Q & A

Reopening of international flights in Colombia
September 2020

1 When do the international flights start in Colombia?

At September 21, international flights begun with a gradual reactivation in phases. The first includes four airports in the country, which are Bogotá, Rionegro, Cali and Cartagena. In addition, on September 19 there where be two special flights from Cartagena.

The second phase, which began on October 1, includes the airports of Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, Pereira and Armenia.

2 Which were these September 19 flights?

A Spirit company flight from Fort Lauderdale (USA) that arrived in Cartagena and a Viva Air company flight which departed to Miami.

How are the countries defined with which Colombia will connect?

The Ministry of Transport has defined international openness based on three main criteria:

  • Level of openness of the destination country for the arrival of international flights and non-resident foreigners (tourists).

  • Operational capacity of airports in Colombia based on new protocols published by the Government of Colombia.

  • Commercial interest of the airlines for having an offer for the routes.

4 What are the countries with which Colombia will connect in the first phase?

The Ministry of Transport with the Aeronautica Civil commission (air transport entity of Colombia) have defined that this will be done gradually, and in phases.

The first phase that begun on September 21 included the following countries: United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala. This under discretion of the airlines starting date and capacity of each one.

In addition, other destinations are evaluated in a timely manner, to the extent that opening conditions and borders allow them.

5 If the Government has already authorized the opening with some countries, why do some airlines do not have flights available on these dates?

Although there is already authorization to open with some countries, the airlines are the ones that determine the date of the start of operation in these markets and the capacity offered.

6 Through which cities will Colombia connect with international destinations in this first phase?

For the first phase of the opening of international flights, Colombia will connect with other countries within four airports in the country:

  1. El Dorado International Airport in the city of Bogotá.

  2. Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport in Palmira that serves the city of Cali.

  3. José María Córdova International Airport in Rionegro that serves the city of Medellín.

  4. Rafael Nuñez International Airport in the city of Cartagena.

In a second phase, which starts from the first of October, the following are included:

  1. Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport in Barranquilla.

  2. Palonegro de Bucaramanga International Airport.

  3. Matecaña de Pereira International Airport.

  4. El Edén International Airport in Armenia.

7When do the other international airports in the country will open?

This decision will depend on the authorization of the Ministry of Transportation of Colombia in accordance with compliance with biosafety protocols and the ability of airports to resume international operations, based on sanitary slots.

8 Which resolution contents the biosecurity protocols for international flights?

On September 15, the Ministry of Health issued Resolution 1627 that adopts the biosecurity protocol for the international transport of people by air. This is complementary to Resolution 666, where the general biosecurity protocol is adopted to mitigate, control and carry out the proper management of Coronavirus COVID-19, and to Resolution 1517 that dictates the biosecurity protocol in the airport and aeronautical sectors exclusively of the national territory for the domestic transport of people by air.

In addition, Resolution 2232 of Migration Colombia adopts the protocol applicable to the immigration control procedures of entry and exit, through the air migration control posts at the national level, before the reopening of the international air operation in the context of the Coronavirus COVID -19.

The protocols and international connections regulations are established in Resolution 414.

9 Is COVID-19 test required to enter the country?

Yes, it is one of the essential requirements to enter the national territory. The PCR result must be negative and must not be greater than 96 hours before the stipulated time of the flight.

10 What happens to passengers who do not have the required test?

Resolution 2232 establishes in article 5 that:

  • Failure to comply with the requirement of a negative PCR test for Covid-19, by foreign travelers, will be grounds for inadmissibility in Colombian territory, a situation that will be evaluated in context with other variables such as family roots, resident visa, among others.

  • In the case of Colombian citizens who arrive in the country without negative Covid-19 test, it will be written in the passport that they must comply with "responsible isolation for 14 days", in the same way it will be recorded in the Platinum PCM application, field F- 7.

In any case, the corresponding reports will be brought forward regarding the possible non-compliance of the airlines and / or aircraft operators, when embarking an unduly documented traveler by not verifying the PCR Covid-19 test prior to boarding with results.

11 From what age will the COVID-19 test be requested?

Resolution 1627 in its technical annex in point 6.1 establishes that the measure applies to ALL persons, without distinction of age, who come to the country from abroad, whether they are nationals or not.

12 Who will check passengers for COVID-19 test results?

The airlines will require prior to boarding in the country of origin the PCR test with a negative result and issued with a term no longer than 96 hours before the flight.

Additionally, Migration Colombia will review this requirement in the immigration control process or in the attention through automated systems. Passengers should bear in mind that the result may also be loaded in the immigration form "Check Mig" in PDF format or in the application available for this purpose.

13 Are there any special measures for travelers on commercial or humanitarian flights scheduled until September 30?

Resolution 2232 of Migration Colombia establishes in article 1 that travelers on humanitarian flights already scheduled, as well as travelers on commercial flights that enter Colombian territory until September 30, 2020, who do not exhibit a PCR test with a negative result for Covid19, they will be able to enter Colombian territory, committing to comply with the mandatory preventive isolation of 14 days and to perform the PCR test in Colombian territory.

14 Once in Colombia, it is mandatory to comply any quarantine term?

There will be no preventive isolation once they arrive in the country for those passengers who comply with the requirement to bring the test and do not present symptoms. However, nationals who do not present a negative PCR test or those who present COVID-19 symptoms must comply with a responsible isolation for 14 days.

In addition, for international travelers who enter the country before September 30 and do not have the PCR test with a negative result for COVID-19, they may enter Colombian territory assuming the commitment to comply with a mandatory preventive isolation of 14 days and to practice the PCR test in Colombian territory.

15 Is COVID-19 test required to leave Colombia?

Given that some countries in the world are asking for PCR tests with a negative diagnosis up to 96 hours from the collection of the sample, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection has established that people who must travel outside the country by air can take the test in private and public laboratories authorized by the National Institute of Health -INS-.

Travelers may approach the laboratories authorized for PCR samples and must present their ticket and cancel the test with their own financial resources. It will be the responsibility of each traveler to check if the country to which they are going must present or not a negative PCR test.

The Ministry of Health in the press bulletin No 719 of 2020 communicated that it modified the guidelines of the tests in the sense that the international travel ticket will be enough to request the test to the laboratory, without the need to present a medical order.

16 If I need a COVID-19 test to leave the country, what is the procedure in Colombia?

Since some countries in the world are asking for PCR tests with a negative diagnosis up to 96 hours from the collection of the sample, the Ministry of Health has established the test guidelines.

To take the test, travelers who are going to leave Colombian territory may approach private and public laboratories authorized by the National Institute of Health -INS- for PCR samples. There you must present your ticket and cancel the test with your own financial resources.

17 If someone arrives in the country on an international flight and makes a domestic connecting flight to another city, do they need to present a COVID-19 test?

Resolution 1517 of 2020 establishes that only in departments with a Covid-19 contagion rate of less than 1,000 per 100,000 inhabitants and whose main access route from other departments is air, will older people be asked before boarding of 7 years the presentation of the result of the test for the detection of the coronavirus, which must be negative, with a validity of no more than 48 hours.

The passenger who does not exhibit the test result or the test is positive will not be able to access the aircraft.

18 What are the biosecurity protocols for international flights?

  1. Entry to the airport must be a maximum of 3 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight.

  2. Uso obligatorio del tapabocas en aeropuerto, durante todo el vuelo y en la llegada. Para vuelos superiores a las 2 horas de Mandatory use of the mask at the airport, during the entire flight and upon arrival. For flights longer than 2 hours, it is recommended to wear more than two masks.

  3. When entering or leaving the country, passengers must fill out the Check-mig form, on the Migración Colombia page, between 24 hours and 1 hour before the trip. This form is in Spanish, English and French.

  4. The passenger must report their health status through the CoronApp application and respond to the strict tracking and monitoring that their insurer or the health secretary of the jurisdiction where they will stay or reside must do.

  5. On flights of less than two hours, there will be no food on board and it is recommended not to use the aircraft bathrooms.

  6. At airports, the use of carousels should be maximized to avoid crowds. In addition, for flights from high-impact countries, they must have specific carousels.

  7. The assigned chair must be kept throughout the flight.

For more information, refer to Resolution 1627 of 2020.

19 Is it possible to make international connections to get to Colombia from countries that do not yet have connectivity to those that do?

The country restriction is contemplated only by the origin of the flight and not by nationality.

20 In 1627 Resolution the crew members of the aircraft are not included, where is the procedure for them?

For crew members of aircrafts, Resolution 414 of March 16, 2020, is applied by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection and the other regulations issued by the Colombian aeronautical authority. However, they are obliged to advance the registration of the application "Check Mig", prior to the entry or departure of the international flight.

21Do crews need a negative PCR test to arrive or leave Colombia?

According to Resolution 414, the PCR test for crews is NOT established. The procedure contemplates that before boarding the aircraft, they must be assessed in an area assigned by medical services, where the temperature will be taken, anamnesis will be taken, general indications will be given and the number of the corresponding Secretary of Health will be provided. so that, if any crew member presents symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they are reported immediately.

22Summary and links of the regulations that apply in the context of the resumption of international air transport.