strictly necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend the health emergency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  22. Operation of critical infrastructure including computers, computer systems, communication networks, data and information, whose destruction or interference can weaken or impact the security of the economy, public health or a combination of them.
  23. Operation and operation of call centers, contact centers, technical support centers and data processing centers that provide services in the national territory and electronic commerce platforms.
  24. The operation of the provision of private security and surveillance services, prison and penitentiary services.
  25. Cleaning and toilet service, including the domestic service and laundry service.
  26. Activities necessary to guarantee the operation, maintenance, storage and supply of the provision of: public services of aqueduct, sewage, electric energy, public lighting, cleanliness (collection, transportation, use and final disposal, recycling, including biological waste or sanitary) and recovery. of materials; of the logistics chain of inputs, supplies for the production, supply, import, export and supply of hydrocarbons, liquid fuels, biofuels, natural gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG); of the supply logistics chain, supplies for the production, supply, import, export and supply of minerals, and internet and telephone service.
  27. Provision of services including banking; financial; payment postal operators; currency buying and selling professionals; operations of games of luck and chance in the form of novel and territorial permanent bets; chance and lottery; Central risk; transport of valuables; notarial activities and registration of public instruments, and issuance of urban planning licenses.
  28. The Superintendent of Notaries and Registry will determine the hours and shifts in which notarial services will be provided, guaranteeing the provision of the service to the most vulnerable people and those with special constitutional protection.
  29. The Superintendent of Notaries and Registry will determine the hours and shifts in which the services will be provided by the registry offices of public instruments.
  30. Operation of postal, courier, radio, television, press and distribution services of the media.
  31. The supply and distribution of basic necessities  including food, beverages, medicines, medical devices, hygiene, cleaning, and goods of ordinary consumption in the population – under social programs of the State and private persons.
  32. Activities of the inter-religious sector related to institutional emergency programs, humanitarian, spiritual and psychological aid.
  33. The production, supply, storage, repair, maintenance, transport and distribution chain of manufacturing industries.
  34. Wholesale and retail trade, including the operation of shopping centers and real estate activities.
  35. Activities of operators of payments of wages, fees, pensions, public and private economic benefits; periodic social economic benefits (BEPS), and those corresponding to the Social Security and Social Protection systems and subsystems.
  36. The strictly necessary displacement of the directing and teaching staff of public and private educational institutions, to prevent, mitigate and attend to the health emergency due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
  37. Carrying out of appraisals of goods and carrying out of studies of titles that have the purpose of the constitution of guarantees, before entities supervised by the Financial Superintendence of Colombia.
  38. The operation of family police stations and police inspections, as well as their users.
  39. The manufacture, repair, maintenance and purchase and sale of spare parts and accessories for conventional and electric bicycles.
  40. Public parking for vehicles.
  41. Museums and libraries.
  42. Practical and research laboratories of institutions of higher education and education for work and human development.
  43. Professional, technical and service activities in general.
  44. Hairdressing services.
  45. In accordance with the measures, instructions and schedules established by the mayors in their respective territorial jurisdictions, and in any case subject to the biosafety protocols established for this purpose, the following will also be allowed:
  • The development of physical activities and outdoor exercise of people who are in the age range of 18 to 69 years, for a maximum period of two hours a day.
  • The development of physical activities and outdoor exercise of children over 6 years old, three times a week, one hour a day.
  • The development of physical activities and outdoor exercise of children between 2 and 5 years old, three times a week, half an hour a day.
  • The development of physical activities and outdoor exercise of adults over 70 years, three times a week, half an hour a day.

The persons who carry out the above activities must be accredited or identified in the exercise of their functions or activities.

In addition, the circulation of a single person per family will be allowed to carry out the activities described in number 2 above. Also, when a person listed in number 3 must leave his place of residence or isolation, he may do so accompanied by a person who serves as support.

In order to protect the integrity of people and pets, and in attention to biosafety measures, only one person per family may take out pets.

Furthermore, mayors with the due authorization of the Ministry of the Interior may suspend the activities or cases established in this article.

So, the bottom line is one designated person per family can go shopping to grocery stores and pharmacies and also do banking plus walk dogs.

In addition, many grocery stores and most pharmacies offer domocilio (delivery) services. And some restaurants are still open that offer delivery services.

Penalties for Violating the Colombia Quarantine

Anyone who violates the measures adopted and the instructions given in the Decree of Mandatory Preventive Isolation, will reportedly be subject to a penal sanction provided for in article 368 of the Colombia Penal Code.

Article 368 indicates that whoever violates a sanitary measure adopted by the competent authority to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic, will be imprisoned for four to eight years.

In addition, a violator will have to pay the fines ordered by Decree 780 of 2016, issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

Be careful of violating this quarantine. The police in the Aburrá Valley are out in force and have reportedly caught over 2,300 people who have violated the quarantines in the metropolitan area, as of March 25.

Also, there is a strict quarantine in Medellín and the Aburrá Valley for a period of four weeks on long weekends (Friday to Sunday) and holidays, which has very stiff penalties for violating the quarantine.

New Sectors Permitted to Return to Work on May 11

Starting on May 11, several sectors were permitted to return to work:

  1. Manufacture of furniture, mattresses and bed bases.
  2. Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers.
  3. Manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products.
  4. Manufacture of machinery and equipment.
  5. Maintenance and repair of motor vehicles.
  6. Maintenance and repair of technology and computer equipment.
  7. Wholesale and retail trade of vehicles (including parts, pieces and accessories).
  8. Wholesale trade of furniture and household goods.
  9. Wholesale trade of machinery and equipment.
  10. Retail trade of pet products.
  11. Retail trade of construction materials, hardware, locksmiths and glass and paint products in specialized stores.
  12. Retail trade of fuels, lubricants, additives and cleaning products for motor vehicles in specialized establishments.
  13. Retail trade of books, newspapers, materials, stationery and desks in specialized stores.
  14. Laundry services at home.
  15. Activities related to the operation of establishments providing vehicle maintenance services, appliances, boats, agricultural or fishing machinery, according to the different modes of transport, as well as the establishments in which the supply and / or installation of vehicles spare parts.
  16. Automotive diagnostic centers.

These sectors are in addition to previously permitted sectors that were permitted to return to work two weeks ago including construction, textiles and chemical substances.

President Duque stressed that these new sectors will be reactivated gradually and in accordance with the biosafety protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and according to the particular conditions at the regional level.

COVID-19 Free Municipalities Can Start to Open

In the municipalities without affectation of COVID-19, all the economic opening will potentially be allowed to start opening on May 11, with some exceptions: billiards, casinos and discotheques, churches, parks, gyms and sporting events.

This measure will only apply if the mayor expressly requests the Ministry of the Interior to reopen the sectors or activities that he deems pertinent and prior certification from the Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) in this regard.

To guarantee that the municipalities remain uncontaminated, the local authorities must implement biosecurity measures at their borders.

Once the existence of a case of contagion in a municipality by the INS is certified, the opening of economic sectors carried out should be automatically restricted and the quarantine guidelines reestablished in general for the affected municipality. So, municipalities that open up need to remain virus free.

Starting on May 18, Colombia started to lift the quarantine in nearly 200 COVID-19 free municipalities, so they can start to return to normal. But some had to return to quarantine due to experiencing cases.

New Quarantine Measures in Medellín Starting on April 27

On Monday, April 27, approximately 500,000 people working in the construction and manufacturing sectors started to return to work in the Aburrá Valley.

They will join about 300,000 other people who were still working in basic sectors such as health and food, which means that next week in the Aburrá Valley up to 800,000 people will be circulating daily.

According to the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, it becomes necessary to take new measures for transportation, companies and citizens, to avoid crowds and outbreaks of coronavirus.

The companies authorized to restart work and their employees will have a new requirements to operate. And in case of non-compliance or having more than two members of their teams infected with the virus, a company will have a two-week shutdown similar to what was already done at Plaza Minorista. These are the new requirements:

Each company authorized to return throughout the Aburrá Valley, must register on the Medellín Me Cuida platform, which has section for companies that will be enabled by Friday at 2:00 p.m. On this site, employers must report their employees and the measures taken.

Employees who are going to be registered in this platform must also register. Also, this new requirement applies to health, call center, service and food companies, which have not stopped work during this quarantine.

The data on companies and employees will be connected to an application that the police will have on the street to verify whether or not people are authorized to go outside. In case they do not have permission, they will be sanctioned.

Employees of companies are only authorized to go from home to work and from work to home. And  if any citizen who works for these companies has coronavirus or is in contact with someone infected, they should enter obligatory preventive isolation.

Companies from all over the Antioquia department will be able to register in the database, in case they have personnel who are in the Aburrá Valley or have to come to the Aburrá Valley.

In addition, the Medellín Metro may only operate with a maximum 35 percent occupancy on its trains. That means, starting on Monday there may be more and longer lines to use the system.

Furthermore, in the Aburrá Valley, all companies in the new sectors with exceptions from the quarantine (manufacturing and construction) must distribute their employees in three shifts:

  • From 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.
  • From 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • From 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
The Medellín Metro will only be able to operate at 35 percent of capacity

The Medellín Metro will only be able to operate at 35 percent of capacity

Furthermore, according to El Colombiano newspaper, the Medellín Metro was supposed to carry out a check by freezing the Civica cards of people who do not appear in the database of authorized employees. But this information is completely inaccurate. I confirmed on April 29 you can still use the metro with the Pico y Cedula restrictions based on the last number of your ID.

Also, the Encicla public bicycle system will be operational again starting on April 27, with disinfection frequently for the 1,600 bicycles and 80 stations.

 

Autopista highway with no cars at Mayorca mall in Sabaneta south of Medellín on March 21 during the quarantine in Medellín and Antioquia

Autopista highway with no cars at Mayorca mall in Sabaneta south of Medellín on March 21 during the quarantine in Medellín and Antioquia

Quarantines in Other Countries

Colombia joins the list of countries that have decreed national quarantines to deal with coronavirus, including Argentina, France, Italy and Spain.

For example, in Argentina, President Alberto Fernández issued a decree prohibiting all citizens from leaving their homes, with the exception of going out to buy food or medicine. The mandatory quarantine order in Argentina went into effect at midnight on March 20.

And in Spain on March 15, the government limited to the movement of citizens, in an unprecedented measure for this country. In Spain, citizens can only leave the house for essential travel to supermarkets and pharmacies – and reportedly must somehow prove that’s where they’re going.

In total, more than 900 million people in nearly 35 countries are currently affected by restrictions in movement due to coronavirus.

Flatten the coronavirus case curve, source CDC

Flatten the coronavirus case curve, source CDC

Why Quarantine? – Flatten the Curve

With a nationwide quarantine, Colombia is trying to avoid a rapid spike of coronavirus cases that could overwhelm the health care system in Colombia by “flattening the curve,” or spreading out the number of coronavirus cases over a longer period.

Mitigation efforts like a quarantine, cancelling international flights, closing places where people congregate and limiting the size of events are mitigation efforts that reduce the number of daily cases and reduce pressure on the healthcare system in Colombia.

Colombia Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) reported the number of coronavirus cases in Colombia on November 2 – a total of 1,093,256 cases with 31,670 deaths.

The first coronavirus case in Colombia was on March 6, 2020 and by November 2 the number of cases had grown to 1,093,256 cases.

Colombia was successful in initially flattening its curve compared to other countries and what is now important is to watch for a decrease in new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia.

So the next thing to watch for is a drop in new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia. The following chart shows a running 7-day average of new coronavirus cases in Colombia daily, so you can see the trend of new daily cases for more than the past month.

7-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Nov. 2

7-day running average of new daily coronavirus cases in Colombia, data source: Instituto Nacional de Salud, Nov. 2

In the 80 days from August 15 to November 2, a total of 71 percent of the coronavirus cases in Colombia were in the 27 cities of Apartadó, Armenia BarrancabermejaBarranquilla, Bello, Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Cali, Cartagena, Cúcuta, Dosquebradas, Envigado, Ibagué, Itagüí, Manizales, Medellín, Monteria, Neiva, Pasto, Pereira, Santa Marta, Sabanalarga, Sincelejo, Soacha, Soledad, Valledupar and Villavicencio, with the 27 cities in Colombia averaging 6,032 cases per day.

The over 1,100 other municipalities in Colombia not including these 27 cities during the same 80 days averaged 2,504 cases per day.

Bogotá is the largest city in Colombia with the most cases. Also, we added Apartadó, Armenia, BarrancabermejaBello, Bucaramanga, Cali, Cartagena, Dosquebradas, Envigado, Galapa, Ibagué, Itagüí, Manizales, Medellín, Monteria, Neiva Pasto, Pereira, Puerto Colombia, Quibdó, Santa Marta, SincelejoSoacha, Soledad, Valledupar and Villavicencio  to the red city list due to an increase in cases.

We have a separate article that looks at these cities with a major increase in coronavirus cases in Colombia.

Common Reader Questions About the Colombia Quarantine

We have been asked over 50 questions by readers about the Colombia quarantine and the following are the six most commonly asked questions.

1. Can I extend my tourist visa to stay in Colombia longer?

Yes, you are permitted to stay up to 180 days in Colombia as a tourist. Tourist visas/stamps are typically for 90 days and can be extended for another 90 days without leaving Colombia.

In the past, Migracion Colombia rejected renewals if more than about 10 days before your tourist visa expires. But Migracion Colombia is now swamped with tourist visa extensions. So, we recommend submitting two weeks or more in advance before your tourist visa expires.

We have a popular guide to extending a tourist visa.

2. Can I fly domestically in Colombia?

During the national quarantine in Colombia, all domestic flights were suspended in Colombia until in July when domestic flights started to resume.

For example, Avianca was planning to operate only 10 planes for all its domestic flights in Colombia with domestic flights open up again. This reportedly will be a reduction of over 75 percent of domestic flights for Avianca.

3. Are international flights still flying, can I leave?

Starting on March 23, the arrival of international travelers to Colombia was suspended. Also, the land and sea borders of Colombia were closed. So, you couldn’t leave by land or sea.

Not long after March 23, essentially all international flights were suspended or cancelled, as there were no passengers on flights to Colombia starting on March 23.

And no international flights were permitted in Colombia until September 19 when international flights resume in Colombia, with the exception of humanitarian flights arranged by embassies.

We have a separate article that looks at humanitarian flights from Colombia to the U.S. and other countries.

4. I have been in Colombia for about 130 days and want to stay over 180, can I get a Colombian visa to stay longer than a tourist?

Yes, Colombia has many visa options. We have a comprehensive guide to Colombia visas and a total of 20 articles about Colombian visa and passports.

Medellin Guru partnered with a visa agency that can help you obtain a visa. Over the past 18 months, this partner visa service helped over 240 clients obtain Colombian visas. And visas are still being processed in Colombia during the coronavirus pandemic.

Use the Medellin Guru Colombia Visa Service

5. What happens if I can’t leave but exceed the time on my tourist visa?

If you exceed 180 days as a tourist in Colombia during a calendar year or stay more than 180 days consecutively as a tourist, you are normally liable for paying a fine before leaving the country, which is covered in our article about tourist visas.

However, Colombia Migracion is expected to be lenient, as international flights are not available. Also, according to Resolucion 1006 of April 1, 2020, you will get 30 days after the ending of the health emergency to extend your tourist visa or leave the country

6. Will I be able to shop for groceries during the quarantine?

Yes, one person per family can go shopping for groceries during the quarantine. There is no need to and try to stock up food for the entire time of the quarantine.

However, municipalities in the Aburrá Valley including Medellín, Envigado, Sabaneta, Itagüí, La Estrella, Bello, Barbosa, Girardota and Copacabana have added a Pico y Cedula system that limits the days you can go grocery shopping based on the last digit of your ID. But this Pico y Cedula ended on August 30.

Medellin Guru’s Coronavirus Series

Medellin Guru has a series of articles about the coronavirus pandemic and the impacts in Colombia: Also, these articles are being kept up-to-date, as this is a fast-moving topic:

The Bottom Line: Colombia Quarantine – Nationwide Quarantine From March 24 to September 1

Colombia is serious about putting in place proactive measures to minimize the public health threats posed by coronavirus in Colombia.

Colombia joins several other countries that have implemented lockdowns including Argentina, France, Italy and Spain. 

The bottom line is the nationwide quarantine in Colombia will definitely slow down the spreading of coronavirus that could infect thousands in a matter of weeks.

Bookmark our Colombia coronavirus status page that is normally updated once or twice daily to see if Colombia is successful in reducing the increase in daily coronavirus cases.

Try to stay home as much as possible during this Colombia quarantine and if you go out wash your hands often. Stay safe!

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

Editors note: updated on July 28, 2020 with information that the quarantine in Colombia has been extended to August 30.

Editors note: updated on July 29, 2020 with revised information that the quarantine in Colombia has been extended to September 1, with the date in the decree different than the announcement on July 28.

Editors note: updated on August 21, 2020 with Colombia coronavirus information for August 20.

Editors note: updated on August 24, 2020 with information that President Duque announced that the national quarantine in Colombia ends on September 1.

Editors note: updated on August 26, 2020 with Colombia coronavirus information for August 25.

Editors note: updated on August 29, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for August 28.

Editors note: updated on September 4, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for September 4.

Editors note: updated on September 11, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for September 10.

Editors note: updated on September 19, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for September 18.

Editors note: updated on September 25, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for September 24.

Editors note: updated on October 4, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for October 3.

Editors note: updated on October 12, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for October 11.

Editors note: updated on October 20, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for October 19.

Editors note: updated on October 27, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for October 26.

Editors note: updated on November 2, 2020 with coronavirus case counts for November 2.

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180 thoughts on “Colombia Quarantine: Nationwide Quarantine Extended to September 1”

    1. Duque and the government have been proven to be more incompetent. Leading the Colombian people with “a carrot on a stick” method. Every 2 weeks with promise to end or lift restrictions turn into another two weeks with no sight for the end. It’s be better if he came out and said “Colombia is locked down indefinitely” meanwhile Avianca and Viva Air are selling plane tickets like they are going to open Sept 1. All the while there are no jobs or business and Colombian people suffer. This is gross mismanagement; Cancun is open and functions just fine with biological precautions and informing the public on how to reduce the risk of transmission. I was in Medellin from March – May before taking a humanitarian flight. The clandestine parties, gathering for holidays will not stop. There is no basic income reaching the poorest families and Cartagena is nearly dead due to the lack of tourism. They are already protesting in Cali. There are no jobs, Duque is killing Colombia.

      • I beg to differ. I am very pleased with the Duque response to covid19. He is attempting to minimize deaths. For me that says a lot. For those who violate the rules, they will suffer the consequences. So many expats and party people are waiting to decend on Colombia. I can undetstand their frustration, BUT they will have quite a long wait in my opinion. As far as airports reopening, who knows. I believe we are in for some surprises. Expect modifications to previous announcements. This is a fluid situation and not going to the original plan of this virus fading away ibto the summer sunset. Just the opposite has occurred. I strongly disagree that President Duque has mismanaged this situation. He is making the most of an impossible situation and many here are sufferring. This really sucks big time. Lives before money. Not an easy choice. What good is money if you or your loved ones are on a ventilator? We are just going to have to deal with this situation or look for a humanitarian flight out. We have chosen to live here for better or worse. Better to be here than in places like Brazil with totally irresponsible governance. We are blessed to have Jeff and medellin guru who have given us this forum to voice our beliefs and opinions. This is a very difficult situation and I would much prefer being at parque arvi today then being incarcerated in my apartment but if the sacrifice will minimize deaths then it is worth the temporary discomfort. I use the word temporary loosely as this IS beginning to feel more permanent than temporary. Jeff we are all waiting for the all clear. Please hurry up… lol

      • We agree to disagree. Have a nice day and stay safe. You make some valid points ane there is room for improvement. This is Colombia. There are many forces and players involved in running a government. Duque I believe is basically honest and sincere. We could have much much worse than him. There are always rotten apples in the barrel, unavoidable especially in latin American politics. When I moved here I came with open eyes and an open mind. If you are looking for a better option with less corruption and insanity Iceland is a good alternative. In all of South America we live in one of the best countries. Paz y tranquilidad hermano mio. have faith and stay tuned to Medellin Guru for fair and honest reporting. Being expats here in Colombia its easy to see the glass being half empty. I am very critical myself and carry the torch for the poor and disenfranchised and give my time and money to help those in need here. The system here was broken long before Duque became president and there are no ebt cards here, nor welfare, nor subsidized housing or any of the handouts doled out here as in my country of origin. Do all you can to make a positive difference. Stay positive. and have faith. I trust our President is well intentioned.

        • Please forgive my typos.

          • Edited to correct your typos.

            • Thanks Jeff. God bless you. Hope you and your family are coping well under this lockdown. Honestly, for me, it is stressful being unable to take a walk in the neighborhood. I am not sure how 4 days including pico y cedula and 3 days on curfew will contain the virus to any great extent. It certainly is better than nothing but I am trying to figure out in my mind if it is enough or too much or if in the end if it really makes a significant difference. People need to wear masks, maintain a safe distance from other people and adhere to the bio safety protocols to protect themselves. I know for many they are unwilling to comply so draconian measures are necessary. How unfortunate. Being locked down is very unhealthy for one’s mental health, of that I am certain. Stay safe and thanks for all you do to provide us with updates and hope.

            • The are doing thing differently in different cities. In Barranquilla, they had a curfew at night and on weekends plus pico y cedula. But they stopped the curfews, as cases and deaths dropped and ICU utilization dropped from over 85 percent to under 65 percent. Also, pico y cedula is less strict in Barranquilla permitting you to go out once every five days.

    2. Good time to have a competent attorney to guide those involved in real estate transactions requiring Notarias and government offices. During this pandemic we lost certainly are not not in a business as usual environment. Good luck and remain calm and level headed.

    3. Raymond July 29, 2020

      Hello Jeff, So the start date for international travel of September 1, 2020 didn’t get moved out 30 days in coordination with the 30 day extension of the quarantine?

      Also, I read the article on international travel starting on a “limited” basis, is it only limited on the flight schedule, or is it limited to Colombian citizens, international travelers doing business in Colombia, or are regular visitors allowed to travel if they have a flight booked on the limited flight schedule.

      • “Limited” basis for resuming international travel in September is not yet defined. I assume this means a limited number of routes. When more details are released, we will update our article about international flights resuming – https://medellinguru.com/international-flights/

        • Thank you- I too am anxious to return (was in Bello from March 12, June 28 but had to leave for the US for work). I have also wondered what “limited” means in the context of returning US citizens though it is possible to purchase tickets for travel in September now.

          • See our article about international flights returning to Colombia in September with a pilot of international flights – https://medellinguru.com/international-flights/.

            Unfortunately no details are available yet on what international routes will be available. We will update the article when we find out details.

          • If I had to make a guess with regard to Americans who have confirmed flights to Colombia my feeling is based on what is going on in europe currently banning US citizens from entering. I believe this is not going to be as simple as most of us would like. Expect at the very least to be quarentined for 2 weeks and then having to deal with the strict protocols that will probably remain in force for the forseeable future. The conservative government here is full of surprises. Expect anything except Colombia returning to business as usual anytime soon. We are blessed to have Jeff who manages to keep us well informed. We are living in a fluid and difficult time. To all of you around the world who read this blog PLEASE try and understand we are as much in the dark as you are. This is a day by day, minute by minute situation as it is all around the world. There is a reason this is termed a PANDEMIC. It is as if the world has tilted off of its axis. Pray for a miracle and stay tuned to Medellin Guru for up to the minute updates.

    4. Jon D. July 29, 2020

      I am hearing that international flights are now being pushed back to November instead of September. I am supposed to be closing on a piece of land. Jeff, who should I contact about a humanitarian flight from the USA to Colombia? Thank You!

    5. Thomas July 13, 2020

      https://procolombia.co/noticias/en/covid-19/daily-report-preventive-measures-colombian-goverment-help-contain-covid-19

      The first pilot test of a national flight will be this week between Cucuta and Bucaramanga. After this, they will do more tests. My guess: Dont expect national flights before 1st of September. Even Avianca removed all flight in July and August already. All bookings are available there only after/at September 1st.

    6. Thomas July 8, 2020

      Let’s wait and see. I am glad, Colombia is a great country and being trapped here is more a pleasure than a penalty.

      Thomas from Germany, “trapped” in Cartagena since March 19 🙂

    7. This is a day by day situation here and one would need a crystal ball to provide an accurate response to any of these questions. The government here is ultra conservative and is capable of anything it deems appropriate in order to protect the inhabitants of Colombia. I would like to travel to parque arvi on the metrocable and know it is impossible. A short trip we all took for granted only a few short months ago. We can speculate and guess and quote current policies but I wouldn’t count on anything until the fat lady sings, and she is currently indisposed for the moment. Good luck and stay tuned to Medellin Guru for up to the minute updates that are as accurate as we can get considering the fluid situation that can change at the drop of a hat. Hunker down and protect yourself from indiscretions and those peddling dreams and false hopes. This is a time requiring sobriety and consciencious thinking and behavior. The party is on PAIUSE for the forseeable future.

    8. Planning to fly from us to Cartegena in the middle of sept will i have to be quarantined for 14 days once i arrive there ?

    9. Understandable. If the behavior of many citizens of countries like the USA and Brazil and other places refuse to be willing to maintain social distancing guidelines and do such a simple thing as wear a mask and risk the possibility of contracting and spreading the virus then the emergency decrees will contunue to be extended and reinstated. This rebellion to adhere to guidelines also pertains to many citizens living here who think this is some hoax or a plot. The emergency decree will continue to be extended indefinitely if people choose to act recklessly. How sad that people are so reckless in their behavior. I watched some Bogotanos on
      T.V last night, behaving as if all is completely normal, ignoring all safety measures in place. Unfortunately some government leaders around the world have participated in this reckless folly. We can directly point our fingers at their inept leadership ignoring the medical community and berating them publicly. Time to build the Ark. Humanity has lost its mind. Good luck to all of us who still retain a sense of what makes sense. I for one believe the leaders here in medellin are to be commended for their efforts to fight this battle.

    10. This information is very helpful

    11. Stuart Guinn May 28, 2020

      What are the details of the permitted outdoor activities:

      1) the 30 minutes x 3 times per week for those 70+
      2) the 2 hours every day for those up to 69

      Are there rules? Certain hours of the day? Certain days of the week? (How would anyone know if this is my 3rd time or 4th time out for the week ?)

    12. Harry May 28, 2020

      Jeff,
      as usually, thanks a lot for your huge efforts in keeping us updated about the situation in Colombia. One question to you (and the resident experts): Is it thinkable/probable, that, once international flights open ( as we think today) starting Sept..01,that international passengers would still have to undergo a 14 day quarantine upon arrival (depending on their origin, of course..) I know, nobody knows for sure, just looking for some gut feeling here… Thanks Harry

    13. Glenn Susser May 28, 2020

      Hey Jeff, is the June 30 end date for the quarantine correct or, I pray, a typo? I heard it was changed to June 15.

    14. We have a choice. Live here, comply with the decrees and chill or return back to our respective countries of origin and deal with their decrees. It seems very simple. Colombia has chosen to deal with Corona in its own unique way. If we don’t agree with their measures write the Alcadia de Medellin or President Duque’s office. This is a Republic, people are free to object.

      • I would love to fly to my home country of Sweden as we have no quarantine, but there are no flights allowed by the Government.

        • The best reply ever, good luck to you when they open the airports again for international flights, hopefully sooner than later. Watch on Medellin Guru for updates.

        • Thomas May 24, 2020

          Hi Karl,

          Actually, there are flights. Your embassy in Bogota can put you on a passenger list for a humanitarian flight. Requirements would be to stay in Bogota, since the embassies might get a free slot on these flights daily. For traveling to Bogota, contact your embassy, they will provide you with a list of drivers, hotels and the required permit to travel.

          BR, Thomas

    15. Medellin has a very small number of people who unfortunately have lost their lives, the majority due to underlying conditions, discussing whether the economy or lives matter more is not an argument, the statistics prove it is the former.

    16. I don’t quite get the part about nonsensical quarentine. Would you prefer we have a situation similar to what’s going on in Brasil? I can understand your frustration being stranded here, which is certainly an inconvenience, but to categorically say the quarentine does not make sense is baffling and frightening to hear. Good luck returning home and try and see the logic behind these measures that at times appear to be draconian but are in place to try and minimize death.

      • Ron, you probably haven’t heard of hunger, suicides, people losing their businesses, jobs, struggling to feed their families. When I came here in January, I never saw any people begging next to my apartment building, now families come and beg for something to survive, every day. There is so many good examples around the world of how to deal with this virus, Taiwan, Sweden, many other European countries some states in US. Quarantine makes no sense anymore, because we already have data, that this virus is not as deadly as we were told, there is many reports that social distancing woks better than quarantine. There is studies on importance of Vitamin D during this pandemic. CDC says corona not caught easily from surfaces. Anyways, there is so many studies that go against full lock-downs. Viruses outside spreads slower than inside. If every human life is cherished, why then we don’t ban cars, tools that can kill. swimming pools, smoking, alcohol, etc. Sitting in homes won’t safe everyone, it’s just avoiding life. If you just bluntly going to believe everything that media and government told you, you will be scared for ever and trust me fall flue season is cumming, what could that mean, possible lock-downs again? Corona virus is here to stay. It’s a bad flue, take care of your immune system and you will be fine. Life is not safe, it never was and it won’t be.

        • Thomas May 22, 2020

          Every country has its way. And speed. A quick path is often not the best – see the Trump Death Watch in NYC. I am positive, they will drop the limitations step-by-step after June. Before that day, it is not very realistic something is going to happen.

        • George May 22, 2020

          Bravo!

        • Sorry my friend but i am proud to live here and proud how my government is dealing with the Pandemic. Unfortunately the econony is taking a big hit. This is not the USA. We do not have 1200 stimulus checks and unemployment insurance and ebt cards to provide for our poor here. Efforts are being made to reopen our country albeit slowly. Unfortunately there are those whose primary concern is money. I can understand that thinking. People have been begging here since i first arrived in 1975, this is Colombia and unfortunately there will always be those who suffer here. Millions of Venezuelans migrated here over the past several years and suffering exacerbated as a result of their attempt to start a life in our country. Many colombians lost tehir jobs as a result of unabated mifration and colombians losing their jobs to Migrants who agreed to work for 1/2 pay and no benefits. Life here is complicated and there are no free rides as there are in countries like the USA. I believe my counrry has handled this situation as best as they thought would prevent deaths. There is no perfect solution to this. And NO THIS IS NOT THE FLU in any way shape or form. Sorry to disagree with you. Good luck at your final destnation. I and others like me have chosen to adopt many colombian families who are hungry. I believe in being part of the solution. Want to help? Donate to worthy charities who are feeding the poor. There are several. I am sure jeff can offer some suggestions. Live here full time and you will gain a greater insight into our culture. We can do better and many of us are trying to make our country a more equitable place to live. Lend a hand. We need help from expats who are willing to provide food and shelter to those in real need. Good luck getting home.

    17. I completely disagree with you and I commend our President and staff who value human life over money. We will survive due to our resilience. I hope you get your flight out.
      I am proud to live in a country where every human life is cherished.

    18. This is pretty crazy, I’m now looking for humanitarian flight to get out of here. I would consider any country with basic freedom. After this nonsensical quarantine Colombia is going to be failed state. Sad, but that’s what’s going to happen, it will take years to come back where it was on march. Anyone who is telling that this quarantine is to save life is delusional and missing some logic and common sense,

      • Thomas May 22, 2020

        Hi John,

        Contact your embassy in Bogota by phone or E-Mail. Only the embassy can put you on a humanitarian flight passenger list. Also only your embassy can provide you a permittance to travel to Bogota by car. There is no other way to get a flight; even private jets are currently not allowed.

        BR from CTG, Thomas (stuck since March 19, hehe)

        • Rod Mac May 30, 2020

          How sure are you about the no private jets, Thomas, and how do you know? I’m a Brit in Medellin which I love (since 14 March) but have sons in Florida who need my help. All I want to do is share a charter to Panama 26 June when PTY opens up. Cheers, Rod

    19. Don Picard May 20, 2020

      Hi, Jeff. I was reading some of the emails, and you say the government has extended the no flights until the end of August. My question is sense my 90 day visa has ran out. I was hoping to leave first or there after in June. So now there does that put me. The Expat group said I would have 15 days after the lifting of lock down. They are not able to get me a extension or a retirement visa. So sense it is the government stopping me from leaving will I be ok. If I leave and then come back in a few days. When this is over and I can apply for a retirement visa. Thank you much for all you do for us expats. Don

    20. Raphael May 20, 2020

      Jeff, you can‘t believe how important your blog is to me in these difficult times…thanks and I really appreciate it! I have two questions:
      1. Does the international flight ban also mean that nobody can leave Colombia by plane until end of August 2020?
      2. When do you think it‘s possible to enter Colombia via land borders?
      My girlfriend lives in Medellin and I have to see hear…really, I need to…kind regards from Europe.

      • Only permitted international flights are humanitarian flights organized by embassies. Also, land borders are reportedly closed at least until the end of June if not longer.

    21. David Presley May 20, 2020

      Hi Jeff, What a great job you do on here!!

      My name is David. I married my wife in Bucaramanga March 8, 2019. The immigration process for her to come here to South Carolina has been miserable with mistakes by the USCIS and others costing a lot of time, to the point that she still didn’t have her visa when this covid kaos began. She is still in Bucaramanga and I am in SC. She already has a compromised immune system. I am very worried about her, and I want to see her very badly.
      I had been flying down there through Bogota every 5 weeks to see her for two years with my passport and I have no visa yet. We also bought a lot in the mountains outside of Peidecuesta to build on one day. I think the only thing we are waiting on legally right now is her appointment at the embassy. Do you think there might be any lenience by the Colombian Govt. to situations like mine to let me come see her soon ? The page says the the president speaks of restricted international travel. do you know any details of that? Do you have any ideas for me.

      Stay Safe!

      Thanks,

      David

    22. Destroying thousands of businesses in Antioquia, because of a death rate comparable to influenza, Politicians terrified of making decisions that will benefit the totality of the population by people who cannot understand statistics or trends, where is the plan to restore Antioquia to a normal functioning society ???

    23. I fully support the extraordinary precautions in place to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus but believe the measures are excrutiatingly painful. Prohibiting travel to this degree is mind boggling. I pray the powers that be will try and develop a slightly less draconian approach to allow us a greater degree of movement, especially within our own city and the surrounding metropolitan area allowing us to visit friends and family. This is testing our coping skills to the max. Praying for some reasonable flexibility.

    24. Hello! when riding a car between medellin and nearby districts will be allowed? 1 june?

      • Inter-municipal travel is not permitted between June 1 to June 30.

        Colombia now has COVID-19 free municipalities and they don’t want travel between municipalities to spread the virus to COVID-19 free municipalities – https://medellinguru.com/covid-19-free-colombia/

        After June 30, we’ll see what restrictions are in place in the next phase.

    25. David Wright May 7, 2020

      Hey Jeff, great article! Have you found anything about extending the hours we can go out and exercise after May 11th? 2-3 is super inconvenient for those that are working.

      • Thanks. Haven’t seen if this one hour restriction will be relaxed yet. Will update the article if we find out it changes.

    26. Aaron Bryson May 6, 2020

      Great article, Jeff! As always. Thank you for the detailed and timely information.

    27. Is there a new pico y cedula? I can’t find it anywhere

    28. Last on the list. My opinion. Body fluids abound, sweat city. I would buy the weights.

      • Peter Jones May 6, 2020

        Couldn’t agree more. Even if they were open, who would want to be in a near perfect incubator for a virus in these times? Also there’s loads you can do without weights.

        Here are some of my favorites in case anyone is interested:

        Wide push ups for the pecs
        Narrow push ups for the triceps
        Wide pull ups for the upper back*
        Narrow pull ups for the biceps with some back still involved*
        Sit ups for the upper abs
        Leg raises for the lower abs
        Squats with anything heavy (I use my girlfriend! who weighs 56 kg so is ideal) for the bum and legs.

        *if you have a chin up bar.

    29. Russel May 5, 2020

      When do you think gyms will reopen? Im debating about purchasing a $500 workout equipment. But hate to buy it and have gyms reopen in gym…

      Obvilusly nightlife discoteca will be closed till fall atleast… but what about the gym…

      • Gyms are unlikely to open anytime soon, see Ron’s comment below.

    30. Mark Arthur Weaver April 25, 2020

      Glad to hear you got back to Australia, I am still trying to get to sleep, not sure what they put in the tap water in Medellin, hahaha

      Got to get out to the OUTBACK soon! Blessings!

      Dr Marco

    31. Mark Arthur Weaver April 24, 2020

      I think you are right but at the same time to balance a delicate fragile cash and carry economy such as the Colombian one, already realing with likes of PAINFUL Venezuelan Immigration run amok, I think he could of assembled a team of Experts not only on Public Health but on balancing the economy, tourism etc.
      Blessings!

      Dr. Marco. Stay safe and I will will talk sometime in the future!

    32. Mark Arthur Weaver April 24, 2020

      You are so RIGHT JOHN!

    33. I completely disagree. I believe President Duque has the nation’a best interest at heart and delivers clear and thoughtful briefings leaving politics out of the equation. I and many other colombians have our trust in him. I wish the government here had safety nets like we have in the USA but this is Colombia. Not a perfect country but trying hard to keep up considering its history.

    34. Extending this is a big mistake, pretty much national economic suicide. This will blow back 10x harder than actual virus. Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem. great example is Sweden, they slowly but reaching herd immunity. Do government think that after quarantine virus will just be gone? This whole situation starting to look like a circus.

      • Peter Jones May 6, 2020

        Creating herd immunity through people becoming infected would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Colombians as hospitals would very quickly become overwhelmed.

        The only realistic way forward is to get to a situation where the ‘R’ value is less than one (the R value is the number of people an infected person infects) i.e if one person infects less than one other person the virus slowly dies out.

        Hopefully next year a vaccine will become available and that will enable herd immunity to be achieved in a safe way.

        Sweden is probably not a great example to follow as their public health care system is on a totally different level to Colombia’s, they live in much less crowded conditions and currently probably less then 10% of their population has been exposed.

      • George May 6, 2020

        The problem with this is that we don’t know for sure if you develop immunity, and the virus has already mutated, at least in the US. The virus that devastated NYC seems to have been a mutation of the one that came out of WuHan. It appears to be more contagious than the WuHan one. We simply don’t know enough about it yet. A second wave of more infections with something that spreads faster would do an even worse number on the economy. This from the WHO April 24: “Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection. There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.” .In order to open things up you would need three things. 1. Enough tests 2. Tracking of new positives . 3. Isolation of this people

        • Peter Jones May 15, 2020

          I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a forgone conclusion but it’s highly likely that having antibodies to the virus, be they as a result of an immune response to a vaccine or community acquired infection, will provide a good degree of protection. The question is for how how long. The UK are currently busy manufacturing several million doses of a vaccine which is currently in 2nd stage human trials as they strongly believe that it will provide good protection for a lengthy period.

      • Mark Arthur Weaver May 7, 2020

        SO TOTALLY TOTALLY RIGHT ON!

        Marco back in Texas

    35. With respect to the confirmation on the ban on international incoming flights until May 30th, do we know definitively whether they’re distinguishing between travelers generally and Colombian citizens/holders of ‘resident’ visas? My understanding of the situation is that the general border closure announced on March 17th had always been set to last until May 30th, but that the ban on returning citizens/residents which was announced on March 19th was only set to last for 30 days.

      A friend who had been expecting to come back into Colombia in the first week of May is now wondering whether that will be possible; any help here would be very welcome, as I’m unable to find any specific text or governmental guidance which clarifies the situation.

      Colombia closes borders until May 30th:
      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-healthcare-coronavirus-colombia-borde/colombia-to-close-borders-to-prevent-spread-of-coronavirus-idUSKBN21401V

      Colombia refuses entry to Citizens/Residents for 30 days:
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-19/colombia-bans-colombians-from-entering-colombia

      • The ban for all international and domestic flights until the end of May was clearly communicated in President Duque’s announcement of the extension of the quarantine until May 11, See this article in Spanish – https://www.eltiempo.com/politica/gobierno/coronavirus-balance-del-presidente-ivan-duque-sobre-pandemia-por-covid-19-486652

        “He reiterated that national and international flights will not be opened until the end of May.”

        • Hey Jeff,

          Thanks for the response, I’ve also read the papers and was looking for something more official than that. The advisory page of the US Embassy for Colombia’s website indicates that a more complete reading of the presidential announcement shows that the ban allows exceptions for, among other things, humanitarian purposes. Given that American visa holders attempting to repatriate to the United States are currently being allowed to do so under that exception, it doesn’t strike me as unreasonable to think that perhaps the opposite case, Colombians abroad attempting to repatriate, might also be allowed for under the same exception.

          Appreciate the input though, let me know if you have something more concrete; i’ll do the same. Included below is a link to the advisory page I mentioned.

          https://co.usembassy.gov/covid-19-update-and-quarantine-restrictions/

          • Yes humanitarian flights organized by embassies have been exceptions. There are no regularly scheduled flights.

            • Scott Burger June 1, 2020

              Medellin guru. Thanks for keeping me up to date on this. I was curious if you might let me know or point me in the right direction regarding m1 visa holders that need to return to Colombia to maintain the validity of their visas. Many thanks!!

      • The sooner the Lockdown ends the better for everyone. Made a big shopping order on Exito, home delivery today, early morning, was delivered midday, guy forgot to bring the Card payment device, so paid in cash. When my wife unpacked found only 7 items I had ordered the other items were all totally incorrect. My wife spent 45 minutes waiting for Customer Service to answer the phone, then spent 30 minutes explaining the errors. Were told the missing 18 itemsi, would be delivered later on today as of 10pm nothing. My wife had called them again 6pm with a 45 minute answer time. It is impossible to live a month in Colombia without problems. I was warned about this by someone before I arrived here, unfortunately I did not heed the advice.

        • I ordered from exito.com the other day and recieved everything i ordered except for 1 item and a 2000 peso note was in a clear plastic envelope returning my money for the missing item I ordered. I ordered 300.000 pesos worth of merchandise. That is sad they got your order wrong. Tomorrow is my day to shop.under the pico y cedula scheme. I really prefer.shopping on my own but occasionally will use exito.com. never really had a problem with them. Try again, don’t despair, things happen. Their telephone customer service department leaves a lot to be desired I can tell you that though. They need to improve that.

          • Ron, thanks for your comments, matter was solved Friday afternoon only due to my wife, deciding to bypass the system stating wait for two working days and speak directly to the store employees who fixed the situation a few hours later. Patience and determination eventually work here if you are lucky.

        • Mark Arthur Weaver April 24, 2020

          I WAS SO LUCKY TO BE ON THE TRUMP PLANE ON April 21st, I lost 22 pounds in my 40 days in Colombia, the Landlord turned into a total witch, and by the Grace of God go I back in Texas. God Bless Colombia particularly the little people who are struggling to make ends meet!

          Just lucky I was not in Peru as they are not cooperating with the US on anything or at least with SPIRIT Airlines! Had to pay more to get more, but it was definitely worth it!

          Hang in there my brothers and sisters, Blessings from Texas, Dr. Marco! Thank you for all your help whilst I was in Colombia!

          • Congratulations.

          • Glad to hear you got back home!
            I’ve just had my first night in Australia, because I spent a week on the way, in the States, staying with my daughter. Woke up before 2 AM though. 😉

        • Peter Jones May 6, 2020

          I had a similar experience with Jumbo’s home delivery service on the three occasions I ordered from them (missing items, wrong items, wrong quantities of items etc).

          I don’t know how anyone can make such a mess of such a simple task (picking stuff off a list and putting it in bags). Surely it’s something your average six year old could do? Does make me wonder about the brain power of the average Colombian worker or maybe it’s just that they don’t care for a little over 200 USD a month.

          • Sean T May 6, 2020

            I am not typically one to respond negatively to another’s comments, but I felt inclined to respond. Perhaps this commentary was said in haste, but I think it’s a rude to suggest that the “brain power” of a Colombian is less than another class of people. There are a lot of factors at play – the delivery men and women are clearly overworked right now, as well as putting themselves into harms-way to deliver your products. I think it’s degrading to suggest that they are not intelligent enough to select your products. I understand your frustration. The same scenario has happened to me many times. However, I would suggest that you consider how motivated you would be to work in these difficult times for ~$200 a month. Please refrain from insulting the people of the country where you live.

            • Peter Jones May 6, 2020

              Thank you so much Sean T for your response which having read I can see that I am clearly in the wrong. To get my order wrong on three consecutive occasions clearly is not sufficient reason to wonder about their ‘brain power’. To select and put about a dozen items in a couple of bags when you are stressed is obviously an extremely challenging task – I am sure even the most intelligent person would be bound to make errors. Thank you so much for correcting me. I must have forgotten my political correctness, which is something I hold very dear to my heart, for a moment.

            • Good for you Sean. I completely agree 1000 percent. Additionally the online ordering system is nowhere near as accurate determining actual present inventory. Clearly similar to airline companys who overbook their seats. Recently I ordered items on exito.com many times items are missing and they provide an envelope with cash returning the money for items undelivered. A weird system but it works. The other day I requested my order be delivered between 5pm and 10pm. My pedido (order) never arrived and I did not recieve a text message or phone call or email apologizing for the noshow. The next morning my ordered arrived. That has happened before, and considering how swamped exito, jumbo and others are they are doing the best they can do under the circumstances. The delivery guys work very hard and I try to tip them 2-5 thousand pesos, they are so grateful for a tip that can pay for their bus ride home or a little extra food for their family. The pay scale here is frighteningly low $200 a month US. God only knows how they make ends meet. Colombians are hard working people, and it is unfair to call them disparaging names. There certainly is room for improvement especially at the checkout counter at the supermarket. Hiring baggers would be nice and not tying 3 knots in each bag would speed things up a bit. Patience and understanding is a pre requisite here. Most of us expats have been spoiled by life back up north. We need to try and make the adjustment. Its frustrating at times. We can do better if we only try to see more clearly. This is not Houston or New York. Tenga paciencia y no se preocupe.

            • Mark Arthur Weaver May 7, 2020

              Sean you are totally right! The questions more correctly should be with regards to those in Political power, but it would not be Brain power, it would be another subject!

              I was married to a Colombian for almost 20 years, I worked with Colombians in business and government as a former Diplomat, hats off to most Colombians and God bless you and all those suffering through this ordeal!

              Marco

        • George May 7, 2020

          Lol good for everyone or good for you?

          Funny thing is I’ve ONLY heard expats complain. And of course the idiots protesting in the US. Go back there if you don’t like it.

          • Peter Jones May 15, 2020

            My honest opinion, having lived and worked here with Colombians for 4 years. is they love a really good old moan just as much as anyone else so to suggest that only expats complain doesn’t seem realistic to me.

            I have also lived in Spain and In fairness to Colombians, they were by far the worse for complaining about absolutely everything but that’s another story. I thought us Brits were bad until I moved to Spain!

            The ‘idiots’ in the US are protesting about something that they really believe in and although I think time will show they are misguided, they have every right to protest (although I guess social distancing could be challenging during a protest). Indeed I believe that an important part of the definition of a civilized society is one that allows protest.

    36. Marco Barrios April 21, 2020

      Regarding the regulation on the excersise allowance
      MinDeporte @ Blu Radio 21.04.2020 (6:45 am)
      – Starting Monday April 27th
      – Individual practice
      – 1km away from your home as maximum.
      – City halls will set up specific regulations
      – Proposed schedule by MinDeporte for everyone: 5:00 – 8:00 am / no evening or night activity
      – Children ( WITH ADULTS) are allowed to go out also 20/ 30 mins to walk 1km away from home during the same schedulle
      – Playgrounds, parks or courts will not be abled
      – High performance excersise is not abled
      – Walking, jogging, bycicke around a 1km ratio from the house
      – Cycling is going around the block for 1km
      – This measure looks for physical activity and mental health
      – 1 hour activity suggested as tops
      – Today the President will present the protocol at the briefing 6:00pm
      – The sanction for not following thia will be the same as breaking the lockdown
      – Gyms, sport centres, sport schools will still be closed

      April 27th is the phase 1 for restarting part of the economy.
      Infrastructure and construction projects will resume; so along with that a chain production of related businesses will reopen.

      Besides that, I think the main reason for the new extension is the lack of tests.
      Right now world wide there is a shortage of the chemicals required to take the tests results; therefore if the test process is not up to speed when needed; the epidemiologist are flying blind.
      And as the president needs the clear advice, without suficient tests the restrictions will stay longer.

      • Hi Jeff and/or Marco
        Is it confirmed that we can exercise outdoors for an hour or so every day starting tomorrow, Monday April 27? Walking, jogging, cycling? From 8 am to 5 pm? I haven’t seen an update anywhere.
        Thanks
        Pete.

        • According to Decreto 593 of 2020 – #37. The development of physical activities and outdoor exercise of people who are in the age range of 18 to 60 years, for a maximum period of one (1) hour daily, according to the measures, instructions and schedules that mayors set in their respective territorial jurisdictions. See (in Spanish) – https://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/decreto-del-gobierno-que-amplia-el-aislamiento-en-colombia-hasta-el-11-de-mayo-CD12885007

        • Update from Mayor of Medellín today – “As for physical activity, as authorized by the National Government, in the case of the Valley of Aburrá people between the ages of 18 and 60 will be able to go out to do sports every day from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Each person must leave individually.”

          • Thanks, Jeff. Strange ruling, but it’s a start.

            Here’s the tweet from Mayor Quintero:

            https://twitter.com/QuinteroCalle/status/1254488729269526530

            • Yes, strange ruling and done last minute at night on Sunday for something that starts on Monday even though the president’s decree was several days ago permitting exercise outdoors for up to an hour per day. Also, why everyone at the same time of 2 to 3 pm? Wouldn’t you want to spread that out?

          • Hello Jeff:

            Thanks for all your updates. Has there been any new information recently about walking for exercise? I’m curious if the regulations have been relaxed or if we expect them to be relaxed on June 1st. I’m in the over 60 group so I haven’t been out of the house except for a grocery run every two weeks. Would love to start doing some walks in uncrowded areas again.

            • Not yet lifted for over 60 but may change on June 1. Starting on April 27, when the quarantine was extended to May 11, a new permitted activity is to leave the home for an hour for exercising including walking, jogging or biking for those aged 18 to 60 years old.

              According to the Mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, this is limited in the Aburrá Valley from between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. So, you can now leave the home to practice individual exercise activities for up on one hour per day.

            • I an 69 and go out every day for a doctor prescribed one hour walk. During the dat day I have not been troubled by police asking for i.d. I wear my mask and and use my walking stick and mind my own business. At our age wasting away at home is not healthy and counterproductive. I imagine next week will see some rules relaxed. If not try visiting your doctor and obtain an exception permiso to be out for a healthy walk. Cardio vascular health in people over 60 is essential. If you can’t get to see a doctor I seriously doubt anyone will trouble you especially during the hours of 2 and 3. There is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. Praying for changes that will allow us greater freedom of movement while still defending against the Virus.

    37. Don Picard April 21, 2020

      I understand, but my expires the 28th of this month. And I was told by Expat that they wee not going to open the flights until the 30 of May. So that will put me over 30 days. Don

    38. They set me aside for ten minutes while being processed at the airport out of Colombia the other day, in order to check with a superior, but there was never going to be any fine for my visa having expired eleven days earlier, during lockdown.

    39. Don Picard April 21, 2020

      Thank you Jeff, I didn’t want to set in a Colombia jail for not paying fines, I don’t think that I would like that. Don

    40. Don Picard April 21, 2020

      Jeff, I have been in contact with Expat agency, and they told me that hey can no longer get extensions or retirement visa. So I am going to wait and fly out when they let international flights. I am wondering about fines for over staying, Don

      • Yes, no tourist visa extensions as Migracion offices are closed and online system for extensions is offline. Don’t worry, no fines are expected.

      • Logic would suggest that a fine will not or should not be imposed if the airports are closed and there is no way out of Colombia. Even when flights and airports resume operating it might take some time to actually get a flight out or in. We are all in limbo here waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to appear. Buckle up for this bumpy ride. Good luck and obey the pico y cedula rules. Police are enforcing the rules aggressively, including the face mask mandate on the street and in supermarkets, pharmacies and banks.

    41. Scott Burger April 13, 2020

      Medellin Guru:

      I am on an M1 Visa currently in the US. My six month window to return expires on May1. I was originally to return on April 26, 2020. Has anyone heard of getting some sort of leniency regarding returning after the quarantine?

      I would appreciate

      • Hi Scott, sorry, the Colombian government hasn’t provided an answer to your question in any official communications according to the visa agency we partnered with.

        • I suggest Scott go to the Colombian Consulate’s web site which is available in both English and Spanish and review the notices or engage in the online chat option and pose your query to them. I have used their chat option with very good results.
          Good luck and please be patient on the web site it can be finicky. I believe you will find that the Colombian government will be flexible due to this pandemic but remember anytime.you deal with bureaucrats there will be red tape and the onus will be on all of us to decipher the information. Contact the Colombian Consulate’s web site. Note: the web site of the Consulate is not entirely in English. I suggest you may want to have your translation application handy. I imagine their translation budget is limited. Good luck and don’t give up while using their site.

    42. I have a question regarding extend my tourist visa for the first time. It expires on May 6 and ideally I wanted to leave Colombia by that time but I havent booked a ticket yet since it is not sure it will be cancelled anyway. Do I really have to send proof of onward travel in these times? Is there a cheap option I could use (booking a bus ticket out te country)? Id rather book and pay for a flight ticket once i know that international flights are permitted but Id like to apply for the tourist visa now.

      • I am in the same situation. Unfortunately you cannot apply for a visa extension until the quarantine is over. The immigration office is closed and the online visa extension link is down. I also received an email from the visa processing company mentioned in this blog saying they are not processing visa extensions right now. You always need to show proof of onward travel or your application will get denied. You can book a cheap ticket to Panama as proof of onward travel . I guess we all need to wait and see what happens.

    43. I’d like to get the information on “lockdown for 70 year olds”. Could you or someone give me a link or state the details. Thanks.

    44. Mark Arthur Weaver March 28, 2020

      thank you

    45. Question:

      I am on a list of foreigners since a few days who are waiting for a call to leave back home in Europe with a Repatriaiion-flight directly from the airport in Rionegro.

      Imagine I would have to fly for example in 4 days (during the current quarantine). How would I be able to get to the airport in Rionegro?

      • Taxis are still operating when requested via mobile app or phone call but can only be used for the permitted activities listed in the above article.

        However, you can request special permission in Medellín during the quarantine via this link – https://aplicacionesincontacto.com/permisoscovid19/#/

        • Thanks again Jeff. I checked the link, I guess only the very last option I could answer with a “yes” and fill in the form?

          Would it really be a big risk to drive with a taxi to the airport in Rionegro with only the evidence of my Repatriacion-flight printed on paper?

          • Yes, I looked at the form and looked like only the last option to say “yes” to fill in the form. Doesn’t hurt to try.

            As far as risk with only the evidence of my Repatriacion-flight, that is hard to say. If flight is at night with few cars out more risky I would think.

    46. Mark Arthur Weaver March 28, 2020

      That would be consistent!

      Thank you

      Well I bought a ticket with Avianca but I can always use it later

      I am in a situation in an AirBnB in Estadio Laureles that I am not happy with, Do you know if I can change residences, I would most likely stay in the same neighborhood.

      Thank you

      • Moving is not a permitted activity under the list of permitted activities during the quarantine in the list of permitted activities in the above article.

    47. President Duque has announced that it MAY be necessary to extend the Quarantine until the end of May. As inconvenient as this may be, if implemented may minimize the spread of this dangerous and deadly virus. I commend our president on his willingness to do whatever is necessary to flatten the curve. His calmness is refreshing. He appears to be completely in touch with the sobering reality of this dreadful situation.

      • Mark Arthur Weaver March 28, 2020

        I wonder if that WOULD INCLUDE DOMESTIC TRAVEL as I would like to LEAVE MEDELLIN!
        Anyone hear anything about that>

        I appreciate it!

        Dr, Marco

        • As Ron said “President Duque has announced that it MAY be necessary to extend the Quarantine until the end of May.”

          If they do, domestic travel will likely continue to be banned.

          • The radical methods currently in place to minimize the spread of the virus suggests rhat the more aggressive the government is the less likely we will become another Italy or Spain or New York. I think for the foreseeable future we are trapped in place. This is certainly a very scary and sad situation we all find ourselves in. These restrictions may appear to be draconian but what are the alternatives? Good luck to all of us.

    48. Thank you for keeping us always updated Jeff. Really appreciate it, your info was helpful with my Visa extension as well and spot on with the wait times, I ended up having to go in personally (back in Feb.).

      It’s interesting that was nothing mentioned about sports activities like running. Is that a grey zone?

      • Sports activities like running are not permitted activities under the quarantine. Only activities that are listed are permitted.

    49. First off, i would like to thank you very much for all of your coverage on these events. I haven’t been bothering to go anywhere else for the news while we are in Colombia.
      My husband and I are in Buga, and received an email yesterday that there is a humanitarian flight from Bogota to Houston on the 28th, we currently have no known means of getting there. My guess is that even if we were to find someone we could pay to drive us there, this would be considered breaking curfew and we could get in trouble…or am I misunderstanding the situation?

      • I mean quarantine, not curfew

      • Travel is NOT a permitted activity under the nationwide quarantine. Unless you have special permission that I know is pretty impossible to get (my Colombian wife tried), you can’t travel.

        • Thank you so much Jeff, that is what I understood, but I wanted to be 100% sure. I would imagine there are others out there wishing they could get that flight as well. We’re now $10 Patron’s for your site in gratitude of your diligence in reporting and fact finding. It has been an immense help over the last week. Be well!

        • Mark Arthur Weaver April 12, 2020

          Thanks Jeff, I will call the US Embassy tomorrow!

          Blessings

          Dr. Marco

    50. Mark Arthur Weaver March 25, 2020

      Does anyone know when I can fly out of Medellin to Santa Marta, as I am planning on leaving around the 15th of April?

      Can anyone confirm whether domestic flights will be available?

      Thank you

      Marco

      • Domestic flights are banned during the quarantine until Monday, April 13 at midnight. No telling if they will be banned for longer. And when they resume there will be limited flights. For example, Avianca only plans to have 10 planes for all its domestic flights.

        • Mark Arthur Weaver March 25, 2020

          Avianca has flights they are advertising, my Colombian friends told me to JUMP on it!

          I will wait a bit

          Thanks!

          • All depends if they are permitted to fly. Currently domestic flights are banned until April 13 but they could continue to ban them.

      • You are jumping the gun I think. I imagine this is a fluid situation. No one is going to flip a switch to return things to old normal, except maybe Donald Trump and thank God he has no say on how our government and President operate. Keep checking the news. The networks here are providing up to the minute details. This is a state of emergency, be prepared for anything.

        • Mark Arthur Weaver March 25, 2020

          Let us keep politics out of it. Having worked for Five Presidents for almost 30 years, Trump and Reagan go down as the Best!

          So there, no need to get into Politics. I have been following Latin American politics for 50 years.

          Anyway, lest we not go into armed combat here, perhaps a wait and see attitude is a good one!

          Blessings

          Marco

          • Geoffrey April 8, 2020

            Agreed. Many of us prefer to keep the discussions civil. A lurch into politics will spiral out of control quickly. Please remember that honorable people can have an honest difference of opinion.

          • Mark Arthur Weaver April 12, 2020

            There is a humanitarian flight on Spirit on April 15th leaving from Cartagena sponsored by the STATE Department! Anyone know anything about that flight and how one could get from Medellin to Cartagena?

            I would really appreciate any information ASAP! Thank you!

            Blessings!

            • Sorry there are no domestic flights in Colombia during the quarantine or bus service. You could get a private driver but would need special permission due to the quarantine for travel.

            • You’d better get onto spirit.com pronto as there is (or was) a flight the NEXT day.

              I am ON the April 15th flight. It leaves Bogota and picks up in Cartagena, but
              the flight on the 16th picks up in Medellin, possibly having started in Cali or somewhere.

            • These are good times to stay put and deal with the inconvenience. Make the most of things here.

    51. Very informative article Jeff, thanks. I don’t believe I saw anything about Medellín curfew though. I’m not clear on this, please explain.

      • See our article about the Medellin quarantine that started on March 20 until March 24 – https://medellinguru.com/medellin-quarantine/

      • I believe you are confusing the two terms. As far as I know there is no curfew per se. This is a quarantine. It means stay home 24/7 unless you need to buy groceries, drug store items or doctor appt. This is a lockdown, unless you have have a travel pass based on your occupation, i.e. doctor, diplomat etc
        Violation can get you thrown out of Colombia.
        Jeff. If you are also reading this correct me if I have misconstrued anything.

        • Yes, this is a quarantine with VERY stiff penalties if you leave the home for not approved activities.

    52. Peter J Rubino March 24, 2020

      It appears some airline are stil flying domestically. Someone I know took a flight today March 24th out of Medelline airport to Bogata.

    53. Nice articles MG! You are very thorough. If I still lived in Medellin I would be a Patreon. (Hint – if you do, recommend it!) Just visited – first time in 8 years…

    54. Bob Larson March 23, 2020

      My wife was tweeting Colombian government officials as a Colombian in the US, asking them to not make the same mistakes being made here and to take decisive action soon. If Colombians take the quarantine seriously and not as fake news and something to be played with, as has happened here and elsewhere, I believe and pray you will be better off than we were here. Good Luck, I glad to hear they are taking action there early.

    55. First, I’d like to thank Jeff for providing so much useful information. You’ve been extremely helpful, especially the last week or so. Thank you!

      Add me to the list. I’m another person seemingly stuck in Medellin and hoping to ride the virus out. I’ve been here for about six weeks and have a return flight to the US booked (Interjet, via Mexico City) for mid-May (about 100 days in total, so I will have to extend my visa-free stay anyway). Realistically, I doubt there will be normal flights by then, so I am resigned to staying until mid-July or early August. I don’t want to go beyond the 183-day tax residency, and don’t think I have the paperwork needed to get a Colombian visa, but we shall see. Even if I can leave Colombia “early,” who knows what the situation will be like in the US or other potential destinations. I’m content with staying in Medellin for the near future. No stress yet.

      Good luck everyone!

    56. Thanks for the constant updates, guys! We really appreciate it. We thought about going back to Mexico earlier than planned but missed the boat (or plane I should say). Thankfully we can keep our place here and we can extend our 3 months at the end of April if need be. I could think of worse places to be stuck! It’s a tough pill to swallow but seems it’s the right thing to do. I’m just glad I picked up a yoga mat and a little guitar before the lockdown went into place otherwise I would go insane! Best of luck to everyone.. stay healthy!

    57. The great equalizer. Humanity has been delivered a harsh rebuke to its decadence and greed and total disregard to our environment and idolizing money, posessions and status.

    58. I am one of those caught by the lockdown for 70 year olds until May 31. I am not a fiscal resident of Colombia and have always made sure I did not breach the 183 day threshold. What is beginning to worry me is if they extend the lockdown I am in danger of going over 182 days in total over the last 365 days. I assume Migracion tells the Dian about entry and departure dates but I don’t see what I can do. Any thoughts?

      • Norman, I am in the same position as you. The last 8 years here I never exceeded my 180 days, but my current “3+3 months Visa” will expire on April 19.

        I do have a flght ticket ticket back home to Europe (via Panama, which airport will close completely for at least 30 days from today) on March 30, but won’t be able to fly! To me it seems I have clear evidence of a flight ticket for March 30 back home. It was my intention to leave the country in time, before expirement of my 180 days Visa. But will Migracion be flexible if I would, let’s say, leave the country in May? If Jeff or someone else has info about this I would be very thankful I you could post it here….

        Take care everyone!

        • Logic would dictate that during this state of emergency you will be ok. To be sure contact migracion. They can’t throw you out or penalize you if there is no way out. Stay safe. They may tell you to go to the office for an emergency extension, but i would think they would prefer for you to stay put.

    59. Jeff, you have an excellent Newsletter, However allowing business to advertise is a good idea, this tells people what’s out there for shopping, sightseeing, good for the economy, many advantages for us Ex Patriots and whoever reads the newsletter. Please consider this, you have nothing too loose, by being more informative too all.

    60. Chris North March 22, 2020

      From what I’ve read, many americans around the world face the same problem. The US govt says they are using military aircraft to return them home. However, I would not hold my breath on that promise. I think the ones that are priority would be in the Middle East.
      BTW, I’m one of those that are stranded here as well and am just planning on riding it out with the rest.

      • Mark Arthur Weaver March 22, 2020

        Thank you, I was always one of those guys that would do anything at any time of the day or night for a stranded AMERICAN when I was a Foreign Service Officer, but I was always getting in trouble because they said YOU CAN NOT HELP EVERYONE! I said you are out of your mind!

        Anyway, I checked my two go to airlines AA and Spirit, and indeed, that seems to be the case, at least at this point until April 19th or 20 wiht Spirit! Thanks alot, God Bless you, Dr. Marco!

        • Bob Larson March 23, 2020

          Mark, thank you for your service !

          • Mark Arthur Weaver March 23, 2020

            Bob, I appreciate the thanks, I really do, from Central America dodging bullets in the 1980s,to Bogota Colombia in the early 90s, to Moscow,, I paid my dues, but I really enjoyed my work, and I would do it again.

            Cheers and blessings!

            Marco

            • Marco: Soundss like we chewed some of hte same ground. 87-91 in USARSO in Panama, Colombia as a civvie late 90s to early 2000s. You ever hit a bar in Bogota called the Britannia? Long since closed. I also recently volunteered for the Warden Program, different name now,. They were polite, seemed to be grateful, but no real tasksings for me.

              Anyways, I am in a small studio solo and getting bored so sorry if a strangers email seems a bit wierd.

        • Omar Guerrero May 7, 2020

          Hi,
          I have visited multiple times since late December and got stuck in Medellin without flights out due to airport closure. I will have used about 120 days in and out of the 183 days before hitting tax residency double taxation. This means for the rest of the year i only have about 60 days left to be able.to visit.
          Has there been any expemtions made to this tax law for the quarantine period counting towards the 183 days cut off?

      • David Wright March 22, 2020

        Glad I’m not the only one stranded. Going to ride it out here as well and hope for the best. Thanks for the great info Jeff, really appreciate it!

        • Colombia appears to be making the right moves. I hope and expect the trajectory of cases drops as a result of the quarantine.

          • Mark Arthur Weaver March 22, 2020

            thank you Jeff from the 13th floor of a Condo in Estadio Laureles, Mil gracias hermano mio, y que Dios te bendiga hoy y siempre!

            Dr. Marco

            • Mark Arthur Weaver April 12, 2020

              Thanks Ron, you make a good point, I am really just fine, nice condo, have it all to myself, decent food.

              May just wait it out!

              Thanks everyone!

              Marco

            • I think I would think long and hard before leaving Medellin which has relatively been unscathed by the Corona Virus and begin a trek involving coming into close contact with people at airports and on airplanes. We have been spared for the most part. Why depart for the belly of the beast, Unless its a dire life or death emergency which justifies such a trek. We all would be best served by hanging tough here in Medellin. I could think of much worse places to get stranded. Our supermarkets are fully stocked, including all the toilet paper one could ever need. Domicilios galore. Stranded in paradise. It could be much worse. God willing this all gets resolved albeit perhaps later than sooner. I just can not forsee airports returning to normal anytime in the foreseeable future, especially while this virus is decimating many places on earth.
              Good luck to all of us and pray for the planet on this Blessed Easter Sunday.

          • Jeff. I live in Laureles, Medellin. They changed the rotation for pico y cedula this week. My cedula ends with the number 3. According to the new schedule i can only leave my house on wednesday of this week. I thought it was agreed we could go out twice week. This is nuts. Any thoughts. I tried calling the Alcadia and i have been on endless hold this morning. Thanks.

            • Agree this is nuts, especially announcing at almost midnight last night for Medellín the night before it starts. So, people couldn’t plan.

              This is just irresponsible and demonstrates a complete lack of ability to plan ahead. This change impacts millions of people in the Aburrá Valley and there is absolutely no excuse why they couldn’t have announced this a week ago.

          • Great flu hoax of 2020. Killed that economy for decades. Will get dangerous quick.

            • Thank God Colombia has chosen to be proactive and defend our Patria, putting lives before money, unlike Countries like Brazil and the USA. We are a resilient people here and will recover sooner than later, providing a second wave of a mutated Virus does not decide to evolve. A HOAX. Hmmmm. Where have we heard that term before? Tell that to the families who have family members who have died or on respirators. I believe Dr. Fauci. CDC, the WHO are acting in the best interests of humanity.
              We in Colombia will survive and so will our economy. God Willing. The Ciudad de eterna primavera especially knows no limits to boundless success.

        • Mark Arthur Weaver April 12, 2020

          Jeff, no worries I am in the same boat here, came for a couple of months, check out the territory since I had not been here in over 30 years, and got stuck. No I do not know the Bar, I was on a short rope as my wife was Colombian and insanely jealous of anything and anyone walking around, subsequently divorced her as she ran into trouble at the US Embassy in Moscow a few years later and she became Persona Non Grata! Oh Well, life goes on.

          No I am here teaching English and French and Spanish Online to Russians, Poles, Italians, French and a few Chileans, Not many folks here are interested enough to learn or pay the price to learn.

          I would like to head to Paraguay next, if I can ever get out of here! Kids are grown got a pension and making some money so my life adventures are not over, just becoming a Digital Nomad!

          Thanks for touching base, send me a personal email sometime and we can exchange phone numbers if you like!

          Cheers and Blessings my Friend

          Marco In Estadio Laurles!

    61. Mark Arthur Weaver March 22, 2020

      American Airlines was about to book my flight on March 28th to Miami, I have not paid for this flight yet.

      I will be calling American Airlines today. Spirit and COPA have no flights leaving as far as I can tell.

      The State Department, my former employer has told Americans to leave and return home.

      How can we leave Colombia if the Government does not allow us to!

      Thank you

      Dr. Marco

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