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Chile

If you’re travelling to Chile, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Natural Disasters and Climate
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact

Overview

General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >

Overview

Security status

Avoid non-essential travel.

Security Status Last Updated: 15 March 2020

COVID-19

Travel from Ireland to Chile

As of 15 January 2021, the Irish Government advises against all travel to and from countries in South America including Chile.

Travel restrictions in Chile

The Chilean authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 including travel restrictions, curfews and quarantine requirements.

Santiago airport opened on the 23 November 2020, allowing the entry of non-resident foreigners who comply with strict measures currently in place. 

We continue to advise against all travel to Chile. If you must travel to Chile for essential reasons, it is important that you comply with the requirements listed below or you may be refused entry to the country.

Arrangements to return home (flight bookings) must be made directly with the relevant airline or travel agent. Passengers should satisfy themselves that they meet restrictions on transit via the relevant EU countries, the US, Brazil or other countries.

COVID-19 Entry Requirements

The following restrictions on travel into Chile are in effect until further notice:

  • All passengers arriving to Chile whether Chilean citizens, resident foreign nationals or non-resident foreign passengers must complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine (in their place of residence or hotel).
  • They may leave quarantine with a negative PCR test result, which can be taken from the 7th day of quarantine on. While waiting for the result, you must remain in quarantine.
  • All passengers much have a declaration form Pasaporte Sanitario, completed before entry. This will generate a QR-code by separate email, which must be shown at entry. 
  • All passengers must carry a negative PCR test (rapid tests are not acceptable), taken not more than 72 hours before boarding the final flight into Santiago

In addition, non-resident foreign nationals must show evidence of health or travel insurance that covers COVID-related medical care up to a minimum of US$ 30,000 for the duration of your visit. Failure to produce this may result in your refusal to enter the country

Additional rules for travel from the UK: From 22 December 2020, new restrictions were introduced in response to the new strains of COVID-19 circulating in the UK. All direct flights between the UK and Chile have been cancelled. Non-resident foreigners who have been in the UK in the past 14 days are not permitted to enter Chile. All Chileans and Chilean residents who enter the country having been in the UK in the past 14 days will be required to do a mandatory 14 day quarantine.

Curfews, quarantines and other restrictions

Chilean President Sebastian Piñera announced a 90-day “State of Catastrophe” on 18 March 2020. The State of Catastrophe has been extended a number of times and is now in place until the 13th March 2021

A nationwide curfew is currently in force from midnight to 5am until further notice. In some comunas curfew is in place from 8pm to 5am.

Chile has a Step-by-Step Plan for the return to reopening after lockdown, with 5 stages ranging from Stage 1 (full lockdown) to Stage 5 (advanced reopening). Individual comunas will move forwards or backwards between these stages, depending on the level of COVID-19  infections in the region. Changes to the stage of a comuna can be announced by the government at any time and come into force shortly after. 

Please note also that during Stage 2 quarantine is mandatory on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays.

Interregional travel is now permitted between areas in Stage 3, 4 and 5.

You can check what stage an area is in on this interactive map.

In those areas in quarantine, people are allowed to leave their residences only under certain circumstances, including for medical reasons, basic services, and public services. If you need to leave your residence for food supplies or medical reasons, you can apply online to the Comisaria Virtual for a permit. Foreigners may use their passport number to access the system (in Spanish only).

Movements are highly restricted, particularly in quarantine areas and checkpoints are in place. Wearing of masks is compulsory in the following public places in Chile:

  • Public transport and taxis
  • Elevators and funiculars
  • Any place where 10 or more people are gathered. For example, supermarkets, health centres, pharmacies, closed work places etc.

If you are in Chile, you should monitor developments regularly (for updates on areas going into quarantine or passing into a new transition phase) and follow the advice of local authorities. See links to relevant websites below:

Chilean Ministry of Health advice on COVID-19 (in Spanish)

Paso a Paso (Step by Step) Plan (in Spanish)

Chilean Ministry of Health on Twitter (in Spanish)

You can contact the embassy on santiagoemexternalmail@dfa.ie 

Travel from Chile to Ireland

From 16 January, all passengers arriving into Ireland are required to have a negative / not detected result from a pre-departure COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours before their arrival in Ireland. This is a mandatory requirement. Passengers will be asked to present evidence of their negative/‘not detected’ result before boarding their airplane or ferry and will be denied boarding if they cannot produce such evidence. Further information is available here.  

If you must travel to Ireland, you are required to fill out a COVID-19 Passenger Locator Form online before you travel.

If a citizen has a genuine humanitarian emergency requiring urgent travel, they should contact the Embassy immediately for advice and consular assistance before commencing their journey.

A legal requirement to quarantine has been introduced for all passengers arriving in Ireland from 4 February 2021.  If you travel to Ireland for essential reasons from Chile:

• 14-day quarantine period must be undertaken at the address specified on the Passenger Locator Form

• you must complete the full 14 days of quarantine - regardless of whether you have a negative test result

If you do not fulfil the legal requirement for mandatory quarantine you are committing an offence, and can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months, or both. Further information on essential travel to Ireland from abroad is available on the gov.ie website

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found via the following links:

HSE

HPSC

ECDC

World Health Organisation

General Travel Advice

Civil Unrest

In October and November 2019 there were large-scale protests and demonstrations leading to civil unrest across Chile, you should expect a heightened security presence. Further demonstrations could occur with little or no notice, with a risk of violence, in Santiago, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Concepcion, Antofogasta & in other major cities. 

We recommend that you remain vigilant and avoid all demonstrations and protests and follow the instructions of local authorities. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations. Monitor local media for additional updates. More information is available on the safety and security tab.

Emergency assistance

The best help is often close at hand so if you have problems, try talking to your local contacts, tour operator representative or hotel management.

You can contact the emergency series in Chile by dialling (133).

We expect to move into our permanent Embassy offices in January 2021. In the meantime, we are operating out of our temporary offices in the Las Condes area of Santiago. If you need our assistance, please call +56939183541. If you require emergency consular assistance outside of office hours, please call +56981916981 and leave a message, providing:

               • Your name

               • The nature of your problem

               • Where you are now

               • Your contact details (mobile phone number or phone number of where you're staying)

We regularly monitor these messages and one of our staff members will be in contact with you.

Our tips for Safe Travels:

• Purchase comprehensive travel insurance which covers all your intended activities.

• Register your details with us so that we can contact you quickly if there's an unforeseen crisis like a natural disaster or a family emergency.

• Follow us on twitter @dfatravelwise for the latest travel updates.

• Read our 'Know Before You Go' guide.

 

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Demonstrations and Civil Unrest

In October and November 2019 there were large-scale protests and demonstrations leading to civil unrest across Chile and you should expect a heightened security presence. Even peaceful protests can become violent at any time. You should avoid all demonstrations. Monitor local media for additional updates and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Police can use tear gas and water cannon against protesters. Under Chilean law, foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile could be deported for involvement in protests and demonstrations.

The largest protests usually take place in Santiago and Valparaíso and occasionally elsewhere in the country.

Nationwide protests usually take place on

• 29th March (The Day of the Young Combatant)
• 1st May (Worker’s Day)
• 11th September (anniversary of the 1973 military coup)


Crime & Petty theft

Pickpocketing, other thefts and muggings are increasingly common throughout Chile, particularly around well-known tourist sites and bus stations. There have been reports of violent muggings in areas popular with tourists in Santiago and Valparaiso. You shouldn’t leave luggage unattended and be particularly attentive at bus terminals, restaurants and other areas frequented by tourists. We advise you to take great care with your belongings and avoid obvious displays of wealth. Avoid using your mobile phone in the street. Keep in groups and don’t walk alone late at night.

There have been reports of people being robbed by bogus and unlicensed taxi drivers, including airport taxis. We advise to only use official and/or pre-booked taxis and to ask taxi drivers for proof of reservation.

There have been a number of incidents in major cities where those driving rental cars have been a victim of crime. Thieves have punctured tires in order to distract foreigners and steal their belongings from the vehicle. Keep windows closed and doors locked at all times. Do not leave bags, luggage or other valuable items in the car, and never in plain view. Cars that are parked on the street and left unattended are often broken into, even in affluent areas.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Chile, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Santiago if you need help.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, it can take up to three weeks to get a replacement, due to time and distance factors. So please take extreme care with your passport and other personal documentation. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.

Landmines

Chile has a small but significant landmine problem. Landmine accidents mainly affect livestock and small numbers of local people crossing the borders at unauthorised crossing points. Minefields are located primarily in border areas adjacent to Peru and Bolivia in the extreme north of Chile Regions I and II, and Argentina in the south in Region XII. 

Although most minefields are clearly marked, some signs and fences have been damaged by weather or vandalism and may be hard to recognise, particularly in the north of the country. Minefields are, in some cases, laid right up to the edge of highways. 

You should also be aware that there are mined areas in six government-protected wilderness areas in Regions I, II and XII.  Although neither park rangers nor visitors have ever been injured or killed by landmines, we advise you to check with local authorities before travelling to border areas of Regions I, II and XII, stick to clearly marked roads and observe all warnings signs.

Driving

If you’re planning to drive in Chile, be prepared and take some basic precautions:

  • Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Illegal drugs

Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including fines and long prison terms. You’re advised not to become involved with drugs of any kind. Possession of even very small quantities can lead to significant prison sentences.

Natural Disasters and Climate

Natural disasters and climate

Earthquake

Chile is in a high-risk zone for earthquakes. You should familiarise yourself with safety procedures in the event of an earthquake or tsunami, and take note of instructions in hotel rooms. Building regulations require new structures to take account of seismic risks. Safety measures are widely known and put into practice by national organisations and local authorities. If you’re travelling to or living in Chile, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake.

Volcano

Because Chile is in an active seismic zone, volcanic eruptions can occur.  If you’re travelling to or living in Chile, make sure you know what to do in the event of an earthquake or volcanic explosion.

Flooding

Flooding is frequent during autumn and winter throughout the country, mainly as a result of heavy rains and overloaded sewage systems. Transportation and services are often affected.

Forest fires

Forest fires often occur during the summer months. Even though they can happen anywhere, forest fires usually occur between Santiago and Valparaíso and in the Magallanes. In the event of a major fire, you should follow the instructions of local emergency services, particularly with regard to evacuation procedures.

Additional Information

Additional information

Passports

It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.

Health

Check with your doctor well in advance of travelling (8 weeks) to see if you need any vaccinations for Chile.

 

Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

Outside office hours, for genuine emergencies involving Irish citizens, which cannot wait until the next working day, please call +56 8191 6981

You may also wish to contact the Duty Officer at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin on +353 1 408 2000.

Embassy of Ireland
Apoquindo 2929
Piso 1800
Las Condes
Santiago
Chile

Tel: +56 9 3918 3541 (Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm)

(Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Embassy is not currently open to the public – visits on an appointment-only basis)
Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm

Contact us