Covid19 update

Information about the current Covid19 situation in Ecuador

Last update: October 6, 2021
Please note: The situation regarding the coronavirus and associated measures in Ecuador are subject to change. We recommend that you request the latest information from us.

The current situation in Ecuador

Currently 70% of all adults (>16 years) has been fully vaccinated, and 85% is at least partially vaccinated. Teenagers (>12 years) currently also have access to vaccinations. These impressive numbers are a result of successful government policy prioritizing the fight against the coronavirus. The new president, who took office in May, aimed to have 9 million people fully vaccinated within the first 100 days of his term. His ambitious plan succeeded.

These are the main measures currently in force:

  • In all public areas, including outside on the street, people are obliged to wear a face mask. This applies also to those that are already vaccinated.
  • In many public areas (such as airports, supermarkets, restaurants, shops, national parks) a door policy is in place where your temperature is required to be measured with a contactless infrared thermometer. You may also be required to wash your hands or use antibacterial gel. Sometimes you will be asked to spray a mist of alcohol spray over your clothing/body for disinfection. This also applies to people that are already vaccinated.
  • Depending on the region of the country, restaurants, shopping malls and public buses can sometimes only allow a percentage of the total capacity of visitors/passengers.
  • Bars are currently closed in most places in the country. However, you can order an alcoholic drink during your meal in cafes/restaurants.
  • Depending on the region of the country, cars are not allowed to drive around on all days of the week or at night. Tourist transport by recognized tour operators is exempt from this, as are taxis.
  • Depending on the region, there are restrictions on meeting in groups. Group excursions always take place within the applicable rules in the region.

In addition, the national advice of keeping a distance of 2 meters and washing hands regularly applies. Almost every Ecuadorian leaves the house with a small bottle of disinfecting gel or alcohol spray. These are – just like washable and disposable face masks – widely available in shops and pharmacies.

The current situation on Galapagos

Earlier this year, the population on Galapagos was given priority in the vaccination process. As a result, most adults in Galapagos have already been fully vaccinated for a couple of months. This has significantly reduced the chance of new outbreaks of the virus and the reintroduction of strict measures. For example, the last strict measures – which applied in two-thirds of all provinces of the country from the end of April until the end of May – were not in effect in Galapagos.

Looking back on the past year

After the first cases of Covid19 were reported in Ecuador, the country’s borders were closed for a short time in March 2020 for passengers who wanted to travel to Ecuador from abroad. However, it has always remained possible to travel out of the country. The country’s first major revival soon became apparent and manifested itself mainly in Guayaquil, the country’s largest city. For the first few months, a nationwide lockdown was in effect, reducing infections and hospital admissions. There was a curfew in place and many shops and restaurants were also closed during the first period of this lockdown.

As of September 2020, the Covid19 situation has remained somewhat stable in the country, with occasional expected smaller waves. Since then, the government has tightened the measures a couple of times, which were then in force for 2 or a maximum of 4 weeks. These tightened measures were often in place during national holidays, in the hope of discouraging the population from gathering in large numbers as a family and/or to travel during these days off. The measures in effect during this period vary from closing beaches in certain provinces of the country, closing national parks, restrictions on days and times when cars are allowed to be driven and a temporary curfew and weekend-long curfew.

As a significant part of the population has been fully vaccinated by now, it is expected that the above-mentioned drastic measures will no longer be necessary from now on.

Incidentally, Ecuador – except for a short period right after the start of the pandemic – has remained open to tourists, who have continued to come in small numbers all this time. At the moment, tourism in Ecuador is also well underway, mainly with travelers from North America.

It has also been a tough year for the country economically. Many sectors – including tourism – have been hit hard financially. The hotels, guides, drivers and partner tour operators with whom we work are eager to receive our travelers again.

Safe Travels – Safe travel during Covid19

Ecuador was the first country in the region to receive the Safe Travels certificate from the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) in September 2020. This award is given to countries, tour operators and other tourism companies if they meet certain requirements that make traveling as safe as possible during the Covid19 pandemic. As a tour operator, Adore Ecuador Travel also holds this certificate. In addition, hotels, guides and drivers are also obliged to adhere to certain protocols, which minimizes the chance of the virus spreading.

Rules upon entering Ecuador

As of September 1, 2021 the following rules are in effect for travelers arriving to Ecuador.

Travelers of 2 years and above are required to present one of the following documents:

  • A negative PCR test result, taken up to 72 hours before arrival in Ecuador.
  • A vaccination certificate showing that one has been fully vaccinated (depending on the vaccine, this can be 1 or 2 doses), with the (last) dose administered minimum 14 days before the flight.

In addition, a truthfully filled out health declaration form is required for travelers of all ages. This form can be found here.

NOTE: The documents mentioned above, including the health declaration form, are also required for your flight to Ecuador. You can be denied boarding by your airline if you are unable to show these documents. We recommend to make several printed copies to hand in at departure and upon arrival in Ecuador.

Any traveler who shows symptoms of Covid19 on arrival, regardless of whether they have a negative PCR test result or vaccination certificate, will be medically examined on arrival. If necessary, a rapid test will be taken. Only if it turns out to be positive, one is obliged to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel of your choice. The costs for this stay are for the traveler.

Travelers entering the country from India with a negative PCR test result or vaccination certificate are still required to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel of their choice. The costs for this stay are for the traveler.

Rules upon entering Galapagos

As of September 11, 2021 the following rules are in effect for travelers arriving to Galapagos.

Travelers of 2 years and above are required to present the following document:

  • A negative PCR test result, taken up to 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to Galapagos.

Negative test results from tests taken abroad are allowed. Travelers who want to travel on to Galapagos the day after arrival in Ecuador must therefore perform the test in their home country.

NOTE: Negative test results of tests taken abroad must be emailed in advance to the appropriate government agency of the Galapagos Islands. Therefore, please send a copy to Adore Ecuador Travel as soon as possible after receiving your negative test result, so that we can send it to the authorities in time.

Rules for Yasuní National Park or Mashpi Reserve

If you intend to travel to Yasuní National Park or the Mashpi Reserve, restrictions may still be in place at the time of your visit, obliging you to present a negative Covid19 test result or a vaccination certificate. We recommend you to contact us about this.

Conduct a PCR test or other Covid19 test in Ecuador 

If you need to have a Covid19 test performed in Ecuador, for example before your visit to Galapagos, before your flight back home or in case you are experiencing Covid19 symptoms, you can do this in relatively many places in the country. Most labs guarantee a PCR test result within 48 hours, although some have a 24-hour deadline. The legal maximum price for PCR tests performed in Ecuador is $45.08. Results of an antigen test or rapid test are available more quickly. Please note that labs may be closed on weekends. You can always contact us for advice and consultation if you want to perform a Covid19 test in Ecuador. 

Obligations upon return to your own country or transit country

In addition to the obligations to enter Ecuador, we also recommend that you keep a close eye on the local laws and guidelines in your home country (and possible transit countries). For example, there may be rules in force regarding mandatory tests before the flight back home, (mandatory) quarantine after return and possibly a national and/or European flight ban. Such policies are still subject to change when you are already traveling in Ecuador.

Health insurance for medical expenses in Ecuador

It is not mandatory to take out medical (travel) insurance to enter the country. However, we strongly recommend that you insure yourself for any medical expenses incurred during your stay in Ecuador. You can insure yourself for this through travel insurance or sometimes through your regular health insurance. We always recommend reading the fine print of the insurance policy to ensure that medical expenses incurred in Ecuador are covered. Also, some of our partner tour operators and/or Galapagos cruises may require valid health insurance. 

Cancellation insurance

If a journey in whole or in part cannot take place due to developments regarding Covid19 in Ecuador, the home country (or any transit countries) or due to personal circumstances, the situation is regarded as force majeure. In that case, Adore Ecuador Travel is not responsible for the loss of the right to use booked services, any additional costs, delays, movements or acts of a government or authority.

If your trip is canceled in whole or in part, you may be entitled to a (partial) refund. In many cases it is also possible to reschedule a trip to a later moment, whether or not against payment of additional costs that may result. For more information we refer to our Terms and Conditions.

We strongly recommend taking out cancellation insurance. When taking out cancellation insurance, it is advisable to inquire about the specific conditions for cancellation related to Covid19.

Traveling to Ecuador and Galapagos in 2021

We are currently optimistic about the situation in Ecuador and the possibility of traveling to Ecuador without too much worry. As a significant part of the population has been fully vaccinated by now, it is expected that drastic measures will no longer be necessary from now on. However, this is something we cannot guarantee. We also think that the more generic measures that are currently in place (e.g. wearing face masks in public and social distancing) won’t be withdrawn anytime soon. If you are considering a trip to Ecuador and/or Galapagos, feel free to contact us to get a better idea of the current situation here.

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