The PCR tests must be taken within 96 hours before the flight or the result that may be required before boarding may not fulfill requirements ordered by a court.

Travelers who for any reason are unable to show test results must show migration authorities a letter explaining why they have not been able to comply with the court order.

These travelers must go into a self-imposed quarantine for 14 days or undergo a test in Colombia that would allow them to move freely if the results proving they are not infected with the virus come in earlier.

Health Minister Fernando Ruiz issued a decree allowing this exception after the government decided to challenge the mandatory testing ordered by a Bogota court last month.

Ruiz opposes mandatory testing for incoming travelers and initially invited travelers to ignore the court order until the minister found himself at risk of being arrested for being in contempt of court.

The turnaround is the latest humiliation of the minister who has come under fierce criticism over his handling or mishandling of the pandemic.

Ever since Ruiz rook office shortly before the pandemic broke out, the minister has become infamous for allegedly failing to fulfill promises and distorting the truth.

Ruiz’s refusal to take advice from experts and his alleged lack of reliability has cost him the confidence of health workers and local authorities who are largely combating the pandemic without much coordination wit the health ministry.

While local authorities are imposing measures that seek to curb contagion, Ruiz and President Ivan Duque have mainly focused on trying to reactivate the economy with mixed results.

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