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Nicaragua Covid Tests

Nicaragua Drops Testing Demands for Vaccinated Travelers

Nicaragua eliminates Covid testing requirement for vaccinated travelers entering the country, effective immediately.

Last night, Nicaragua became the last country in Central America to scrap the mandatory testing requirement for vaccinated travelers to enter the country.

The government’s tourism mouthpiece, Visit Nicaragua, went on social media last night to state that Nicaragua “will no longer request a negative PCR test to enter the country, now it will only be necessary to present your vaccination certificate/card against Covid-19 when entering the country.

At first glance, this looked like they were excluding unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated travelers from entering Nicaragua. Turns out, though, that’s not the case. Unvaccinated/partially-vaccinated can enter Nicaragua. But they need to provide a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Nicaragua never had any internal Covid restrictions to speak of throughout the pandemic.

Even so, its entry requirements were among the most confusing and convoluted in Central America. Like most things the Ortega/Murillo dictatorship does, the rules made no sense.

It wasn’t enough you had to take a PCR test to enter the country (and only PCR, not a rapid antigen). You also had to send the to your airline in advance, so that they could send it to the Nicaraguan authorities in their passenger lists.

Nicaragua was the only country that didn’t accept tests upon arrival at the airport. They had to have them in advance, and the dictatorship often used them as an excuse to ban journalists, or other people they didn’t like from entering. Land borders, however, did accept a negative PCR test upon arrival.

The system also made things super onerous for the airlines. Indeed, many of whom simply stopped flying to Nicaragua long after they restarted serving the rest of the region.

Now, that’s over. If you’re fully-vaccinated against Covid, you can forgo the testing process to enter Nicaragua. If you’re not, you still need to show a negative PCR test.

Nicaragua was the last country in Central America to demand a negative test for all entrants, vaccinated or not.

It’s still the only country in the region to demand PCR tests only for unvaccinated/partially-vaccinated entrants. Unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated travelers need to know this. Nicaragua won’t accept your rapid antigen test.

As it stands, Nicaragua joins Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama in allowing unvaccinated travelers in with the results of a test, although these four countries accept rapid antigen tests. Costa Rica and El Salvador have no testing requirements whatsoever for anyone, vaccinated or not.

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