Information for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   April 13, 2021

*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United States may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

Country-Specific Information
  • Essential services such as medical assistance, grocery stores, pharmacies, public transportation, and gas stations are operating and available to the public. The Government of El Salvador has announced that in-person classes will resume in schools as of April 6, with specific details on class size and scheduling to be determined by each school.
COVID-19 Testing
  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in El Salvador? Yes, both types are available
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.
  • The following private laboratories in El Salvador are performing COVID-19 tests.  NOTE: under certain circumstances, these laboratories can accommodate testing at locations away from their offices, availability and cost solely at the discretion of the laboratory. The cost of the test is the sole responsibility of the traveler. Results are generally provided by email or physical copy, please consult with your preferred laboratory.
RT-PCR Test:
  1. Analiza: the cost is $160, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2536-4000 or sending a WhatsApp message to the same number. For more information, please visit their website.
  2. Max Bloch: the cost is $165, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2564-6555 or sending a WhatsApp message to the same number. The fastest method to schedule an appointment is by visiting their website.
  3. Laboratorio Centro de Diagnostico: the cost is $150, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2527-5454 or sending a WhatsApp message to 503-7629-3514/ 503-7869-7980. For more information, please visit their website.
  4. Laboratorio Clinico Centrolab Especialidades Diagnosticas: the cost is $139, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2235-9362/503-2235-9363/503-2235-9364 or sending a WhatsApp message to 503-7045-9840.  
Antigen Test:
  1. Max Bloch: the cost is $60, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2564-6555 or by sending a WhatsApp message to the same number. The fastest method to schedule an appointment is by visiting their website.
  2. Analiza: the cost is $40 and you don’t need to schedule an appointment. To consult their locations and operation hours, please visit their website. For more information you may call 503-2536-4000 or send a WhatsApp message to the same number.
  3. Pro-Familia: the cost is $35 and you don’t need to schedule an appointment, they are open 24/7. To consult their location, please visit the following website. For more information you may call 503-2132-8125 or send a WhatsApp message to 503-7609-6745.
  4. Laboratorio Centro de Diagnostico: the cost is $40 and you may choose to make an appointment or be served on a first come first serve basis. Please visit their website to consult their locations and operations hours. For more information you may call 503-2527-5454. 
CDC COVID-19 Test Waiver

Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel.  There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  Individuals – or air carriers working on their passengers’ behalf – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should send an email to SanSalCOVIDQuestions@state.gov , and provide the information below.  The U.S. Embassy will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration. Complete responses will help speed the process. 

The following information must be provided for each passenger:

  1. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country 
  2. Date of birth
  3. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
  4. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  5. U.S. destination address (please state whether this is the home address) 
  6. Departure date 
  7. Flight itinerary
  8. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
  9. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable) 
  10. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable) 
  11. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
  12. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s)
  13. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
  14. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)

The Embassy currently assesses that sufficient COVID-19 viral tests (RT-PCR and antigen types) are generally available in El Salvador to United States-bound travelers.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
  • Has the government of El Salvador approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
  • Are vaccines available in El Salvador for U.S. citizens to receive? No. However, an exception exists for  U.S. citizens who are legal permanent residents of El Salvador or who are also Salvadoran citizens: they can receive vaccinations if their age/profession/health status qualifies them at the same time as similarly situated Salvadorans. The government of El Salvador has begun Stage 2 of their vaccination plan which prioritizes the elderly and patients with chronic diseases. If you are a legal permanent resident of El Salvador or also a Salvadoran citizen (NOT a U.S. citizen tourist) with a DUI or Resident Identity Card and an elderly person or a patient with a chronic disease, you may request an appointment through the online platform that the Salvadoran government has enabled.  Please visit the website of the Presidential House of El Salvador for more complete information regarding categories and guidelines to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Which vaccines are available in El Salvador? The government of El Salvador has acquired the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Sinovac vaccines. 
  • Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
  • The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
Entry and Exit Requirements
  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
  •  The Government of El Salvador reopened the International Airport on September 19 with enhanced health protocols, which may include but not be limited to requiring the wearing of a mask at all times, maintaining social distancing, and temperature checks. For more information regarding the reopening of the airport and the measures that will be implemented, please consult the website of the Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma (CEPA).
  • There are no exit restrictions.
  • On March 29, 2021, the government of El Salvador announced that (and some airlines have confirmed that they are now accepting for boarding) passengers who have completed their COVID-19 vaccination course will no longer be required to present a negative RT-PCR test for entry but can present proof of vaccination instead. Please verify with your airline that they have implemented this change and their specific documentary requirements.
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, if the traveler does not have proper documentation of a completed vaccination course. The requirements are strictly enforced. The government of El Salvador is requiring all airlines to obtain from their international passengers ages two and older, a printed original negative Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test result issued within 72 hours of the scheduled arrival at El Salvador to allow them to board. (Note: the 72 hours is counted from the date and time of the reception of the test result, NOT from the time a sample is collected). The printed lab report must state that the test is RT-PCR. The U.S. Embassy is unable to facilitate entry of passengers who arrive without proper test or vaccination documentation. It is very important that you consult with your airline for full details prior to attempting to travel. To summarize:
  1. U.S. citizens are required to present proof of completion of their vaccination course OR an original negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours of arrival at El Salvador at any point of entry (land, sea, or air).
  2. If you are a Salvadoran or legal permanent resident of El Salvador different requirements may apply, please visit the website or Twitter of the General Directorate of Migration for more information.
  3. Accredited diplomats are exempted from this requirement. 
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
  • If you need to extend your Salvadoran visa please visit this website.
  • If you need to renew your Salvadoran residency please access this link.
Movement Restrictions
  • Is a curfew in place? No
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
Quarantine Information
  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No
    •  Official confirmation of entry requirements is published at the following government´s websites: Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma: www.cepa.gob.sv; and General Directorate of Migration of El Salvador: www.migracion.gob.sv
Transportation Options
  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
    •  The Salvadoran government recommends wearing a mask at all times.
Consular Operations
  • The American Citizens Services Unit has resumed its online appointment system for routine passport and notarial services, though still with limited availability to maintain health and safety. Please visit our website for more information on how to schedule an appointment: Passport & Notarial.
  • The Embassy has suspended most routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services.  For more information, please contact the Visa Information Center at 2113-3122 or email congensansal@state.gov
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