Central America Tourism Update: Guide To International Travel Restrictions

International travel for Australians has been strictly off-limits since March 2020. As vaccinations surge across Australia, the Australian government has signalled its intention to lift international travel restrictions and Australians are once again looking forward to spreading their wings and exploring our beautiful planet once again.


Similar to Australia, countries across Central America have endured high COVID-19 case numbers in the community. However, there are signs the worst of the outbreak is behind them, and cases have been declining across most of Central America since mid-August 2021.

Most Central American countries remain open to international travellers providing they meet the current entry requirements and protocols.

As every nation has faced difficulties throughout the pandemic, navigating the complexities of COVID-19 travel restrictions can be daunting. As Latin America travel specialists, we have had teams on the ground reporting on the evolving situation throughout the past few years. Below is a summary of the government travel restrictions currently in place across Central America.


Belize has reopened to international tourism. The country has implemented a Tourism Gold Standard program designed to enhance the health and safety standards of hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and other relevant businesses to ensure the safety of all travellers from arrival to departure.

In March 2022, Belize changed its entry requirements so that fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to show a negative COVID-19 test.

Current requirements to travel to Belize:

  • Travellers are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or negative test results.
  • It’s recommended (but not mandatory) to purchase Belize Travel Insurance prior to their trip.

Visit the Belize travel website for more information.


Guatemala began reopening to international travellers in late 2020.

Travellers to Guatemala should be aware restrictions can change and are advised to monitor the situation prior to travelling. There are currently no quarantine requirements.

Current requirements to travel to Guatemala:

  • Mandatory testing and vaccine requirements are no longer required but are recommended.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has one of the highest vaccination rates in Central America, and its borders are open to international travellers. There are no requirements to produce a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival. Vaccines are not mandatory to enter the country. However, unvaccinated travellers do face stricter requirements regarding travel insurance.

From January 8 2022, only fully vaccinated people may enter commercial establishments such as retail shops, restaurants, bars, etc. Face masks are required in public and indoor spaces.

Current requirements to travel to Costa Rica:

  • Mandatory testing and vaccine requirements are no longer required but are recommended.

Please visit the Visit Costa Rica page for further information.


Panama has one of the highest rates of vaccination in Central America. The country is currently open to all international travellers. However, there are stricter entry requirements for unvaccinated travellers. Curfews remain in place in some areas, and masks are still mandatory in most situations.

Current requirements to travel to Panama:

  • Mandatory testing and vaccine requirements are no longer required but are recommended.

Please visit the Panama Tourism website for further information.


Cuba has the highest vaccination rate in Central America.

Current requirements to travel to Cuba:

  • Proof of vaccination and proof of negative test results are no longer required but arrivals may be subject to random testing when they arrive in the country.
  • Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 treatment costs.

However, in addition to Covid requirements, travellers should be aware that Cuba’s entry and visa requirements are subject to change at short notice. Due to the unique relationship between Cuba and the US, pay careful attention to US entry requirements for passengers who are returning from Cuba as a special visa type may be required for non-US citizens.


Mexico has suffered the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in Central America. The country has experienced a high number of cases and has been one of the hardest hit in the region. The most recent outbreak peaked at the end of August 2021, and cases have been dropping since. However, community transmission remains high and local restrictions may vary across different regions.

Mexico’s borders remain open to international travellers.

Current requirements to travel to Mexico:

  • There are currently no requirements to produce a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination to enter the country.

We are incredibly excited to get back out there and explore the spectacular destinations of Central America – once it is safe to do so. Please feel free to contact us with any questions about planning your Central America adventure. Australian travellers are also encouraged to visit the Australian Government travel advice website, Smart Traveller, for up-to-date international travel information.

This piece is one in a series on travel restrictions throughout Latin America. For information on travel restrictions in South America, please read our dedicated South America Travel Restrictions piece.

Author: admin