international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Colombia: Government Agencies struggle to comply with Court Order to Reinstate Mandate on COVID-19 Testing for International Travellers

Through Resolution 1972 issued on 4 November 2020, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection decided to eliminate the requirement for a negative result from a COVID-19 test, which had been established before  international travellers would be allowed to enter the country. The Ministry of Health and Social Protection’s decision was  reach after considering that a negative result does not provide a complete certainty that the virus is not incubated in the traveller. In that sense, the Resolution established mechanisms to follow up on the international traveller’s health condition during the 14 day-period after their arrival.

However, in a final ruling that was issued on 2 December, the 11th Circuit Judge of Bogota ordered the government to lift the Resolution 1972 measure regarding the elimination of a negative result from a COVID-19 test, and to implement a mandatory quarantine of 14 days after arrival for international travellers. According to the ruling, the requirement of the PCR test should be kept until an effective and safe vaccine is available and the Sanitary Emergency is over, among other conditions. Finally, the judge gave the government 96 hours to obey the decision.

In response, the national government announced (on 3 December) the impossibility to comply with the judicial order at that time, since Resolution 1972 is part of the sanitary containment strategy to combat the epidemic that has been in place nationwide all year, and which has previously been presented to other authorities, and backed by other decrees and resolutions issued by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.

At this time, there is no requirement for a COVID-19 PCR test to enter the country, nor is there a requirement to self-quarantine (which would have to be monitored during the isolation period). Nonetheless, further developments on this issue are expected in the coming days.


For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Colombia, please contact Alejandro Castellanos (Partner) of López & Asociados at or visit