Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, open to travel again. COVID -19 Update
This is one of the few destinations around the world where U.S. citizens and many other nationalities can travel at the present time without having to quarantine.
GETTING INTO ECUADOR (last update March. 18th 2021)
Starting March 22nd, the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) approved new guidelines for entering Ecuador by air. Travelers who carry a vaccination certificate, that proves they have received the complete COVID-19 vaccine doses, will be granted border entry without a negative PCR test.
The COE Resolution, approved on March 17th, also states that – if people do not have the respective vaccine they must have a negative PCR test to enter Ecuador, with a validity of up to three days before their arrival. The previous measure which permitted a timeframe of up to ten days has been annulled. Another alternative that travelers will have, in the absence of a negative PCR test, is to present a negative antigen test with the same timeframe validity established for PCR test (validity up to three days).
The new guidelines also consider procedures to be followed by people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 for more than a month but continue to have a positive result in their PCR tests. These cases, as long as they do not present symptoms, will be granted entry to Ecuador if they present a Medical Certificate guaranteeing they are in good health. This document must be issued in the country of origin.
Regardless of the PCR result travelers carry with them, everyone must go through a sensor that detects temperatures above 37.5° C. Likewise, those who present symptoms related to coronavirus will be evaluated by the Ministry of Public Health personnel to determine if there is a possible contagion and need to perform a rapid antigen test. If it turns out positive, the person must undergo isolation for a period of ten days at home or any other type of chosen accommodation. If it turns out negative, travelers will be able to continue their journey.
Only children under two years of age, travelers in transit to other countries, and airline crew members are exempt from presenting a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR, or a negative antigen test.
This is all you need to enter Ecuador, no quarantine, and you can travel freely around the country visiting theAmazon, the Andes, and the Pacific coast beaches.
You will also need A departure ticket, your Passport, to sign a health form (provided during your flight).
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PCR TEST UPON ARRIVAL?
You can take a test at the airport. The local government will require you to quarantine yourself at a hotel, hostel, motel or any accommodation establishment that is authorized until your negative test arrives – there are labs that can deliver the test within less than 24 hours. With the negative test in hand, you must contact the local authorities so you are allowed to resume your travel plans.
For your convenience, you can take a PCR COVID-19 Test at MedicalVIP at the airport in Quito. The cost is $80and the results will be ready in 48 to 72 hours.
Here is a shortlist of other local laboratories we can recommend:
- Ecuamerican – Phone: 0995613302 (offers testing in 24 hours and can take the test at your hotel)
- SISTEMAS MEDICOS DE LA USFQ – Phone: 0984534943
- HOSPITAL DE LOS VALLES – Phone: 0991941758
HOSPITAL LUIS VERNAZA – Phone: (04)2560300
PLENISALUD S.A. – Phone: 0987067952
LABORATORIO ALCIVAR / HIPERBARICA – Phone: (04)3711980
For a full list of official labs, please check:
- Get the Covid PCR test before traveling.
- If you test positive you will have to keep your quarantine for 14 days and necessary health care will be provided (at your expense), it is important to travel with health insurance (COVID treatment in Ecuador can raise a bill up to $70000 USD).
- We will try to keep this updated, but it is important you monitor official information at:
Children under 12 do not need a PCR test to enter Ecuador or travel to Galapagos
POST-COVID 19 TRAVELING AROUND ECUADOR (super brief details) :
- Ecuador has ended its state of health emergency starting on September 13th, 2020, with two specific restrictions to be restored: freedom of movement and freedom of association.
- National Curfew is lifted after the end of the state of emergency.
- Freedom to move around Ecuador at any time is back in place.
- Business meetings, press conferences, and academic reunions of up to 25 people are allowed.
Measures that are maintained:
- Mandatory use of a mask in public spaces and physical distancing.
- Public and municipal passenger transportation remains with 50% capacity. Conventional and executive taxis, mixed transport, tourism transport, and light cargo can circulate every day without restrictions of their license plate number. (If renting a car, please ask your rental agent restrictions on private transport for each city).
- Food establishments can serve the public with 50% capacity.
- Activities in archaeological sites, zoos, museums, national parks (except Yasuní National Park), allow the entrance of 30% of visitor capacity, for this, each institution must implement a protocol for this purpose
best to book a trip in advance for each and ask our travel agent or tour operator.
GETTING INTO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (last update March. 18th, 2021)
YES. You can visit the Galapagos Islands without going into quarantine.
Regardless of where you are from, it is possible to enter without quarantine if you comply with the following COVID19 travel restrictions:
- Identity document (identity card or passport).
- Roundtrip air ticket.
- A negative result of an RT-PCR test (Nasal Isotope) carried out up to 96 hours before admission. This means the test results should be issued within 96 hours of boarding your flight to the islands.IMPORTANT: If you have the plan to use the test taken in your country you must make sure results are sent by email to the Galapagos government council by email to one of the following addresses depending if you will be traveling to Galapagos from Quito firstname.lastname@example.org or from Guayaquil email@example.com
If you are taking the test locally at an approved laboratory it will be sent for you.
- Safe conduct (salvoconducto) issued by a Galapagos tour operator, Galapagos Cruise Company, or an Official Accommodation establishment (no Air BNB).
- Plan your trip and excursions in advance, the local Company issuing the safe conduct needs to do it at least 24 hours in advance.
- Traffic control card issued by the Governing Council of the Special Galapagos Regime (You can get it online at least 24 hours before your flight). Here is the official form to be filled: https://siiws.gobiernogalapagos.gob.ec/siicgg_web/
- Traveler’s Health Declaration Form to identify the places that will be in your stay. (This is given to you during your flight).
- For foreign nationals, compulsory health insurance is mandatory.
We try to keep this page up to date, but you should always double-check official information on the Special Regimen of the Galapagos Government Council, Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Public Health:
INFORMATION ABOUT CURFEW TIMES AND MOBILITY RESTRICTIONS IN ECUADOR AND GALAPAGOS
As of writing this blog post, there are no central government restrictions on mobility. Every municipality can impose its own restrictions.
For example: In Galapagos, all restaurants and storefronts are closing at 6 pm.
You can review up-to-date details at https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe/ for specific resolutions for the most up-to-date information regarding curfew times and other restrictions.
WE CAN HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ECUADOR AND GALAPAGOS
If you feel overwhelmed by all this information and want to enjoy a carefree vacation in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands we can help you. Our travel experts are on call and up to date on all protocols and restrictions. Please be free to contact us for advice at any time here: https://cometoecuador.travel/contact/