Lamon Chapman Talks Travel Restrictions

Lamon Chapman Talks Travel Restrictions

Lamon Chapman standing on a balcony above the city.Lamon Chapman has been busy this year despite the various travel restrictions around the world. He has released three songs, created an app, flown to Mexico for a month, and is now residing in Connecticut until the restrictions in Medellin lift. Lamon plans to head home to Medellin to complete his next musical project with Explosión Negra, the band whose 2016 Levántate album earned him a Latin GRAMMY nomination.

He filled us in about his current situation and the curfew in Medellin. He’s flown back and forth a couple of times after his 90-day stay in a finca last March. Here’s Lamon’s current status update, with his insight on navigating travel restrictions.

How easy is it to travel within Colombia at the moment?”

Travel within Colombia did revert to normal in March. The only requirement was the use of a face mask throughout the country. Then Semana Santana came around and the authorities brought in a modified curfew. Holy Week involves religious parades and after this week, hospitals began to fill capacity. The influx in cases and hospitalizations resulted in the current curfew that is in place. At the moment, people have to stay at home from Thursdays at 8 pm until Mondays at 5 am. These travel restrictions may not apply to other areas outside the city where there could be fewer COVID cases, though. There are smaller pueblos and villages that haven’t seen high numbers of cases but for the most part, the entire country has been affected.

A Colombian finca, which Lamon stayed at during the travel restrictions in Colombia.

Are there any travel restrictions in place regarding international flights?”

International requirements vary depending on the destination, although you are only able to enter the airport if you have a ticket for a flight. Some countries like the United States require a negative COVID PCR or Antigen test before departure. Mexico, on the other hand, does not require a test. Colombia Border Control specifies that all passengers complete an online questionnaire about their exposure to COVID. 

How safe did you feel traveling within Colombia?”

I feel very safe and have no major concerns as most Colombians follow the protocol and wear a mask. Of course, there are some individuals who fail to comply but they are very much the minority. The health regulations aren’t so loose as they are in the US. Stores take your temperature before entering and always provide hand sanitizer. Colombia is a smaller country though, so it might be easier to manage 50 million inhabitants rather than the US’s 328 million population. 

What about flying to the US?”

Airport staff checks your temperature before you board a plane. Generally, airlines do a pretty good job of minimizing the spread of COVID. I always use a facemask and shield when traveling which provides an extra layer of protection. 

When I flew back to Miami, everybody on the plane felt tenser. Someone coughed and heads swiveled around to identify the culprit. Paranoia was high. 

Can you describe what has changed regarding work and play?”

More businesses have reopened over the last few months. Most employees who were working from home have returned to work in the office and restaurants and bars are operating at “limited” capacities. The majority of these establishments require you to enter with a mask on but once you are inside and seated, the policy is a bit more relaxed.

What long-term effect will the pandemic have on Colombia? This is a country that loves to party. Is the party over?  

I’m not an expert on the subject matter, but in the long term, we will see an economic effect. We’ve seen many businesses close. There is a stimulus check in the US but not in Colombia. Citizens are not receiving government assistance. You will see vaccination tourism where people who have not gotten the vaccine fly to the US to receive the shot and then return home. 

Medellin from the sky during travel restrictions.

What one piece of advice would you give regarding COVID-era travel restrictions?”

I’d say to make sure you know and meet the requirements of the country you are flying to. Every country has different entry requirements with respect to COVID. Do your research to see what you need and what type of test is required because there are different ones you will need to take. Wear a mask but prepare to become stuck in a country that you visit. 

The cafeteria of the airport in Colombia under travel restrictions.

What are your upcoming travel plans? How are you planning for it?” 

We are heading to Disney World in a couple of weeks’ time. I had planned to fly back to Colombia from Florida. However, since things are uncertain with the lockdown, I will remain in the States until further notice. 

What resources do you recommend for travel safety guidelines before travel?”

 

 

If flying into the USA, check with the Department of State for travel restriction guidelines. When flying into a different country, look at their local government’s website. You don’t want a wasted journey, after all. Be sure to join Leesa Truesdell and Lamon Chapman at our next Facebook Live, on Saturday, May 29, 2021.

by Leesa Truesdell

18 thoughts on “Lamon Chapman Talks Travel Restrictions

  1. I’m glad to hear that they’ve opened up more but still are keeping things safe. I think I might make it my next travel destination.

  2. It’s great to hear that things in Colombia are slowly returning to normal! I hope things haven’t changed too quickly and that everyone is safe.

  3. Personally, all these restrictions, all over the world, I find absolutely exaggerated in the face of what is in fact now only an influence. Having said that, what scares me about Colombia at the moment are the tensions that exist. I heard what happened in Cali …

  4. I am glad to know that Colombia is getting back to normal. It is good that the citizens still follow the protocol of wearing face masks. I hope this pandemic would be over soon.

  5. I would love to visit Colombia one day. Sad to hear about all of the craziness that is going on over there at the moment though. Praying for Colombia!

  6. Such great information that so many of us will find useful! This article was a really great read, thank you.

  7. I like reading about the safety protocols in different countries. I am glad to see that most of the people in Columbia follow the regulations! Stay safe!

  8. I am glad there are restrictions! I feel like people who go back to just doing whatever!

  9. Always important to know waht restrictions there are out there or not. Glad you shared details about what’s happening for those who travel.

  10. Very useful content to whoever would like to visit this part of South America! I´ve never been to Colombia, just Brazil and I know the restrictions there are quite input! Thank you for the article!

  11. It’s good to know what to expect when making plans. Our travels this spring and summer will include places with the least restrictions, and it’s good to see so many places opening up again.

  12. It is nice to hear that other places are opening for tourists and following health protocols for the safety of every people.

  13. More and more countries are looking forward to opening up more and more and welcoming not only tourists but their staff back. It’s been a tough year for everyone.

  14. I have had a hard time wanting to travel because it is not clear on all the restrictions. Thank you for sharing this!

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