Plane at its gate with rising sun in the background on its way to ecuador during the coronavirus pandemic.

As people start to ease back into travel, there are many questions and concerns that come to mind. At Inca Expert Travel, we are here to answer those questions and help bring your travel dreams to reality. The borders of Ecuador are now open to tourists, with strict measures in place to ensure the safety of all. Likewise, the awe-inspiring Galapagos Islands off Ecuador’s coast are accepting visitors as well, with stringent health protocols. Browse below for the most commonly asked questions about traveling while there is coronavirus in Ecuador. 

Coronavirus in Ecuador FAQ

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a newly discovered coronavirus, first found in humans in 2019 in Wuhan, China. The virus affects the upper respiratory tract, and the most common symptoms are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, congestion and body aches. 80 percent of cases are mild, and feels like a small cold. Symptoms can be more severe for those who are elderly, or have compromised immunity or underlying health conditions like diabetes, asthma or high blood pressure.. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention About 4.6 percent 

Are there cases of COVID in Ecuador?

Yes, there are cases of COVID-19 in Ecuador. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 169,562 cases of COVID as of Tuesday, November 3. This brings Ecuador to the 29th place when it comes to coronavirus cases worldwide. The United States, Brazil and India have the highest case numbers, at 5,968,380, 3,908,272 and 3,769,523 respectively. The number of cases is low when compared to many other countries in South America, and strict measures have been and continue to be in effect to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Is it still safe to travel to Ecuador?

Yes, with exercised caution. On August 6th, the travel advisory for Ecuador was changed from a Level 4 Advisory (highest level), which states “Do Not Travel;” to a Level 3 Advisory, which states “Reconsider Travel.” While travel at this time does increase the likelihood of catching coronavirus, there are ways to go about it safely. For example, Ecuador is taking extensive precautions to ensure the protection of both foreign travelers and citizens. This includes proof of negative COVID-19 testing upon arrival for adults over 18 years old and mandatory quarantine for anyone who does not have a negative test in hand or is exhibiting symptoms. Individuals 18 years or younger do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival.

Are Ecuador’s borders open?

Yes, Ecuador’s international borders are open to travelers. The borders were closed to tourists starting on Sunday, March 15, 2020; and were closed to citizens and residents starting on Monday, March 16, 2020. Borders reopened to travelers on June 1, 2020. However, there are strict health protocols in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, such as required proof of negative testing for adults over 18 years of age.

Is there mandatory testing and quarantine in Ecuador? 

If a traveler wants to avoid mandatory quarantine, they must provide a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ecuador. As of August 15th, travelers above the age of 18 with a negative COVID test issued no more than 10 days before arrival no longer need to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine — the negative test allows them to start their travels upon arrival. Individuals 18 years or younger do not need to present a negative PCR test.

If a traveler does not take a test prior to arrival, they must undertake a test at their own expense and stay in an authorized hotel until results come in (48+ hours). If they are negative they may continue with their trip, but if the results are positive they must continue the quarantine. Alternatively, if the traveler chooses not to take the PCR test they must quarantine for 10 days. 

Are the Galapagos Islands open to visitors? 

Yes, the Galapagos Islands are open to visitors. However, another negative test is required for adults over 18 years of age. In addition to the first negative test issued no more than 10 days before arrival to Ecuador, travelers over the age of 18 must present a second negative test result from a COVID-19 test taken up to 96 hours prior to arrival in Galapagos. Once in Guayaquil or Quito, travelers must proceed to local lodging for at least 48 hours to await test results. With negative test results in hand, there is no quarantine required to or from the Galapagos.

How can I minimize my risk of exposure while traveling? 

While the Ecuadorian government and the tourism industry as a whole are taking steps to help prevent the spread, it’s up to each traveler to play their part as well. It is more important than ever to be a conscious, safe traveler and take the measures suggested by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other official health organizations to keep themselves and others healthy. Here are some tips:

  1. Choose airlines that have explicitly stated their commitment to helping maintain social distancing on flights and keeping their aircrafts sanitized.
  2. Wear a mask for the entire time you are in the airport, plane and any taxi or rideshare service taking you to or from the airport.
  3. Keep six-foot distance between yourself and others at all times.
  4. Wash your hands with water and soap as frequently as possible when in the airport, for 20 seconds or more. Use sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content when handwashing stations are not available.
  5. Avoid touching high-touch surfaces like buttons, handrails, doorknobs, etc. If you must touch something, sanitize it first or at least wash or sanitize your hands directly after.
  6. Sanitize your chair, tray table and armrest once you arrive at your seat on the plane.
  7. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as these are the top areas that make it easier for the virus to be transmitted from your hands into your body.

Your Trip to Ecuador

Our expert travel advisors will help guide you through safely and responsibly planning your dream trip to Ecuador and The Galapagos. We will ensure that you have all the latest information about coronavirus in Ecuador protocols and help plan each detail accordingly. It is a difficult time, but luckily travel to some of the most prized destinations in the world is becoming a possibility again. Contact us today and we will plan and customize your ideal getaway.

Disclaimer

Inca Expert Travel does not specialize in healthcare advice. The information we’ve compiled about coronavirus in Ecuador is based on guidelines and details from reputed institutes cited in this article. Some details may not be up-to-date despite our greatest efforts.

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