Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Chile: Civil Unrest

Following civil unrest and violence across Chile in October and November 2019 and a resurgence of small-scale protests in October 2020 around the first anniversary of the 'social unrest' and a constitutional referendum vote, there is the potential for further demonstrations, protests and violent clashes in Santiago and other major cities across Chile. These may continue throughout 2021 as Chile navigates its two-year consitutional reform process, and may peak around key anniversaries or milestones.

New Zealanders in Chile should continue to monitor local media for updates and follow the instructions and advice of the local authorities. You should expect to see a significant police presence in major cities.

In Santiago, protests may take place in Plaza Baquedano/Plaza Italia and the Alameda street, and also in Las Condes, Providencia and Vitacura districts. Remain vigilant and avoid protests and demonstrations, as even those that are intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent with little or no warning. Protests can happen at any time, and police may use tear gas and/or water cannons to disperse crowds.

Transport links may be impacted, including by blockades on inter-city highways. Although airports are operating normally, disruptions occurred during the 2019 protests and you should check the status of your flight with your airline before travelling to the airport. There is the potential for the transport system to be disrupted within Santiago and you should plan your journey before leaving your place of accommodation. The Santiago Metro will post station closures on its social media accounts as they happen.

Chilean law prohibits political activity by foreign nationals visiting or living in Chile. Participation in protests or demonstrations may result in detention or deportation.

We encourage all New Zealanders living and travelling offshore to register on SafeTravel, the official registration facility for New Zealanders travelling or living overseas. If you register with us, we are able to relay important information and account for your safety and wellbeing as part of New Zealand's consular response to an overseas emergency.

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