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Country Reports

Uruguay Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Opposition presidential candidate Luis Lacalle Pou from the centre-right National Party (Partido Nacional: PN) won the second-round presidential election on 24 November with 48.8% of the vote, narrowly defeating ruling Broad Front (Frente Amplio: FA) candidate Daniel Martínez by only 28,666 votes (47.3%). Lacalle Pou was supported by other opposition candidates, mainly Ernesto Talvi from the right-wing Colorado Party (PC) and the former military general Guido Manini Ríos, from Cabildo Abierto (CA).The next government will take office in March 2020. A PN-led government is likely to seek to relax labour laws, such as reducing the role of the state in tripartite salary negotiations and prohibiting the occupation of premises during strikes, and liberalise fuel imports, which are currently under the monopoly of state-firm ANCAP. However, the next government will have to negotiate to pass policy as, for the first time in 15 years, no political force will have majority in Congress.The influential umbrella labour union PIT-CNT is likely to organise strikes lasting between 4 and 24 hours over pay claims, involving hundreds of demonstrators staging peaceful marches in Montevideo city centre. This is likely to disrupt traffic and public transport, and delay work at government offices and banks. The risk will be higher if the next government attempts changes to labour laws.Increasing crime levels will be a leading concern in the next year. Murders increased by 45.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, reaching a homicide rate of 11.8 per 100,000. Most of these are gang-related. Theft and robberies also are showing an upward trend. This is partly due to the increased sophistication of gangs.
Last update: December 6, 2019

Operational Outlook

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, and ports, as well as to improve connections with its neighbours.

Last update: October 3, 2019

Terrorism

Moderate

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.

Last update: October 3, 2019

Crime

Crime levels in Uruguay are rising rapidly. Murders increased by 45.8% in 2018 compared with 2017, reaching a rate of 11.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with 8.1 in 2017. Murders are more frequent in the capital Montevideo and are mostly the result of gang violence. Rates for theft and muggings have also been rising, posing moderate risks to foreign visitors and/or expatriates, mainly of opportunistic theft.

Last update: October 3, 2019

War Risks

The risk of interstate war is very low. There are no outstanding disputes with neighbouring countries. Uruguay’s military spending remains low, at approximately 1.3% of GDP. A dispute over a pulp mill on the Uruguayan side of the shared Uruguay River remains a point of contention with nearby Argentine populations. This can cause traffic disruption in the border area but is not associated with any credible risk of war.

Last update: October 3, 2019

Social Stability

Moderate

Strikes, mainly led by public-sector workers, are frequent, but are generally peaceful. However, they have the capacity to paralyse transport, mainly in Montevideo, for 24 hours. There is likely to be some opposition from environmental groups to a new proposed pulp mill, but this is unlikely to derail the project.

Last update: October 3, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccines required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Vaccines recommended for all travelers

Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).

Vaccines recommended for most travelers

Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.

Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).

Vaccines recommended for some travelers

Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.

Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

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).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

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.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

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.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +598
Emergency Services: 911

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019