This information was updated on 28th January 2021
The Ecuadorian Government decreed on Monday, December 21, the State of Emergency for 30 days throughout the country.
The measure was taken, according to the National Government, to safeguard the health of all Ecuadorians in the face of the increased risk of contracting COVID-19.
Plans to reopen to international tourism
The National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) updated the specific provisions regarding the transport of passengers by air, among other issues. The following are the requirements and protocols:
International passengers arrival
- All passengers arriving to Ecuador from abroad must present a negative PCR test result. The test must have been carried out within ten days prior to the trip. Mandatory isolation will not be required for those with a negative PCR test result.
- Additionally, the National COE ordered that a rapid antigen test will be carried out randomly on passengers on international arrival flights, which will be taken at the international airports of entry. This test will be in charge of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP).
- In the exceptional case that a passenger does not comply with the provisions of boarding with a negative PCR test, the rapid antigen test will be applied. If the rapid antigen test is positive, the passenger will enter mandatory isolation for ten (10) days from the date the sample is taken. Ecuadorian residents will do so at the address they declare upon entry. Passengers who do not reside in Ecuador and do not have an address to declare will be isolated in any of the accommodations regulated by the Ministries of Tourism and Government. Accommodation, food and transportation costs will be covered by each passenger.
- In the case of having a negative result of the rapid antigen test, passengers must perform the mandatory isolation for five (5) days, as long as they do not present symptoms.
- Passengers under fourteen years of age and aircraft crew are exempt from taking the antigen test.
- In the event that a passenger upon arrival in Ecuador presents symptoms related to COVID-19 (high temperature, cough, general malaise, loss of smell, loss of taste, etc.), regardless of the result of the PCR test and of the rapid antigen test, will be evaluated by the health personnel of the MSP at the arrival airport and will be transferred to the nearest medical center to complete the clinical evaluation.
- Passengers must fill out and sign, prior to disembarking, the Passenger’s Health Declaration, which will be delivered to the MSP health personnel in the room established for this purpose at the arrival airport.
- Every passenger upon arrival at airports in Ecuador will go through a thermal sensor that will allow identifying temperatures above 37.5°C.
The COE provision reminds that every person who enters Ecuador must comply with the biosecurity measures established by the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), such as:
- Mandatory use of a mask.
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol gel of at least 70%.
- Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters.
- Continuous disinfection of surfaces.
Passengers on international departure
To leave the country, the Government of Ecuador does not request any type of requirement or test for COVID-19, however, the passenger must inquire about entry requirements for the country of destination. The information is available with the respective airline or in foreign diplomatic delegations in Ecuador.
Passengers on domestic flights
There is no requirement to travel on domestic flights, with the exception of tourist travel to the Galapagos Islands. To travel to the islands, the passengers must present the negative PCR tests taken within 96 hours prior to entering the islands, accompanied by a safe-conduct issued by the tour operator or hotel in Galapagos.
The National Government has also decreed a curfew as of this Monday, December 22 between 22:00 and 04:00, for a period of 15 days. For the transfer to and from the airport, a copy of the passenger’s travel documents must be presented.
SPECIAL, ADDITIONAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS:
Tourists who wish to travel to the Islands and coming from the Quito and Guayaquil airports must present the following:
- An identity document (I.D. or passport).
- A round trip air ticket to the Galapagos province.
- An RT-PCR test negative result performed up to 96 hours before entering the province. Tests carried out in Ecuador must come from a laboratory recognized by the Ministry of Public Health of Ecuador. You can find the Accredited Laboratories list: http://www.calidadsalud.
- A safe-conduct issued by the tour operator or the tourist accommodation establishment that will provide services in Galapagos. These tourist services must be hired in establishments with a tourism registry and the established biosafety protocols.
- A traffic control card issued by the Government Council of the Galapagos Special Regime.
- A Traveller Health Declaration Form in order to identify the place of stay, for tourists who start the trip in Ecuador. For tourists starting the trip abroad, this form will be completed upon arrival in the country.
- Mandatory health insurance. This applies only to foreign tourists (Art. 49 of the Organic Law of the Special Regime for the Province of Galapagos).
Upon arrival in the Galapagos province, all tourists must pay.
- The current tax of the Galapagos National Park for national and foreign tourists.
- Transfers and other hired services.
The guidelines will be subject to permanent review and may be modified according to the epidemiological situation in Ecuador and the world.
Flights from the UK
Passengers from the UK can consider the following airport connections for arrival to Ecuador:
Plans for reopening other entry points
The borders by air in Ecuador are open. COE authorized and increased air frequencies up to 50%, starting August 1st.
Land borders and sea ports remain closed.
The Binational Service Centers remain open in Border Rumichaca with Colombia and Huaquillas with Peru for activities of foreign trade and entry of national and foreign citizens residents according to requirements
The National COE approved the reopening of interprovincial and touristic transportation with 75% of their capacity, using biosecurity equipment such as facial mask and antibacterial gel to prevent the spread of the virus. Moreover, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Transport, the Metropolitan Transit Agency (ANT, AME), Ministry of Transit Commission of Ecuador, Ministry of Public Health, National Police, Ministry of Production, and the COE worked on the preparation of the Official Protocols document for Reactivation and Operation of the Tourist Land Transport Service.
What Covid 19-related safety measures can travellers expect?
According to Ecuadorian authorities, every tourist must:
- Comply with social distancing, at least two meters (2 yards approx.)
- To wear a face mask in public spaces is mandatory
- Hygiene measures (constant hand washing and disinfection, covering the nose and mouth when yawning or sneezing with the inside of the elbow flexed)
- Extreme precautions for people over 60 years and for vulnerable groups
- Public events are prohibited, as well as crowds.
People must comply biosecurity measures in every space. Likewise, they require compliance of biosafety protocols in places they visit which may have specific measurements required at shops or tourist sites.
Other Covid 19-related safety measures
The government of Ecuador also decreed “curfew” and “dry law” as of this Monday and for 15 days (in force from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.); restriction of vehicular circulation at the national level; a new operating hours for shopping centers (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.), with a permitted capacity of 50% of their capacity; reduction of the capacity of restaurants and hotels to 30%; the closure of the country’s beaches on December 24, 25 and 31 and January 1; closing of bars, clubs, and the like; limit social gatherings to a maximum of 10 people; and the prohibition of burning fireworks in public spaces.
Tourist accommodations will operate at 30% capacity for common areas. All available rooms can be used for lodging.
Restrictions in Quito
Quito Municipality continues with its campaign to increase testing and triage. In addition to adhering to the standard general biosecurity measures, you must also carry an identity card at all times.
- All COVID-19 measures will continue to be enforced robustly and infringements will be handled by the relevant competent authorities.
- Only people who work for certain vital sectors, such as health, food provision, financial and emergencies, will be allowed to circulate on the days which the vehicle’s registration plate would not normally be permitted to circulate. You must present valid credentials or proof of emergency if stopped by a local authority. The Municipality can issue special safe passage documents (“salvoconducto”) for private vehicles that can justify their need to circulate outside the “Hoy Circula” restrictions (passenger transfer to and from the airport, and medical appointments).
- Inter-provincial bus transport operation has been authorised by local municipalities, at 75% capacity, from/to bus terminals. Accredited tourist transport vehicles are not subject to any mobility restriction.
- As part of the Municipality’s regular monitoring of the pandemic situation, the Quito Metropolitan Emergency Operations Committee has issued new temporary restrictions that will be in force from 22 January to 7 February 2021.
- All public gatherings are suspended. Pubs, nightclubs and gyms are also closed until further notice. All sport activities that cannot comply with the minimum distancing requirements are also suspended temporarily.
- On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, alcohol sales are only permitted between 6am and 10pm.
- Restaurants, cinemas and theatres can operate at 30% capacity, while public transport, bus terminals and interstate and tourist transport can operate at a maximum 50% capacity. Shopping centres can operate at 50% between 0800-2000.
- Family and social gatherings are limited to 10 people.
- Private vehicles will continue to circulate through the “Hoy Circula” system as follows:
- Vehicles with licence plates ending with odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9) can circulate Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Vehicles with licence plates ending with even numbers (2, 4, 6, 8 and 0) can circulate Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
- Sundays and public holidays: all vehicle plate number numbers are allowed to circulate.
- From 22 January to 7 February 2021, no vehicles can circulate between 11pm and 4am.
It is important to note that every tourist needs to be kept informed, on a daily basis, by visiting the official channels provided by the Ecuadorian Government:
National Risk and Emergency Service (SNGRE):
Moreover, it is very important to mention that the measures may change from day to day, depending on the key biosecurity factors analyzed by the National COE hence we recommend reviewing official information related to the colour of each territory, all biosecurity protocols and the current COE resolutions.
Ecuador Destination Update - 18th August 2020
Please contact our PROECUADOR UK Office:
Juan Carlos Yépez Franco, Trade Commissioner of Ecuador / Commercial Counsellor
+44 (0) 2030788045
Twitter: @proecuador_ @proecuadorint / Facebook: PRO ECUADOR / Instagram: proecuador – proecuadorint