Uruguay Country Report
Uruguay is politically stable and President Tabaré Vázquez encourages investment, including in the nascent oil and mining sectors, as well as a new pulp mill, offering tax exemptions and other favourable terms to investors. There is a risk of limited operational disruption, particularly from the state oil firm ANCAP workers’ union FANCAP, strikes by public-sector workers, and protests in the agriculture sector, while rigid labour laws can obstruct business. Legislative delays in Congress are likely because of the high diversity of parties comprising the ruling Broad Front (Frente Amplio: FA).
The administration of President Tabaré Vázquez favours pro-business policies and has sought to increase foreign investment. Uruguay has one of the highest literacy rates in the region and the workforce is skilled. The level of corruption is among the lowest in the region and even compares favourably on a global level. Transport infrastructure lags behind slightly, but the government has ambitious plans to upgrade the roads, railway grid, ports, as well as to improve connections with its neighbours.
The risk of attacks targeting commercial or government property is low. Domestic acts of terrorism have been only minor and sporadic since the threat from the Tupamaro guerrilla organisation was eliminated in the mid-1970s. There is a low risk of isolated attacks on banks and embassies with low-powered explosives. During 2014 and 2015, there were several incidents of suspicious devices being found in the vicinity of the Israeli embassy in Montevideo, but these were not assessed as a major risk.
The risk of interstate war is very low. There are no outstanding disputes with neighbouring countries. Bilateral tensions with Argentina have improved under the administration of Argentine President Mauricio Macri. A ban in 2013 on the transhipment of Argentine cargo in Uruguayan ports was suspended by the Argentine government in January 2016. A dispute over a pulp mill on the Uruguayan side of the shared Uruguay River remains a point of contention with nearby Argentine populations, but is not associated with any credible risk of war.
There is opposition from environmental groups to opening up the country to large-scale mining projects. Public opposition to mining in Uruguay had focused on the now cancelled Aratirí iron ore project, but is likely to resurface against a new proposed pulp mill over environmental concerns. Strikes, mainly led by public-sector workers, are increasingly frequent, but are generally peaceful.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for all individuals traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Flooding is relatively common in Uruguay, particularly along rivers and in coastal areas, and can occur year-round. Weather forecasts and alerts are published on the website of the Uruguayan Meteorological Institute.
There is also a risk of wildfires in the summer (approximately December to March).
Although road conditions are generally good, Uruguay nonetheless suffers from high rates of road accidents due to unsafe driving habits.
Metered taxis, car services ("remises"), public buses, and Uber are all generally safe. However, when taking a taxi it is advisable to call for one in advance or pick one up at a taxi stand instead of hailing one on the street to ensure the taxi is from a reputable company.
For long-distance travel, the country is served by a network of high-quality coach buses and ferries.
Uruguay has a zero tolerance policy regarding drinking and driving.
Uruguay has a temperate climate with mild winters (10°C to 16°C) and hot summers (21°C to 28°C). The country receives rain throughout the year.
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