José Adán Aguirre, President of the Superior Council of Private Businesses (COSEP) wants to avoid more people being refused entry due to lack of information on the regulations concerning Yellow Fever and travel to and from affected countries.
The COSEP leader highlighted the fact that since November of last and to date, over 300 people (Nicaraguans and Visitors) coming from identified yellow fever countries have been affected by the enforcement of the rules on the requirement to have a yellow fever vaccine certificate.
He believes that not enough is being done to make travelers aware of this issue and as a result, tourists, business people and investors are being turned away which gives Nicaragua unnecessary bad publicity as people wanting to enter the country have been refused. As well as at airports, the land border posts are now enforcing the same policy.
In January of 2017, the Ministry of Health (MINSA) was ordered by the President of the Republic of Nicaragua; Daniel Ortega to prepare a resolution in response to the yellow fever alert issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) that proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers entering Nicaragua from certain countries. The formal directive was announced on January 26th 2017.
The DGME have announced that security will be increased at all of its borders during Holy Week in order guarantee citizen security and to prevent the spread of diseases (Yellow Fever) and human trafficking.
However; land borders of Nicaragua will be open 24 hours during this busy week. In 2017, 1.7 million visitors entered Nicaragua and were processed by the General Directorate of Migration and Foreigners (the DGME by its acronym in Spanish).
In the last four days of Holy Week 2017 (the busiest 4 days, when two vacation days are tagged onto a weekend) almost 88,000 people entered Nicaragua (36,000 Nicaraguans and 52,000 foreigners).
The DGME has recommended that travelers who have spent time in countries with a yellow fever alert be ready to show their Yellow Fever Vaccination Card to prove they have been vaccinated. The Ministry of Health (MINSA) will be enforcing the order to refuse entry to those not vaccinated.
Recent entry refusals of travelers entering Nicaragua from countries affected by Yellow Fever has prompted reminders that as of January of this year, 2017, proof of a yellow fever vaccination is required for travelers entering Nicaragua from certain countries; Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and all countries located on the African continent with the exception of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia. It is understood that this requirement was/is not always strictly followed; however the recent refusals (from Panama) have highlighted the rules on the requirement. Travelers coming from those countries are required to present an International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever. Nicaraguans and legal residents can get their free yellow fever vaccination (no less than 10 days before they leave Nicaragua) at the Ministerio de Salud “Complejo Conchita Palacios” in Managua on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 8:00am and 3:30pm. Those 60 or over do not need the vaccination but need a certificate of exemption.