Through an administrative act, the Colombian Ministry of Health decided to unify and update the biosecurity measures for international flights, also in response to the new covid-19 lineages that have been reported in the country.
With this, what the new measure determines is that the PCR test that must be taken in the last 96 hours for national and international travelers entering the country will be requested again. However, this and the other measures will come into effect on April 7, 2021.
Julián Alfredo Fernández Niño, director of Epidemiology and Demography, explained that the decision was taken after the international circulation of the Brazilian, British and South African strains.
“With the emergence of three strains of public health concern and others under observation, a challenge is generated on the need to strengthen genomic surveillance. Therefore, the Ministry is updating its recommendations based on the best scientific evidence available,” explained the official, La República reported.
However, the resolution indicates that “Colombian travelers and holders of R,M, courtesy, diplomatic visas and their dependents who cannot present a negative PCR test result will be allowed to board the plane only when they state the impossibility of taking the test or obtaining the result within the indicated term”. However, once the persons enter the country they must choose to take the PCR test and remain in preventive isolation.
“The health authorities in Colombia will maintain the follow-up through tests, monitoring of symptoms, follow-up of travelers around the world and the search for genomic surveillance of cases,” according to the entity.
Likewise, the administrative act rendered obsolete some biosecurity measures that airlines had been adopting, such as the suspension of entertainment screens, since according to the Ministry of Health, scientific evidence indicates that if they are disinfected, they do not generate greater risk.
Other recommendations are that all persons should wear surgical masks and in the case of adults over 60 years of age, they should use the N95.