Which country is the safest from Covid-19 in North and South America ?

If you are in America and looking for a nearby safe place from Covid-19, you should look into South America. Brazil had its death toll exceeding over 100,000 and Peru is ranked to be the 2nd worst after Belgium in deaths per capita. Now the center of the global pandemic is literally in South America, but this safe haven is surrounded by Brazil and Argentina. For some reason, the US has classified this country as Level 3 “Reconsider Travel” even though the total cases per capita is 11 times worse in the US.

Uruguay is a miracle of America. Thanks to the weaker ties with the countries where were hit by Covid-19 earlier such as China, South Korea, northern Italy or Iran, they had the late arrival of Covid-19 cases however they confirmed the first cases on March 13, 2020. One of them attended a wedding with 500 people. 2 days later, local transmission was already admitted. In early April, an outbreak was found at the local hospital, which had to be closed and placed under quarantine. They had a perfect cultural culture medium for the virus. They kiss on the cheek to greet and share metal straw to drink mate tea. However by August 20, 2020, they confirmed only 1,493 cases and 40 deaths in total. The latest death was counted last Monday and the case fatality rate is below 2.7%.

According to the local US embassy, US citizens are permitted to enter Uruguay. Negative Covid-19 test conducted 72-hours prior to the start of the trip is required for entry in the forms of PCR and/or serology. Thanks to the low cases of Covid-19, Uruguay is in the open country list in most EU nations including Denmark, which is a gateway to the world’s safest place Greenland. It means travelers from Uruguay are exempted from the travel restrictions imposed by EU nations at the moment of August 20, 2020. If one has been staying in Uruguay for more than 14 days, the person should be able to enter another country even though the original country is not in the open country list (Please consult the local authorities for clarification.)

Despite the recent surge of crimes, Uruguay has been one of the most stable countries in South America. Until mid June, Paraguay was also seen as the most successful country that managed to contain Covid-19 but the new cases are rising in Paraguay. What made Uruguay different from Brazil, Peru and even Paraguay were only 2 policies. One is the strong recommendation to wear a face mask, the other is the random testing of Covid-19. Uruguay did not only implement the contact tracing for Covid-19 but also sent out special teams to random city blocks and critical job sectors to test. They implemented more than 57,000 tests by late June, which covered approximately 1.6% of the national population. The only hot spot in Uruguay is the city of Rivera, where the border to Brazil is only an imaginary line down the middle of an avenue. Brazilian authorities are not implementing the parallel tests in the Brazilian side of the city.

In Uruguay, no curfew is in place now. Interstate travel is not restricted and schools are open. Hospitals are operating at normal capacity but proof of medical insurance with specific coverage for Covid-19 is required on entry.

From American continents, now Uruguay and Canada are the only 2 countries in the open country list of the EU. It is also one of a few countries that is not hit by the second wave of Covid-19. In the worst case or in case you are seriously tired from the pressure, having a plan-B in South America is not a bad idea.

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