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Guatemala travel advice

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:

  • the whole of Guatemala based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.

Travel to Guatemala is subject to entry restrictions

  • Guatemala does not permit the entry of travellers who have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa in the 14 days prior to their arrival. This measure is not applicable to Guatemalan nationals, diplomats or foreign nationals who are legal residents in the country. This measure came into force on 23 December
  • If you are eligible for entry you must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, dated no more than 96 hours before the date of your arrival at a Guatemalan airport
  • Local authorities announced that from 6 January 2021, passengers who do not have a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test, will be required to take a test upon arrival at La Aurora International Airport at a cost of US $ 25 or Q.200 (Quetzales, local currency). However, passengers with journeys originating in or transiting the UK or South Africa will not be permitted to board flights to Guatemala

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to Guatemala, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) guidance on foreign travel insurance.

You will need to provide contact details on arrival in Guatemala. See entry requirements.

Due to the movement of migrant caravans, you should take extra care at the walk in border crossings with Honduras and Mexico. On 14 January 2021 Guatemala declared a “State of Prevention” in the departments of Izabal, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Jutiapa, El Progreso, Peten and Santa Rosa, from 14 to 28 January. The declaration seeks to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to maintain order as the caravans make their way towards the United States of America. It prohibits public gatherings, the carrying of weapons and may restrict travel. See Coronavirus section.

15,229 British nationals visited Guatemala in 2019. Most visits are trouble free.

The rainy season in Guatemala normally runs from June to November, coinciding with the hurricane season in the Caribbean. See Rainy season. You should plan any travel carefully. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the US National Hurricane Centre. Follow the advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. See Natural disasters.

Guatemala has one of the highest violent crime rates in Latin America. Take care in all parts of the country, including Guatemala City. You should carry personal ID when travelling (certified copies are fine). See Crime

Guatemala has active volcanoes, some prone to heightened activity. See Volcanoes

Avoid travelling on public buses (repainted US school buses). Private inter-city coach services are safer, but not immune from attack. See Local travel

UK health authorities have classified Guatemala as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Guatemala, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

You can contact the emergency services by calling 120 (police) or 122/123 (ambulance and fire).

If you are abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.

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