Information for U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents

COVID-19 Information

Last updated:   01/25/2021

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 U.S. 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

  • El Salvador has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • On August 24, El Salvador reopened its economy. Essential services such as medical assistance, grocery stores, pharmacies, public transportation, and gas stations are operating and available to the public. In-person classes for schools and universities remain suspended indefinitely.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in El Salvador? Yes.
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes
  • The Government of El Salvador offers free testing in different locations every day. The locations are announced on the twitter account of the Salvadoran Interdisciplinary Epidemiological Containment Team (EICE).  Testing at national hospitals and health units is at the discretion of the Ministry of Health.
  • The following private laboratories in El Salvador are performing COVID-19 tests:
  1. Analiza: the cost is $160, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2536-4000 or sending a WhatsApp message to 503-7025-6433. 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 503-7487-5493, you may also schedule an appointment by visiting their website.
  3.  Laboratorio Centro de Diagnostico: the cost is $150, and you need to schedule an appointment by calling 503-2263-6883/503-2263-9978 or sending a WhatsApp message to 503-7629-3514/ 503-7629-3694. For more information please visit their website.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of El Salvador approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes.
  • The United States 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.
  • While the government of El Salvador has approved a vaccine for use and is constructing infrastructure in preparation for its vaccination campaign, vaccinations have not yet begun.
  •  Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Entry and Exit Requirements

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
  • However, no travelers who have visited the United Kingdom and South Africa in the last 30 days may enter, regardless of citizenship if they are not Salvadoran. If you are a Salvadoran or legal permanent resident of El Salvador please visit the website or Twitter account of the General Directorate of Migration for more information regarding entry restrictions.
  •  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 in place.
  •  Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes, and the requirements are strictly enforced. The government of El Salvador is requiring all airlines to obtain from their international passengers a printed original negative Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test result issued within 72 hours of departure prior to allowing 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 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 an original negative RT-PCR test result issued within 72 hours of entering 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? Yes. Please see paragraph two immediately below in “Quarantine Information” for possible movement restrictions of indeterminate duration in and out of municipalities with high positivity rates. Outside these municipalities there are no restrictions.

Quarantine Information

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? No.
  1. 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
  2. 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. Please consult the Twitter account of the Ministry of Health for more information.

Transportation Options

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes
  1.       Taxis and other private transportation companies are operating normally.
  2.       The Salvadoran government recommends wearing a mask at all times.

 Consular Operations

  • We have resumed our 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

Local Resources:

  • 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 the 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:

  1.  COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
  2. CDC page on COVID-19
  3.  El Salvador Country Information and Travel Advisory