Last updated: December 6, 2021
Updated Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S. due to COVID-19
*** Effective December 6, 2021, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older, regardless of vaccination status or citizenship, must provide a negative COVID-19 viral (PCR or antigen test are acceptable) test taken within one calendar day 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.
Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis. Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States. To apply for an exemption, please email SanSalCovidQuestions@state.gov with all of the information listed in “CDC COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing Exemptions” below.
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing Exemption
CDC may grant a humanitarian or emergency exception to non-citizens and non-immigrant air passengers in limited circumstances only when an individual must travel to the United States to preserve health and safety (e.g., emergency medical evacuations) and is unable to access or complete the vaccination and testing requirements before travel. You don’t qualify for an exception for religious or other moral convictions. Individuals who believe they meet the criteria for an exemption 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:
- The type of humanitarian or emergency request: testing, vaccination, or both?
- Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
- Date of birth
- Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
- Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
- U.S. destination address (please state whether this is the home address)
- Flight itinerary (including any connecting flights) with airline, flight number, departure airport and date, arrival airport in the United States and date.
- Vaccination status, including name of vaccine product(s), date of first dose, date of second dose (if two dose series), and a pdf or photo of the vaccination card or other record.
- Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide a brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to the health and safety of passengers(s)
- The justification for the humanitarian exemption for testing (e.g., no testing available where passenger is located) or vaccination (e.g., vaccine availability, passenger ineligible for vaccine at location, insufficient time to become fully vaccinated)
- Documentation to support justification for vaccination exemption, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
- Information regarding any other solutions that were sought prior to application (e.g., flight changes, testing en route, assistance in obtaining testing/vaccination, etc.)
The Embassy currently assesses that sufficient COVID-19 viral tests (RT-PCR and antigen types) and eligible COVID-19 vaccines are generally available in El Salvador to United States-bound travelers.
- 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.
- 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 one calendar day? 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.
- Analiza: the cost is $100, 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.
- Max Bloch: the cost is $100, 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.
- Laboratorio Centro de Diagnostico: the cost is $100, and you may choose to make an appointment or be served on a first come first serve basis. You can schedule an appointment by calling 503-2527-5454 or by sending a WhatsApp message to the same number. For more information, please visit their website.
- Laboratorio Clinico Centrolab Especialidades Diagnosticas: the cost is $100, 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. For more information you may visit their website.
- Max Bloch: the cost is $25, 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.
- Analiza: the cost is $30 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.
- Pro-Familia: the cost is $23 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.
- Laboratorio Centro de Diagnostico: the cost is $25 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 or send a WhatsApp message to 503-2527-5454.
- Laboratorio Clinico Centrolab Especialidades Diagnosticas: the cost is $25, and you don’t need an appointment. For more information you may visit their website or send a WhatsApp message to: 503-7045-9840.
Recently several new labs have opened offering different prices in addition to more established labs listed above. The Embassy does not endorse or discourage the use of any particular lab. Travelers are urged to evaluate reliability and price along with other relevant factors when choosing their testing facility.
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? Yes.
- Which vaccines are available in El Salvador? The government of El Salvador has acquired the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac vaccines.
- Any U.S. citizen (resident or tourist) aged 6 or over can receive a COVID-19 vaccine through the Salvadoran vaccination program. To schedule an appointment, please visit vacunacioncovid19.gob.sv and enter your passport or ID number, and your date of birth. The brand of vaccine you will receive is in the sole control of the Government of El Salvador, and may be a vaccine that has not been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. See below for a list of vaccine types used in El Salvador. The government of El Salvador announced that booster shots are now available for people over 18 years old. Please visit the website of the Presidential House of El Salvador for more information.
- 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, 2020 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.
- Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? No. On November 17, 2021, the Government of El Salvador removed the COVID-19 test and/or vaccination requirements for entry. Travelers are advised to confirm with their airlines that the airline understands and has implemented this change to avoid complications at their departure airport.
- 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.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- 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
- The Salvadoran Ministry of Health can place municipalities under special quarantine with little or no prior notice when a high number of COVID-19 cases is detected. Such quarantines can require a change or abandonment of travel plans. Please consult the Twitter account of the Ministry of Health for more information.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- The Salvadoran government recommends wearing a mask at all times.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- The U. S. Embassy in San Salvador has compiled a list of health care providers. You can find the complete list by visiting https://sv.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/doctors/.
- If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please dial 132. The Salvadoran government has enabled this phone number to provide free medical assistance.
- Visit the Government of El Salvador COVID-19 website.
- For Presidential announcements, visit the website of the Presidential House of El Salvador.
- Check the website or Twitter account of the General Directorate of Migration of El Salvador for more information regarding entry restrictions.
- Visit the webpage and Twitter account for Comisión Ejecutiva Portuaria Autónoma (CEPA) for information regarding airport status.
- For more information regarding health measures by the Salvadoran government, please visit the webpage and official Twitter account of the Ministry of Health.
- Other links: