Ecuador

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This beautiful country is like paradise on Earth. Let yourself be amazed by its rich culture showcased in its churches, architecture and heritage towns.

In Quito, discover the best-preserved historic centre in South America. On the Pacific Coast, fall in love with grand ocean views, pristine beaches and the abundance of fauna in unique landscapes. Then get your adrenaline pumping by making the most of the adventure sports Ecuador has to offer.

resized_GALÁPAGOS-PAISAJES027Indulge yourself with the gastronomic diversity and flavours, while touring this hidden gem full of unique experiences.

Can British travellers visit Ecuador?

Ecuador’s borders are open. However, the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to the country, and on January 15, the UK government imposed a ban on all arrivals from Ecuador due to the outbreak of a new variant of coronavirus in Brazil.

British and Irish nationals or those with UK residency may still return to the UK, but they must remain in a government-approved quarantine hotel for 10 days, and cannot use the test-to-release scheme.

What plans are in place to welcome international visitors to Ecuador?

International travellers arriving in Ecuador must present a negative Covid-19 PCR test. The test must be taken within 10 days of arriving in Ecuador.

If a passenger does not present a negative PCR test, a rapid antigen test will be taken. If the test is positive, the passenger will enter mandatory isolation for 10 days from the date the sample is taken. 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, at the passenger’s expense.

If they receive a negative result on the rapid antigen test, passengers must still remain in mandatory isolation for five days, as long as they do not present symptoms.

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, run by the Ministry of Public Health.

Passengers under 14 and aircraft crew are exempt from taking the antigen test.

If a passenger presents symptoms of Covid-19 on arrival into Ecuador, regardless of the result of the PCR test and of the rapid antigen test, they will be evaluated by the Ministry of Public Health at the arrival airport and will be transferred to the nearest medical centre to complete a clinical evaluation.

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Passengers must fill out and sign, prior to disembarking, a health declaration, which will be delivered to the Ministry’s health personnel at the arrival airport.

Upon arrival at airports in Ecuador, every passenger will go through a thermal sensor that identify temperatures above 37.5C.

Everyone who enters Ecuador must comply with biosecurity measures: mandatory use of a mask, frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol gel of at least 70%, maintaining a physical distance of two metres, and continuous disinfection of surfaces.

Tourists who wish to travel to the Galápagos Islands and arriving from Quito and Guayaquil airports must present the following:

  • An identity document (ID or passport)
  • A round-trip air ticket to the Galápagos province
  • A negative result from a PCR test performed up to 96 hours before entering the province. Tests carried out in Ecuador must come from a laboratory recognised by the Agency for Quality Assurance of Health Services and Prepaid Medicine. These tests will not be compulsory for minors.
  • A safe-conduct certificate issued by the tour operator or the tourist accommodation that will provide services in the Galápagos. These tourist services must be hired in establishments with a tourism registry and established biosafety protocols.
  • A traffic control card issued by the Government Council of the Galápagos 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 their trip abroad, this form will be completed upon arrival in the country.
  • Foreign tourists must have health insurance. Upon arrival in the Galápagos province, all tourists must pay the current tax of the Galápagos 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.

How can you travel to Ecuador?

The following air connections are operating to Ecuador:

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How else can you reach Ecuador?

Ecuador’s borders are open for international air travel. The country’s land borders and sea ports remain closed.

The Binational Service Centers remain open at the borders with Colombia and Peru for foreign trade activities and entry of national and foreign citizens residents.

As for Ecuadorian ports, operations are open only for product marketing, imports and exports.

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Cruise operation and arrival continues to be closed in Ecuadorian ports (Manta, Guayaquil, Esmeraldas and Puerto Bolívar).

What safety measures can visitors expect in Ecuador?

The Ecuadorian government declared a state of emergency for 30 days on December 21. The measure was taken, according to the government, to safeguard the health of all Ecuadorians in the face of the increased risk of contracting Covid-19.

According to Ecuadorian authorities, every tourist must:

  • Comply with social distancing of at least two metres.
  • Wear face masks.
  • Comply with hygiene measures (hand washing and disinfection, covering the nose and mouth when yawning or sneezing into the inside of the elbow).
  • Extreme precautions to be taken for people over the age of 60 and for vulnerable groups.

Public events are prohibited, as well as crowds.

People must comply with biosecurity measures everywhere, including places that may have additional requirements, such as shops or tourist sites.

The National Emergency Operations Committee has categorised each Ecuadorian territory by colour (red, yellow or green) reflecting its key health indicators.

The vast majority of the regions in Ecuador (93%) are currently categorised as yellow, with 6% in green and 1% in red. The provinces which are categorised as yellow allow tourists to access restaurants, coffee shops and other food and beverage outlets, along with shopping malls, banks, pharmacies, supermarkets, national parks, museums, archaeological sites and zoos.

Accommodation establishments such as hotels, hostels and haciendas have limited capacity. Boats and other public transport should be limited to a maximum occupancy of 50%.

To check the status of each Ecuadorian territory, click here.

PICTURES: Brendan van Son; Andres Gamboa-Herreria

Last updated February 15, 2021.