Today all travelers are asking: "Is it safe and secure to visit Peru?" or "Is it possible to visit Machu Picchu?". Well, Peru is safe now! The Peruvian government has taken a number of security measures against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The Peruvian government issued a state of emergency and closed the borders and cities immediately when the virus appeared. The president Vizcarra declared quarantine in effect from 16 March until 30 September 2020. During this time, neither Peruvians nor foreigners can be moving on the streets. Also, he issued an updated travel advisory allowing flights to only repatriate Peruvians and return foreigners to their home countries.
The Promperu (a state agency in charge of promotion of Peru) and MINCETUR (the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Peru) declared about tourism problems of the country. All local tour operators, travel agencies, hotels, Tour Guides, etc. have been stopped due to the pandemic. The MINCETUR overseed implementation of protocols in Cusco and Lima. It was to reactivate tourism in the months following the quarantine.
At the moment, all the country's borders are closed, once the quarantine is over, they reopen. Nationals and foreigners would be able to come back to visit the beautiful and marvelous Peruvian cities again.
When this happen, there will not be a problem to see different destinations; however, everyone should pay an attention to prevention in order to avoid getting this virus. It is necessary to wear masks at least at the airports.
Machu Picchu and Inca Trail are the Peruvian top destinations. Loads of travellers had booked them, but could not arrive because of the Covid-19.
The Ministry of Culture's website says the new cancellation policy allows a refund of Inca Trail permits and Machu Picchu tickets.
If you booked the Inca Trail in advance and you could not visit it, you might postpone your tour until the year 2021. Your Inca Trail operator will need to do the paperwork for you to change the trail's date for a later date of this year or 2021. This will be done for no extra charge. In case, you like to cancel your hike, you will need to wait for a refund since tour operators will need to replace you with anyboby else to change personal details given at the permit afterwards.
If you have booked a Machu Picchu ticket by yourself, you will need to wait till the quarantine is over. At present, the Ministry of Culture is closed. It is very important to email them explaining about your requirement enclosing a copy of your ticket.
Postpone: In case, you prefer to postpone your Machu Picchu tickets for a later date, the ministry will likely accept it and make it without any extra charge.
Refund: If you like cancelling of your tickets, it is probably the ministry will refund the ticket amount for no extra bank transfer fee.
Postpone: Your tour operator will need to present to the ministry a list of all the travellers going with your group in order to postpone for later date of this or the next year (2021).
Refund: If travellers prefer to cancel the trek, their tour operator should prepare a letter requesting a cancellation expaining its motive. Then, it might take some time to receive a reply of the ministry.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru is closed at the moment. Their website says only:
PeruRail and Inca Rail are railway companies which normally operate trips to Machu Picchu. They do not operate it during the quarantine. Only a local train works now. If you have booked a train to Machu Picchu in advance, contact them directly by email. They will change a date of your trip or give you a refund.
Well, Machu Picchu is closed now. Once the quarantine is over, Tierras Vivas will take over the security and safety of all our travellers. Our booking policy will be replace with new. Tierras Vivas will offer a private group service. We will operate in small groups (2 - 4 persons max.) only. Our Tour Guides and other staff will implement new safety policy into our tours/ hikes.
Since news of the coronavirus surfaced in late November 2019, more than 140,000 people have been infected and over 5,000 have died around the world. The virus keeps having a global impact. The U.S. government has established a state of emergency. This meant travel companies, leading airlines and cruises had to cancel their routes. Italy, France, China, Iran, South Korea and Europe were in quarantine. Some parts of Europe suffer from the 2nd wave nowadays applying local lockdowns.
In general, there is a higher-risk for older travelers and those having a chronic disease. For that reason, it is recommended that these tourists reconsider traveling. If they travel, they should always follow strick hygienic rules such as washing their hands frequently, wear a mask/respirator, monitor their health and limit interactions with others for a period of 14 days after returning from a travel.
Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from a common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV).
Coronavirus was first discovered in November 2019 in Wuhan, within the Hubei Province of China. On 12 February 2020, the WHO announced that the official name for this specific strain of coronavirus is Covid-19.
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization tweeted that they characterized officially the situation as "pandemic".
Fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you get these symptoms, call a medical centre in advance seeking a medical help. Follow advices of your local health authority. Stay home if you feel unwell.
National and local authorities have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to direct you quickly to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wash them with a soap and water.
Washing hands with a soap or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer kill viruses that may be on your hands.
Keep Social Distancing
Keep distance of 2 metres from anyone coughing or sneezing.
When someone coughs or sneezes, s/he sprays small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the coughing person has the disease.
Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose and Mouth
Hands usually touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus into your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can spread the body and can make you sick.
Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Make sure that you and people around you follow good respiratory hygiene. It means covering mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose the used tissue immediately afterwards. Ideally, use a mask or a respirator to protect yourself and others from infection spread.
The virus spread by means of droplets. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.