Does Colombia Require a COVID-19 Test for International Travelers? Medellin Guru
In January, a COVID-19 test (PCR) was required to enter Colombia for international travelers. But in June 2021, a PCR test is no longer required to travel to Colombia.

Does Colombia Require a COVID-19 Test for International Travelers?

In January, a COVID-19 test (PCR) was required to enter Colombia for international travelers. But in June 2021, a PCR test is no longer required to travel to Colombia.

Previously there was confusion generated by a court ruling in November that ordered the presentation of negative PCR tests for travelers who want to enter Colombia, the National Government affirmed on December 1 that, everything remains the same (no PCR test required).

But the court ratified its decision that a PCR test is required on December 3 but the government responded on December 3 that it will not comply with the ruling. However, this changed in January 2021 and a PCR test was again required to travel to Colombia.

Several Medellin Guru readers asked about this topic. So, we published this article that is being kept up-to-date and was updated again on June 4, 2021.

EDITOR NOTE on January 3: According to Dinero and El Tiempo and El Colombiano, with resolution 2532, signed on December 31, 2020, the Ministry of Health modified the regulations for the arrival of travelers to Colombia from other countries during the pandemic. A PCR test is now required and must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before the flight but there is an exception where you can take a PCR test in Colombia the requirement went into effect on January 7.

EDITOR NOTE: starting on April 7, non-residents (tourists) traveling to Colombia are required to have a PCR test.

EDITOR NOTE: starting in June 2021, international travelers to Colombia no longer require a PCR test (COVID-19 test) to travel to Colombia.

EDITOR NOTE: starting on December 14, 2021, international travelers to Colombia that are 18 years old or older must have a card or certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 with a complete schedule.

PCR Test is Now Needed to Travel to Colombia

EDITOR NOTE: Starting on December 31, 2021, international travelers to Colombia that are 18 years old or older must have a PCR rest within 72 hours of the flight and also be vaccinated.

On January 3: Ministry of Health Previously Required PCR Test

EDITOR NOTE on December 1: the Health Minister on December 1 said that for now it will not require a PCR test needed to enter Colombia according to El Tiempo.

EDITOR NOTE on December 3: the court ratified its decision that a PCR test should be required from travelers entering Colombia according to El Tiempo and later the government responded that it will not comply with the ruling of the court.

All the major new in Colombia reported on January 3, that with resolution 2532 of December 31, 2020, the Ministry of Health modified the regulations for the arrival of travelers from other countries to Colombia.

A PCR test should be taken a maximum of 96 hours before the flight and must be presented by all travelers, even if they are Colombian nationals and without exceptions due to age. That is, even babies traveling with their relatives must have a PCR test.

The resolution also states that “passengers with fever or respiratory symptoms associated with COVID-19 and those who have not previously filled out the Check-Mig application will not be allowed to board.

Why Did Colombia Originally Eliminate the PCR Test Requirement Last Year?

The Deputy Minister of Public Health and Provision of Services, Luis Alexander Moscoso Osorio, explained the epidemiological reasons that led the National Government to withdraw the requirement of a PCR test on November 4 for foreign passengers arriving in Colombia.

Let us remember that when the COVID-19 pandemic began, the world had an infection rate higher than that of Colombia, so we had to regulate, close flights and take some measures. Today there is community transmission, which means that in Colombia it is the same as in other nations.

Also, a series of difficulties have been encountered during the process where a PCR test was required:

  1. It was found that people can be infected in the 96-hour period that had been established between the time of the test and the trip.
  2. At the time of the test, the person may be in an incubation period that is up to 7 days. This creates a very large time in which the traveler can actually be positive and fly with a negative test. The passenger arrives in Colombia with a negative PCR test and believes that he/she is protected when in fact is not.
  3. The PCR test can cost between $60 and $400 USD abroad. So, it is recognized that for people with fewer resources it can be a barrier.
  4. In some countries it is difficult to find laboratories that can perform PCR tests within 96 hours and the readings are complex.

Colombia looked for a better alternative. And reportedly a contact follow-up strategy was set up with a call center that has about 1,033 people.

Impact on International Tourism to Colombia

With the COVID-19 test (PCR test) requirement now dropped again for Colombia, this will likely have an  impact on international tourism to Colombia. Not requiring a PCR test for tourists may help some tourists decide to come to Colombia.

According to Migración Colombia reported by Infobae, only 40,000 foreign visitors entered Colombia during September and October in 2020 when the PCR test was lifted last year.

Agencias de Viajes y Turismo (ANATO) released the percentages of foreigners who entered Colombia in September and October 2020 with the four most traveled from countries:

  • United States: 48.4 percent
  • Mexico: 5.5 percent
  • Ecuador: 3.6 percent
  • Peru: 2.5 percent

These visitors (tourists) accounted for 60 percent of all foreign travelers to Colombia in September and October 20201

Also, ANATO revealed that these were the destination departments in September and October, where 81 percent of foreign visitors traveled to:

  • Bogotá: 36.6 percent
  • Antioquia (Medellín): 24.3 percent
  • Valle del Cauca (Cali): 11.8 percent
  • Bolívar (Cartagena): 8.5 percent

Colombia experienced record foreign tourism in 2019 according to The City Paper, with 4.5 million foreign visitors, or about 375,000 per month on average in 2019.

If Colombia received only an average of 20,000 foreign visitors per month in September and October, 2020, this is only 5.3 percent of 2019’s average monthly volume.

So, international tourism to Colombia barely started to recover last year when the PCR test was eliminated. With Colombia again dropping the PCR test requirement, the number of international tourists coming to Colombia could increase somewhat impacting the tourism market.

Tourism Impact of Coronavirus: Colombia started to reactivate tourism

Tourism Impact of Coronavirus: Colombia started to reactivate tourism

The Travel and Tourism Market in Colombia

There has been a huge tourism impact of coronavirus in Colombia but Colombia started to reactivate tourism in Colombia beginning on September 1, 2020.

The Travel and Tourism market represents approximately 3.8 percent of Colombia’s GDP and is the third leading source of foreign exchange behind oil and coal.

Tourists are also spending more in Colombia. From 2004 to 2018 income from foreign visitors grew by over 400 percent, from $4.7 billion USD in 2004 to more than $20 billion USD in 2018.

In 2019, international tourists reportedly spent an average of $1,470 USD per person, excluding flights. Also, the central bank found that 90 percent of travel revenues were generated by tourists arriving by air.

The tourism impact of coronavirus was huge in Colombia, which impacted airlines, hotels, hostels, furnished rentals, travel agencies, national parks, tour operators and many other businesses.

Colombia starting to reactivate tourism can help tens of thousands of businesses in the tourism sector in Colombia.

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

Computer generated image of COVID-19, photo by Felipe Esquivel Reed

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: Does Colombia Require a COVID-19 Test for International Travelers?

Starting on June 1, a PCR test is no longer required to enter Colombia. But if you have symptoms within 14 days of arriving. you will have to quarantine and report to the local health authorities.

With a COVID-19 test (PCR test) no longer required to enter Colombia, international tourism may start to recover again in Colombia.

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 December 1, 2020 with information that the Health Ministry has said that for now it will not require a PCR test as needed to enter Colombia.

Editors note: updated on December 3, 2020 with information that the court ratified its decision that a PCR test is required to enter Colombia and gave the Colombian government four days to comply with the order.

Editors note: updated on December 3, 2020 again with information that the Colombian National Government responded and will not require a PCR test or quarantine for arriving international passengers.

Editors note: updated on January 3, 2021 with information that a PCR test is now required to travel to Colombia.

Editors note:  updated on January 5, 2021 to add information that readers are reporting that airlines such as JetBlue and American Airlines are starting to inform customers about the PCR test requirement for Colombia. Also, added that the PCR test requirement apparently goes into effect on January 12 but may be earlier.

Editors note: updated on January 8, 2020 with information that the PCR test requirement apparently went into effect on January 7 and that some Medellin Guru readers that arrived on January 8 were required to have a PCR test.

Editors note: updated on March 7, 2021 with information from JetBlue’s and Spirit’s website regarding the PCR test requirement for travel to Colombia, which is correct. Some readers are reporting that some airlines are denying boarding to Colombia is you don’t have a PCR test. 

Editors note: updated on March 16, 2021 with information about incorrect news that a PCR test is no longer required to enter Colombia. The requirement for a PCR rest has not changed.

Editors note: updated on April 8, 2021 with information that a PCR test is now required for all tourists (non residents) traveling to Colombia.

Editors note: updated on June 4, 2021 with information that is PCR test is no longer required to travel to Colombia.

Editors note: updated on December 7, 2021 with information that Colombia will require a card or certificate of vaccination for travelers who are aged 18 or older.

Editors note: updated that a PCR test is need for those 18 or older traveling to Colombia starting on December 31.

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136 thoughts on “Does Colombia Require a COVID-19 Test for International Travelers?”

    1. I am curious if all of the airlines are now aware of this change and on what date it actually began. I had a short visit to the States in late May and I reentered Colombia on June 3 on a flight from Fort Lauderdale. JetBlue was very strict on the requiring the PCR test results for my flight. They required my PCR test to check in for my flight at the arrival to the airport and every passenger had to show the gate agents their PCR test results and have their ticket stamped in order to board the aircraft.

    2. So no more PCR Test to come to Colombia? Do we still need to fill out the Migracion form online? Thank You!

    3. *** BREAKING *** (Jeff, please verify thru local news)


      Getting PCR test can be difficult and need 2+ days…. (easiest is Panama’s on-arrival fast antigen test)

      but seriously, why dropping it now when ICUs are 95%+ ????

      also Jeff said Colombia has “best health care in Latin America” – so WHY is the ICU so high?? Lack of access to highly effective treatments or not treating it early??? (Ivermectin, HCQ, Dexamethasone, Vitamin D + C + Zinc, Monoclonal antibodies)

      • We just updated article with information that PCR test is no longer required to travel to Colombia, we confirmed this with local news and a few readers who arrived in the past two days.

    4. Hi, does anyone know if a UK citizen can take a flight from Colombia to the US at the moment? Would I be allowed in and would I need to quarantine? I would be flying into Miami.

    5. Hi. I cannot find this information anywhere. I had Covid a few weeks ago. When I get tested, it’s possible it will still show as positive because it can show as positive for up to three months! Coming back to the US, I can simply show that positive test, but Colombia doesn’t state anything about this situation. Can you show this documentation to enter or board the flight there, or am I screwed if it still shows as positive many weeks after having tested positive? I’m also double vaccinated not that it matters to them either.

      Thanks so much for your help and insight.

      • Sorry it needs to be a negative PCR test. Does not matter if you are vaccinated. Colombia does not have a rule like the U.S. for documentation of recovery.

      • Michael April 13, 2021

        If you are returning to the US I suggest you call the US Embassy as to what document you might need to fly back after having Covid as I am not sure how one proves they recovered. It is true after getting Covid one can test positive for up to 3 months, other suggestion is try doing the antigen test which cost less than a PCR tests and see if you tests positive or negative… If you are heading to Colombia sorry they don’t consider recovered , only a negative PCR tests will allow you to enter ids my understanding .

    6. John m April 3, 2021

      Hi. Does kids also need a pcr test?

    7. FYI, Aeromexico/Delta arranged discounted tests in Mexico for their travellers


      If returning to US from Mexico, try this for inexpensive antigen


    8. Michael March 19, 2021

      New: Those traveling to Massachusetts starting March 22: Changes to Massachusetts’ travel restrictions have been announced. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday the state will replace the state’s COVID-19 travel order with a travel advisory, one that no longer requires people entering the state to complete a travel form. Those arriving in the state after being elsewhere for more than 24 hours will be advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. no quarantine advised if you meet :
      Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours.
      Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.

      Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.

      Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms)

      Biden administration eyes mid-May to begin relaxing Covid travel restrictions ( word is these restrictions are being reviewed weekly so changes might happen sooner, seems to hinge on numbers vaccinated and direction of infections)

    9. I just got back from Colombia. Antigen test is a joke no one in Colombia does it. and PCR test in Medellin only took one hour they sent it to your phone,

      • Not true. Many places do Antigen tests including at the MDE airport where many readers got Antigen tests. See our article – https://medellinguru.com/pcr-test-covid-19-test/

        • Allan Yheulon April 13, 2021

          I agree.
          I just departed MDE for MIA.
          I got the Antigen test at MDE, was 80,000. They accept cash & credit cards (not sure if other than MC & Visa – I paid cash).
          Assume it took over 40 minutes because after waiting that long I inquired & learned they entered my email address incorrectly. Double check everything because they also misspelled my last name AND entered the wrong year for my birthdate.
          There’s NO signage for where to go, I asked 2 people on my way to the testing site.
          Go to the elevator/escalator down to the ground level & look for parking area C. Go past it & the tents are on the left.

      • Michael April 13, 2021

        I did a antigen test Saturday (4/10) at Centrolab on Ave Oriental in Villa Neuvo took less than an hour to fill out info sheet and get swabbed, cost was 110.000 pesos got rests back in 2 hours . It was accepted for my return flight today (4/13). the place was busy with people doing the antigen or PCR test… the PCR test is more costly I didn’t ask how much at this lab…

    10. Daniel Harris March 18, 2021

      Getting my first shot of the Moderna vaccinelater today, and am also pre-scheduled for the second shot 4 weeks later. Have there been any official statements there on arrival and entry procedures for Americans, or other foreign nationals, with completed vaccinations, and any specific required documentation to prove it? Most Americans have been getting a small wallet card with the vaccination info on it, and I know that at least a few other countries are introducing “vaccine passports” to document such status. What is Colombia’s take on all of this so far? Will I still need the 96 hour PCR test to avoid isolation, or will the vaccination proof override that and still let me in without isolating?…

      • Regardless if you are vaccinated, Colombia requires a PCR test. That is the same for the U.S. U.S. requires a PCR test or Antigen test even if you have been vaccinated.

    11. FYI, updated article from Points Guy on where to get RAPID PCR tests in the US


      If your free local government or insurance paid test can return results quickly enough, great for you. but my county & hospital district doesn’t. cheaper to get it in layover in Mexico City or Panama.


    12. Or is this statement one that applies only to those who arrive without a negative test?

      • If arrive without a test the quarantine is for 14 days or until receive negative test results in Colombia. “quarantine for 7 days with a negative test 3-5 days after arrival” is completely wrong and never was in place.

    13. Why does the embassy’s website say that ‘”travelers are expected to quarantine for 7 days with a negative test 3-5 days after arrival”? To my knowledge this is incorrect, can anyone comment on this?

      • Yes is incorrect. See this article in Spanish – https://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/prueba-pcr-seguira-siendo-exigida-a-viajeros-que-entren-al-pais-confirmo-migracion-colombia-HM14811251

        Translation – “Migration Colombia stressed, however, that there are three possible options for those who enter the country. If this is the case for you, here is what you can do. The first route you can take is to have a PCR test done 96 hours before your trip. Upon arrival in the country, present the negative result to the authorities that require it. The second involves an additional commitment from the traveler. Once inside Colombia, if you do not present a negative result of a PCR test, you must comply with a mandatory isolation for 14 days. Finally, if you are already in mandatory isolation, you can perform the test within Colombia and, after a negative result, suspend isolation.”

        • Thank you Jeff! Looking forward to my trip coming up shortly and this help gives some peace of mind.

    14. Michael March 14, 2021

      Wondering of travelers experience using Colombia’s Check-Mig app which supposedly is required entering and leaving Colombia. Along with a Colombia Covid app while in Colombia. The two people I know who have traveled in the last 2 months told me they never used the apps, only one was ever asked for test results. The arrived and departed Medellin Int airport

      • The app is not required as many travelers don’t have a smart phone and it only works with a Colombian SIM.

    15. Michael March 14, 2021

      Have you heard if testing might change in the near future with people now getting vaccinated. I heading there end of March. been vaccinated since end of January. American Airlines states for Colombia travel they will not board you without a negative test in both directions

      • JetBlue, Spirit and Avianca according to readers do not require a PCR test for travel to Colombia.

    16. Anybody actually tried the “NO test. Test on arrival instead and hole up until negative result received? about 1-3 days” ??? The risk here is airline and/or airport may refuse you to board. Understandably, untested passengers are a possible threat to others and crew.

      My area – free test can’t guarantee within the 96 hours time limit. Guaranteed tests very expensive, as much as half the fare. Cheaper to layover in MEX or PTY, get PCR, then continue to Colombia.

    17. I arrive on Monday March 1. If my emailed results come in 24 or 48 hours after I arrive. Will I be sprung from quarantine at that time or would I have to complete the 14 days? Logic says, after producing a negative result I would be off the hook. Who would I show that to in order to escape the quarantine?

      • Once you have negative results you no longer need to quarantine according to reports from several readers.

        • Jeff, is a rapid test ok to travel to Colombia? My flight is on the 20th and they mention a PCR is required but results take up to 5-7 days..

          • Only a PCR test is accepted in Colombia. If you don’t have a test you can get tested in Colombia with results in 40 hour or lest – see our article about getting a COVID-19 test in Medellín – https://medellinguru.com/pcr-test-covid-19-test/

            • Thanks Jeff! I am actually headed to Caratgena. Do you need a covid test when travelling from one city to another in Colombia ?

              Thanks !

            • No test needed for traveling domestically in Colombia.

            • Hey Jeff!! When traveling to Colombia, you must present a Negative PCR test 96 hours prior to entering the country, is that correct? Thanks 🙂

            • 96 hours before your scheduled flight.

    18. I tested positive in December and can’t find anywhere that will administer a PCR that I could use to prove a negative status. Do you know if Columbia has an exemption to the negative test requirement, similar to the US, for individuals who have had COVID in the last 3 months?

      • No, Columbia does not have an exemption to the negative test requirement, similar to the US, for individuals who have had COVID in the last 3 month.

        If you can’t find a place for a PCR test you can arrive without a PCR test you can get one in Colombia and places here can get test results within 48 hours – see our article about getting a PCR test in Medellín – https://medellinguru.com/pcr-test-covid-19-test/

    19. So I never told my story, so I want to share it now. My flight left Atlanta on Friday the eighth connecting through Fort Lauderdale. I had my test 9 AM on Wednesday and was told I would get the results within 24 hours. Thursday morning, no results so I sent an email and they responded that I should get it back shortly. Thursday night, no results, at this point I’m freaking out.

      I get to the airport in Atlanta at 4 AM and go through security and get to the gate and the agent is announcing over the PA system anyone going to Colombia please see her and I see people walking up and she is asking for the negative test and their migration form. So I played dumb and did not go up there hoping that I could get to Fort Lauderdale and figure it out from there. The whole time I was terrified that they would not let me get on the plane or pull me off. But I was able to get to Fort Lauderdale and arrived at 8 AM and my connecting flight to Medellin was at 10:15. When our plane landed in Florida I still did not have my negative test and I started freaking out so I emailed the lab again and followed up with a phone call. I got a hold of a guy named Justin and frantically explained my situation to him and he said he would go back in the lab and talk to the technicians and put a rush on my results so I could get them within an hour before I board my flight. He called me back 30 minutes later and said unfortunately I won’t get the results until 11 o’clock and I told him that I was supposed to get on the flight at 10:15 and several people told me that I would not be able to board the flight without the negative test.

      At this point I was going crazy and someone from Spirit Airlines told me that outside the airport on the first floor was a lab that would do a rapid test so I ran out of the airport like a lunatic and asked them how quickly they could do the results and they said 48 hours. At this point I don’t know what to do and I was emotionally distraught so I went back into the airport and one of the ticket agents asked me why I looked upset and I explained it to him and he said to me, “no problem, I’ll let you on the flight as long as you have results by the time you land“. And I was so relieved because so many other people had told me that I won’t even be able to get on the flight without my results. So lo and behold, I got on the plane, it landed and my results were in my email waiting for me. Unfortunately had a four day lockdown four hours after I landed but my time was amazing and I loved the city and will be going back shortly.

      • Bobby

        Thanks for sharing, you mentioned you had “four day lockdown four hours after I landed”, is that because of this requirement ?

        The Ministry of Health has announced that all inbound international passengers must have a negative COVID-19 test result. Travelers arriving to Colombia must present negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test administered no more than 96 hours prior to departure. However, airlines may allow the boarding of travelers who do not have this test, provided they state under oath that they were unable to take a test or obtain the result within the required timeframe. Travelers are expected to quarantine for 10 days or 7 days with a negative test 3-5 days after arrival.


    20. PAUL, et al .

      Please remember, this is Latin America!

      More likely United States is going to be under “E” as in Estados Unidos or EEUU

      Even if English form is available (if it even works), pulldowns or menus may have items still in Español


    21. Per US embassy

      •Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes. •The Ministry of Health has announced that it will require a negative COVID-19 test result for all inbound international travelers. Beginning Thursday, January 7, travelers arriving to Colombia must present negative results from a COVID-19 PCR test administered no more than 96 hours prior to departure. This rule applies to international arrivals regardless of age (including infants) or nationality, although authorities may make exceptions in rare cases for travelers to be tested and quarantined upon arrival. All passengers must complete Migracion Colombia’s Check-Mig immigration form and follow other protocols upon arrival.

      • Have not seen an official site like Migracion that says January 7 but the Airport Twitter of the Bogotá airport has a Tweet that says January 7.

        • Steven Valdez II January 8, 2021

          What a joke!! I fly in on the 10th and at this point, I will just take a test today to be on the safe side. I called American Airlines and they do not know anything either. It will really suck since the test is 189 dollars and then I found out later I still do not need it. However, I cannot take that chance so I will just take it and pay for it.

    22. Just spent some time on the phone with United, flying out on the 8th. they told me I can not receive my boarding passes unless I have a negative test. which I do not.

      Any official website that has the information about not starting until the 12th?

      Also I tried to check in on the Check Mig, the US does not appear as a choice on any of the drop downs.

    23. Jeff you have the name of telnumber of This.
      ” You pay for a test. It is a PCR test. Cost of a PCR test in Colombia can be cheaper than in the U.S. For example, a PCR test in Sabaneta (across from the Vaquita grocery store) with 48 hour results costs 270,000 pesos.”
      Hope the test This weekend in fly thuesday back to spain..
      Most labs are closed sunday/monday.

    24. Roger L Judy January 7, 2021

      I am in Armenia Colombia, Do I have to take a test to go back to Florida??

    25. Allan Yheulon January 7, 2021

      Hi Jeff,
      I’m arriving Medellin, from Panama, on January 13 & having trouble finding a testing site here to comply with the 96 hour window.

      But, your article mentions “but there is an exception where you can take a PCR test in Colombian.” However, where to get tested is important for a visitor (who’s not that familiar with the city).

      Some information I read yesterday (sorry I don’t remember the website) seemed to suggest this pre-testing remains a problem for many to comply. And, therefore (do I understand it correctly?) that, like Panama, Colombia will provide testing at the (Medellin) airport?

      • ALLAN – Hospital Punta Pacifica will do PCR with 48 hour result. $50 drive-thru (ie, taxi)

        I had added extra days in Panama last December’s trip for this, then Colombia dropped the PCR test requirement so didn’t need it.

        (But had a doctor appointment anyway – the hospital is very clean with strict procedures, sanitizer, temp checks. International Department and English speaking doctors)

        • Allan Yheulon January 7, 2021

          Gato. thanks for the info although their $50 option($45 on their website) is the AntiGen & not the PCR version ($95) which it seems is Colombia’s requirement.

          I’ll try to get an appointment – but now I’m concerned about the lockdown & how can I be out & about (well, in an Uber probably) on a weekend to get the test within my 96 hours prior to departure?

          Another question is (since “there is an exception where you can take a PCR test in Colombia.”) will Colombia be testing at MDE as they’re doing here in Panama? Or does that vague statement mean if (1) I’m allowed to board for Medellin w/out a negative PCR Test & (2) they aren’t testing at the Medellin airport, then (3) how are tourists to know or find where to get the test?

          Any input – from anyone – will be appreciated!

          • Sorry, $95. I typed in the Tocumen cost by mistake.

            From International Department email:

            “The cost $95.00
            Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm
            Saturday 8am – 12 noon.Our drive thru will provide de test is 48hrs.
            Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm
            Saturday 8am – 12 noon.”

            As for arriving without a test, it sounds like you will be sent to quarantine immediately and then have to somehow arrange for test and send results to be freed. Lot safer to have it in hand and peace of mind for not only you, but airport, airline, etc.

            13th….. You fly Wed? I was flying out Wed 8PM. so I was going to get tested Sunday (Walk into lab because drive-thru not open that day), then expected results tue night or wed morning.

            Anyway, call Pacifica Salud, tell them your flight information and see if it works out.


    26. Bobby Pappas January 6, 2021

      January 12th? Ugh, I just did mine this morning.

    27. Sean Treston January 6, 2021

      Do you know if the PCR test is required for international land border crossings? (for example, entering from Venezuela)? I tried reading the statute and it’s vaguely worded so I’m not sure if it only applies to air travel.

      • Yes seen hundreds if not thousands of impoverished Venezuelans line up on a daily basis at the crossing points in Maicao and Cucuta
        with their hungry and shoeless children, expensive PCR tests in hand ready for inspection.

        • Sean Treston January 7, 2021

          I don’t think the sarcasm is appropriate here. There are alternatives to the PCR tests (such as quarantine camps). The Colombian government has also spent a significant amount of money on aid for Venezuelan refugees so I could understand them administering the test in this case as well. It was a serious question. What has happened, and continues to happen in Venezuela is an absolute tragedy.

    28. Hi Jeff,

      I was just reading an article in Minuto 30.com that says these new regulations only take effect January 12, 2021. Do you have any more info on this?

      • Yes, multiple other sources also say goes into effect on January 12, our article is updated.

        • Oops! I missed that. Thanks Jeff. I always look to you as the most reputable source.

        • I’m at the airport right now and they’re asking people for their COVID tests. I haven’t received my results back yet!

    29. Feliz Año Nuevo Jeff!

      As always Medellin Guru is the first to report and the most trusted source!

      Colombia should require covid test to protect all of us BUT it should be the easier, lower cost and rapid antigen test like in Panama (only 15 minutes)

      Gracias y Saludos!

    30. Bobby Pappas January 4, 2021

      What’s going on, I’m supposed to leave Friday morning.

      • Sorry, we are just reporting what was all over the news last night.

        See this news article (in Spanish) today with some more information – https://www.elcolombiano.com/colombia/abece-de-la-exigencia-de-la-prueba-pcr-para-entrar-a-colombia-HA14365233

        But still many details are missing. When will this officially start? When will the airlines be notified? What if you have already been vaccinated, do you still need a test?

        • Bobby Pappas January 4, 2021

          Are any more details supposed to come out today? This is a cluster.

          • Readers are reporting that airlines are now informing customers about the PCR test requirement or if don’t have a test, the need to be tested in Colombia and quarantine up to 14 days or until negative results from the test. Readers report that JetBlur, Spirit and American Airlines are informing customers.

        • This is so frustrating. I fly at 6am on the 7th from Dallas to Bogota. Spirit Airlines sent an email saying testing is not required but quarantine is. The turn around of the pcr tests is 3 days so i can’t get one. Do you have any advice? Or do I just go with the flow?

          • Yes, test is not required before you come. it is an exemption to getting a test before you arrive. But if you don’t have one will have to get a test when you arrive and quarantine for 14 days or until negative result from test.

            • But still no effective date yet for this policy? I’m leaving today.

            • Readers are reporting that airlines like JetBlue and Spirit have started informing customers of the test requirement.

            • Who pays for the test there? And is it a PRP test? And how will they know if you’re really quarantining, honor system? Sorry for all of the questions, but this came as a surprise to me as I’m leaving early Friday morning. I did find a lab that would give me same day results but is charging me $300! But I may have no choice.

            • They have a call center to check on those under quarantine. Also, hotels are supposed to notify the government if someone under quarantine leaves.

              You pay for a test. It is a PCR test. Cost of a PCR test in Colombia can be cheaper than in the U.S. For example, a PCR test in Sabaneta (across from the Vaquita grocery store) with 48 hour results costs 270,000 pesos.

            • Sean Arthur Treston January 8, 2021

              I paid $175.000 pesos from the University of Antioquia (PCR Covid Test). For $25.000 additional, they performed the test in my house so I did not have to travel anywhere.

            • Sean Arthur Treston January 8, 2021

              I also received my results within 24 hours.

    31. I’m also hearing six day quarantine for anyone flying into Medellin. I’m trying to confirm this but a friend called me with the news this morning.

      • No, does not say that in the the official resolution of the Ministry of Health (in Spanish) requiring a PCR test to enter Colombia. There is a link in our article.

        • Do we have to print out our PCR test? It won’t be acceptable on email screen shot?

    32. Jeff when do you think this will be implemented? Maybe Wednesday or Thursday?

      • Good question, don’t yet have an answer. This is an evolving news story that was first reported last night and is confirmed on the Ministry of Heath Twitter today – https://twitter.com/MinSaludCol/status/1346077907895152642

        We will update the article if we find out. Two readers that arrived yesterday reported they weren’t required to have a test.

        • Steven Valdez II January 4, 2021

          Thank you Jeff I will be waiting to see what you post when the answer comes. Regards, Steven

        • Anthony Bowen January 4, 2021

          I have had both shots of the moderna vaccination. for Covid..Will they take my health card as proof in place of a PCR Test?

    33. So it looks like a test is required now as of January 3rd.

      • The effective date was not announced yet. The decree was dated December 31 but Medellin Guru readers that arrived in early January report they were not required to have a PCR test. The government needs to communicate to the airlines about this test requirement and apparently this wasn’t done over the New Year’s weekend. This is an evolving news story and we we will update the article with details when available.

        • I have a flight today and just knew about this last night breaking news. Hope this does not screw me.

          • Probably won’t effect you. This resolution was issued over the holidays and didn’t hit the news until yesterday night. Also, it seems the airlines weren’t informed over the holiday weekend. So, probably won’t enforce this for a few days as people traveling today or tomorrow can’t get a PCR test so fast. Probably will take a few days to go into effect.

            • Steven Valdez II January 4, 2021

              This is sucks!! I will be coming to Medellin on the 11th of next week. I will be in Cancun on Wednesday which means I probably need to take a test there. Jeff do you know if the test is 96 hours from when you take it or 96 hours from when you get the results?

            • 96 hours from when tested.

    34. Thanks for the reply, yeah no problems flying from Dublin. Have a great trip.

    35. fingers crossed , tomorow i have a flight from Madrid to Medellín..
      No time for pcr..??

      • Hey Peter, how was your trip I am flying to Medellin from Dublin on Monday curious to know how it went. Cheers

        • My trip was good no problems for mi on the Madrid airport and Medellín airport.
          Only people from the UK we’re not Allowed.
          You are from Dublin, so i hooe for you alle is going ok

    36. I have a flight for colombia; I will be reaching colombia on 27th December.Please let me know if PCR test is required to enter colombia.
      Your response will be highly appreciated

      • Currently not required and will will update our article if this changes.

        • Ok, please do because my gf is insisting that they are now requiring it again. Thanks

          • Sorry she is wrong – nothing has been announced by the Ministry of Health or Migracion. See this article in Semana yesterday (in Spanish) – https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/juez-modulo-fallo-sobre-prueba-pcr/202043/

            At the end of that news article:

            “The decision or modulation of the court ruling is important, although surely insufficient for the Minister of Health, who for now has an incident of contempt against him and which runs in the same court, since the order was peremptory and at the airports they should already be demanding the PCR test.”

            If a PCR test was required this would be all over the local news. All that is in the news is the change in the court ruling.

            • Ok, thanks for the info. Quick question, what happens if they decide to re-implement it in less than 96 hours prior to my flight? For example, my flight is scheduled for the 8th of Jan. if they decide to bring back the test on the 5th, 6th, or 7th, what do I do? Thanks again for everything.

            • Unlikely to happen and if it does they will provide sufficient notice so people can get tested before their flight.

    37. The PCR test is not a diagnostic test and should not be used to detect an active infection anyway. Thank you Health Minister for looking out for the people who depend on tourism.

    38. My girlfriend just texted me and said that they announced on the news tonight in Medellin that they’ve brought back the mandatory test requirement. Can anyone confirm? Thanks

    39. Roger L Judy December 15, 2020

      Yes I am going to Colombia 3rd Of January, I guess not test require so far ??? On the Check Mig form, I don’t understand the Travel Time in the 24 Hour format. I don’t know what to put there?? What are they wanting to know??

    40. Nice to see not test required, thanks for keeping us updated.

    41. Daniel Broek December 14, 2020

      i am an american, who with travel to medellin, and then to europe. are there commercial labs that do covid testing? PCR test, and antibody test?

    42. Hi all. I boarded Spirit airlines to go to Cartagena this morning (Dec 11) and they are checking for the filled Colombia migracion form at the beginning of the first leg of your flight. I went from Tampa to Fort Lauderdale to Cartagena and the form was required to be filled before check in at Tampa airport. No covid test results required as of this date. And just as I expected from my previous experience 3 months ago, unfortunately, US airport doesn’t enforce the covid restrictions. The social distance signs and everything is there but no one to enforce it. On the other hand, Cartagena airport and other outdoor public places are strictly enforcing these restrictions, sanitizers in every taxi, temperature check before entering any restaurant, bars, social distancing at casinos, etc. Excellent job by the Colombian government and its people for understanding the criticality of this covid situation and making Colombia safe for travel. Thank you!

    43. I wonder how it would work if I need to quarantine in Medellin but flying into Bogata??? LOL. Messed up situation.

    44. I’m coming for six months flying into Bogata (connecting to Medellin) on this coming Saturday ; the 12th. Got my fingers crossed or maybe makes sense to just get the test. I’m looking into timing and cost.

    45. Nice to see that Colombia no longer requires a PCR test.

    46. Hi is there any new updates today regarding needing a negative pcr test?

      thank you

      • Our article above was updated today. The court ratified its decision that a PCR test should be required from travelers entering Colombia and gave the Colombian government four days to comply with the order. Remains to be seen if the government challenges the ruling.

    47. Agreed. This has put such a burden on me and my girlfriend. I’ve already changed my dates once and now with this sudden unexpected possibility I might have to change my plans again, possibly having us meet at a neutral location, i.e. the Dominican Republic or Mexico, but that would cost so much money $$$ than my trip to Medellin. Hopefully I’ll be able to come, my trip is for Jan. 8th-14th.

    48. The Health Ministry today announced for now there will be no PCR test for entering Colombia – see (in Spanish) – https://www.eltiempo.com/salud/ministerio-de-salud-dice-que-por-ahora-las-pruebas-pcr-no-son-requisito-para-entrar-a-colombia-552174

      And our article above is updated.

      • Jeff, thanks for the update. My concern is the “for now” part. Is there a time frame where they could revisit that? My ticket id for Jan. 8th, does it look safe for me to come? Also, no 14 day quarantine? Thanks again.

        • No quarantine required. And no time frame was provided when this will be revisited.

    49. I have been delaying my return to Colombia due potential policy inconsistencies and surprises such as this one. Why take the risk of making arrangements and committing money if the government (or in this case the courts) are just going to change the rules at the last minute? A PCR test is a major nuisance and doesn’t make much sense in the first place for the reasons stated. But now a judge can just mandate a 14 day quarantine in addition to the PCR test? What gives him the authorization to do this? This is a deal breaker and obviously I will not be able to return to Colombia anytime soon. I fell so sorry for those Colombians who rely on foreign tourism to earn money to buy food and other essentials.

      • Totally agree. Absurd overreach of the courts! The test is known to be unreliable.
        The people here need to recover their incomes.

    50. Kwasi Porter-Hill November 28, 2020

      I am scheduled to fly in this upcoming Friday. Should I have a covid test taken on Monday or Tuesday to be safe?

      • If the requirement for a PCR test returns, the test should be taken within 96 hours before the time of your flight if they keep the same time requirement as they had before.

    51. Pure political BS that will hurt the people who depend on tourism for a living and other economic damage to Colombia. The PCR test cannot identify infection anyway. Portugal has declared it unreliable and illegal. Wake up Colombia!

      • James Hope-Thompson January 7, 2021

        In light of this change are people who have been in UK in last 14 days still barred, even if they have a valid PCR test result, or does new ruling applying to all supercede this?

    52. Here is an article in La Semana that states that, according to the Judge’s ruling, a 14 day quarantine will ALSO be required, even if the PCR test is negative: https://www.semana.com/nacion/articulo/juez-ordeno-al-gobierno-exigir-prueba-negativa-de-covid-19-a-viajeros-internacionales/202022/

      • Yes, we state that in our article above. The requirement for both a PCR test AND a 14 day quarantine are in the ruling by the judge.

    53. That court is just wrong. What about domestic flights in Colombia that do not require a test. There are many more domestic flights than international flights. So, the risk is much higher with domestic flights.

    54. Wow, a judge orders both a PCR test and 14 day quarantine. International tourism would quickly return to zero like when there were no international flights. What qualifies a judge to make this decision…. absurd.

    55. Todd Oxner November 28, 2020

      The rationales listed for abandoning the PCR test make a lot of sense. I went Cartagena and Medellin the last week of October. That involved having refundable hotel reservations and tentative plans, as well as finding a place to get a rapid test. I had to show the test results in order to get into the line to check-in for Avianca, again when checking in, when boarding the plane, and again in Migration en Bogota. Additionally I’d uploaded the results to the site established for that. I’ve got tickets to return on the 3rd… I appreciate the update, Jeff, as it seems that I probably need to get a test on Monday. If they reinstate the test on the 1st there would be no practical way to get a test and results before the flight on the 3rd. The PCR requirement is a clear impediment to someone like myself who generally travels between the two countries monthly.

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