As COVID-19 cases drop, Peru will eliminate mask mandates in some public spaces starting May 1

By April 25, 2022

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Peru fall, the country’s government announced that the use of masks will no longer be mandatory in public places in Lima, Callao and in other departments in which over 80% of the population has received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The restriction of masks in public places will be removed in the departments [states] where 80% of the population has the third dose, among them are Lima, Callao, Lima Province, Ica and Áncash. People who want to will be able to wear masks,” Health Minister Jorge López said on April 21.

It will no longer be necessary to wear masks on beaches, in parks, at country clubs, sports clubs, protected natural areas, archaeological areas, open-air museums, zoos, or at restaurants in open-air areas, the government noted.

The new health measure will take effect on May 1, announced César Munayco, executive director of Public Health Surveillance of the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention and Disease Control (CDC) of the Ministry of Health.

The easing of restrictions occurs as more than 50% of the target population has been vaccinated with a third dose and there is an evident decrease in coronavirus cases throughout the country.

The third wave is over, we have very low numbers of new cases and fewer people hospitalized. In addition, the application of the second and third doses is progressively advancing,” said Mr. Munayco.

On April 21, the Intelligence and Data Analysis Unit of the Social Health Security (EsSalud) reported that, in the previous week, less than 2,200 COVID-19 infections were registered in the country, a trend of decreasing infections that has remained steady for 12 consecutive weeks.

Dante Cersso, head of the intelligence unit, said that infections are currently “reaching figures similar to those reported in early April 2020, the year the pandemic began.”

Image courtesy of EsSalud.

What foreigners traveling to Peru should know

If you are a foreigner and you are going to travel to Peru for work or tourism, you must take into consideration that a person over 12 years of age must prove that he or she received the first and second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

If that is not possible, you can present a negative molecular test with a result date of no more than 48 hours before boarding at their point of origin, according to the US Embassy in Peru. Children under 12 only need to be asymptomatic to board. 

According to regulations on the matter, those who show symptoms when arriving in Peru must enter mandatory isolation.

Also, passengers must wear adequate respiratory protection while traveling (double mask or a mask with high filtration capacity: N95, KN95, etc.).

Travelers will also be able to remove their masks in public spaces from May 1 onward.