The latest travel guidelines

  • International travellers can enter Argentina without a mandatory quarantine or isolation providing they meet the entry requirements.
  • International travellers can enter Chile without a quarantine but must isolate until they receive a negative PCR test result and meet the entry requirements.

Why travel with Swoop?

The way in which we all travel has changed. The safety of our customers has always been our first priority, now so more than ever. If you book with Swoop:

  • We'll work with you to arrange your perfect adventure, ensuring it stays perfect regardless of the current climate
  • We'll be there to support you at every step of your journey, from the moment you book and during your adventure, to returning home
  • Our Customer Experience Team and our suite of online guides – adapted specially for Covid-19 – will prepare you for your adventure; from entry requirements and travel documentation to packing lists and wildlife tips
  • We'll keep you informed of any significant changes to Antarctic travel; we're in touch daily with our partners and contacts on the ground, and monitor official government websites and the local news
  • You'll be in safe and experienced hands; we have customers (and members of our own team) travelling in Antarctica right now, and many more set to travel this season
Antarctic Travel & Covid-19

Getting to Antarctica

Although there are no entry requirements for Antarctica itself, travellers must pass through either Argentina or Chile to get there. The port town of Ushuaia in Argentina and the port city of Punta Arenas in Chile are the two key gateways to the white continent, from which travellers either sail or fly south to the 'end of the Earth'.

Some of Chile and Argentina's borders are currently open to international travellers, but the entry requirements vary, so if you haven't decided on a specific trip or voyage just yet, we recommend reading the travel information for both countries. 

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Swoop says

There are currently measures in place for those looking to travel to Chile or Argentina from southern Africa. If you would like more information, please get in touch.

Getting to Argentina

Currently, international travellers can enter Argentina without a mandatory quarantine, if they:

  1. Are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have received their final vaccination no later than 14 days prior to arrival
  2. Complete a PCR test and receive a negative result 72 hours before boarding their flight to Argentina
  3. Have a travel insurance policy that explicitly covers any expenses relating to Covid-19
  4. Complete an online written declaration (affidavit) within 48 hours of arriving in Argentina
  5. Complete a PCR test between days 3-5 after arrival into the country
Sprawling suburbia views of Buenos Aires in Argentina

Getting to Chile

Currently, international travellers can enter Chile without a mandatory quarantine, if they:

  1. Are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with an approved vaccine, and have validated their vaccination status online (as far in advance of travelling as possible!)
  2. Complete a PCR test and receive a negative result 72 hours before boarding their flight to Chile
  3. Have a travel insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $30,000 USD, to cover any expenses relating to Covid-19
  4. Complete an online written declaration up to 48 hours before departure from their home country
  5. Complete a mandatory PCR test on arrival and isolate at their final destination until receiving a negative result
  6. Complete a daily follow-up form for 10 days following entry
Antarctic Travel & Covid-19
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Claire says

I travelled to Antarctica in early December 2021 and I was impressed by how easy my journey was. We may be in a new era of international travel, but everything ran like clockwork! It has given me great confidence for the rest of this Antarctic season and beyond.

Claire Betts Polar Specialist

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What our customers think of Antarctic Travel & Covid-19

You were so consistently communicative, answered a million questions. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Lindsay Ferguson - USA

These are challenging travel times given Covid and restrictions that changed daily. Swoop kept us informed and up to date on everything needed to avoid a major travel problem. Emma's communications with us was exceptional. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Sheila Porter - USA

It was great to travel again! The staff was very open about their delight and their challenges in a way that gave the travelers a feeling that we were together in this added adventure. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Sheila Porter - USA

Wearing masks indoors everywhere and while on tours was also something we are very used to, so it was no issue. Given the low numbers of covid in both cities, we actually found it to be better/safer to run around there than it has been on our return home. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Chelsea Morris Zitnay - USA

Our experience was good. We did book our own flights coming and going and spend time in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. We were easily able to manage the COVID requirements. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Paul Parris - USA

Travelling for the first time since Covid-19 was special and unique. We were relieved after all the waiting! Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Paul Parris - USA

Swoop was helpful in setting up the trip and dealing with the logistics during this challenging time. Our numerous questions were answered promptly. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2021

Paul Parris - USA

Returning from Antarctica

It's not a bad idea to look ahead and consider what is involved in getting home from Antarctica, including Covid-19 testing. As with your journey to the white continent, you must pass through either Chile or Argentina on your way back. 

The guidelines differ depending on where travellers are returning to. This guide covers the US and the UK, for all other countries, please check your government’s official guidance.

Fly to Antarctica

Travelling home to the US

Before you travel

Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel. There is also an option for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Children under 2 years old do not need to test. You should ensure you have your documentation ready to present to your airline at the airport. Learn more about these requirements.

Please be aware that if you are returning from Chile, rapid testing in Santiago airport (SCL) airport is not an option, so you will need to ensure there is time in your travel schedule to get tested at a testing facility. If you are returning home via Argentina, rapid testing is available at both airports in Buenos Aires (AEP and EZE). Find out more about how and where to get tested in Chile or Argentina before you leave.

Please review the Centers for Disease Control’s full guidelines on pre-travel PCR testing.

When you arrive

When you arrive in the US you should:

  1. Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel (find a testing location near you)
  2. Self-monitor for Covid-19 symptoms
  3. If you do develop symptoms then isolate and get tested
  4. Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel
  5. If you test positive isolate to protect others (learn what to do)

Please review the Centers for Disease Control’s full guidelines on returning home after international travel.

Travelling home to the UK

Entry requirements to the UK vary depending on if you are entering England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. See the specific British Government guidance for details. Travellers should always double-check their situation against the official government guidance and enquire with their airline and/or consular representation in Chile or Argentina.

By means of an example, we have provided the current requirements for England below.

Before you travel

You must book and pay for a Covid-19 test to be taken after you arrive. You must also complete a passenger locator form to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England. If you’re in England for less than two days, you still need to book and pay for a day two Covid-19 test.

When you arrive (fully vaccinated)

After you arrive in England you must take the Covid-19 test that you booked before travel. You can book either a lateral flow test or a PCR test. You can take the test any time after you arrive but before the end of day two at the latest. The day you arrive is day 0. If your test result is positive, you must self-isolate. If your lateral flow test result is positive, you must then take a PCR test.


Information provided by Swoop is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time only, but in this fast-changing environment we cannot be held responsible for changes not immediately reflected on this website or in information shared with you. Customers should undertake their own research appropriate to their individual circumstances before making final decisions.

Where links to government, operators or other third-party sites are provided, again this information is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge, but we cannot be held responsible for third-party content.

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 50 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.