Ecuador Travel Alerts and Warnings

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For the latest travel warnings and alerts around the world, read about lockdowns and border restrictions.

How are COVID-19 restrictions affecting travel to Ecuador? Find out about pre-departure testing requirements and quarantine upon arrival.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel restrictions in Ecuador – updated 1 October, 2020

Commercial flights resumed at a limited capacity from 1 June.

  • Travelers must present a negative PCR test result for COVID-19 that has been taken no more than 10 days prior to departure
  • All passengers must sign a declaration form, providing their itinerary and local contact details
  • All passengers who arrive with a negative PCR test result will no longer be required to carry out self-isolation (Aislamiento Preventivo Obligatorio – APO)
  • If you are arriving in Ecuador from a country where PCR tests are not available, you must agree to take a COVID-19 test at the airport on arrival and wait in temporary accommodation until a negative result is produced
  • Anyone who does not undergo the RT-PCR test must complete self-isolation (APO) in temporary accommodation for a period of 10 days
  • Local residents and people who fall under the 'priority attention group' category, including anyone over 65 years old, children and pregnant women, will be allowed to self-isolate at their homes.

Land borders remain closed to foreign travelers until further notice.

Travel to the Galapagos

From 1 July, tourism resumed to the Galapagos with health and safety measures in place. Travelers must have a safe passage document (Salvoconducto) issued by the Ministry of Tourism, and your pre-booked tour operator or accommodation provider is responsible for arranging this.

  • Travelers must present a negative PCR test result for COVID-19, taken 96 hours prior to travel (Check with your travel provider for the latest update, as requirements may differ for international travelers and Ecuadorian nationals)
  • International travelers must have travel insurance for the Galapagos Islands
  • Obtain a “transit control card” (TCT) from the immigration office of Galapagos, or Quito and Guayaquil airports
  • Fill out an online Traveler’s Declaration of Health form, stating your accommodation on the Ecuadorian mainland as well as in the Galapagos.

What to expect in Ecuador

Local municipalities and authorities are now in charge of regulations and control measures. The National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) will continue to review the nationwide COVID-19 situation nationwide.

  • Face masks will continue to be mandatory in public nationwide and people must follow social distancing measures
  • Citizens are being urged to use self-protection measures to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19. If cases begin to spike, be prepared for strict measures to be reimposed.

For the most up to date information on inter-provincial travel and services available in each region, check out the Coronavirus Ecuador website. You can also contact them via their instant messaging service.

Wondering how your travel insurance might be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak? Find answers to some of our common questions about COVID-19.

Listen to The World Nomads Podcast: Ecuador

Previous travel alerts for Ecuador

State of emergency over fuel subsidies - October 2019

The Ecuadorian government has issued an alert ordering citizens to stay indoors. The army has been deployed to combat violence across the country, which broke out last week after the Ecuadorian president announced his decision to end fuel subsidies, which caused diesel and petrol prices to rise dramatically.

Expect cancellations or disruptions to travel plans in the coming days, including flights, transport and tours. It is important travelers stay up to date with local media and avoid traveling to any destinations marked as unsafe or "Do Not Travel" by your government travel advisories. The U.S Department of State has alerted it's citizens should not travel between cities or provinces until further notice.

The UK Foreign Office has raised the level of its travel advice for Ecuador to "against all but essential travel", but Galapagos Islands are excluded from that warning. This may have an impact on future travel plans of UK travelers (while the advice is in place). Please read your policy wording carefully or contact us at World Nomads if you need clarification on our cancellation and curtailment cover.

Travelers who are in Ecuador should avoid any crowds or protests. Last week violent protestors in Quito where seen throwing petrol bombs, stones and vandalizing public buildings. 

6.0 magnitude earthquake on the coast of Ecuador – 3 December, 2017

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake shook the Ecuadorian coast. The epicentre was located near the town of San Vicente, northeast of Bahia de Caraquez. No injuries or fatalities were reported however minor cracks were found in buildings and power supplies were interrupted in rural areas. There was no risk of a tsunami.

7.8 magnitude earthquake - 16 April, 2016

The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades has caused massive damage to a wide swath of the country’s central coast; more than 350 people are reported dead and more than 2,500 injured. The 7.8 magnitude temblor struck on Saturday night, April 16, with an epicenter 16 miles southeast of the coastal town of Muisne.

Heavy damage and casualties are reported in Portoviejo, the provincial capital of Manabí, as well as the resort town of Pedernales. The earthquake’s effects have been felt from the city of Esmeraldas in the northwest to the southern port city of Guayaquil, some 250 miles away. The quake and its aftershocks were also felt in the Ecuadorean capital of Quito.

The airports in both Quito and Guayaquil are open, though flight disruptions may still occur. There has been extensive property and infrastructure damage, including buckled roads and collapsed bridges; landslides fueled by recent rains have also closed roads.

“The Ecuadorean spirit knows how to move forward and will know how to overcome these very difficult moments,” says Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who has declared a state of emergency in six of the country’s 24 provinces. Thousands of police, military and rescue workers have been mobilized for the hardest-hit areas.

What to do if an earthquake strikes while you're in Ecuador

Ecuador is prone to seismic activity given it sits on the Nazca and South American plates. The Ecuadorian government has put measures in place, including better building construction practices since the M7.8 earthquake in 2016.

  • Expect aftershocks
  • Each time one is felt, drop, cover, and hold on
  • Check yourself first for injuries and get first aid if necessary before helping injured or trapped persons
  • Assess your accommodation for damage. If the building appears unsafe get everyone out. Use the stairs, not an elevator and when outside, watch out for fallen power lines or broken gas lines
  • Stay out of damaged areas
  • Look for and extinguish small fires if it is safe to do so. Fire is a significant hazard following earthquakes
  • Listen to the radio for updated emergency information and instructions
  • Do not overload phone lines with non-emergency calls
  • Help people who require special assistance - infants, elderly people, those without transportation, families who may need additional help, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

If you are injured or sick following an earthquake?

The risk of injury is high. Put on sturdy footwear and protective clothing (long sleeved shirts, trousers). Tetanus is a potential health threat for cuts and grazes. Any wound, cut, or animal bites should be immediately cleansed with soap and clean water. Seek immediate medical review should you become injured.

Wash your hands often using soap and water to help prevent the spread of disease. Waterless alcohol-based hand rubs may be used when soap and/or water are not available and hands are not visibly soiled.

Natural disasters can disrupt water supplies and sewage systems. If bottled water is not available, water should be boiled or disinfected.

Food should be carefully chosen to reduce the risk of getting gastrointestinal illness. Avoid salads, uncooked vegetables and milk products, such as cheese. Ensure your food is freshly cooked and has not been sitting around. Food’s that has been cooked and is still hot or fruit that has been washed in clean water and then peeled by the traveler personally are safer to eat.

Gastroenteritis outbreaks can occur following a disaster.  Diarrhoea may be accompanied by a high fever or passing blood in the diarrhea. Replacing lost fluids by drinking clean water is important or the use of oral rehydration solutions.

Who to call if you're in trouble

Before you buy a travel insurance policy, check your government travel warnings and health advice – there may be no travel insurance cover for locations with a government travel ban or health advice against travel.

Get a travel insurance quote for Ecuador

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40 Comments

  • Jessica Cruz said

    I booked a trip last February to travel to Guayaquil-Ecuador From June 16 to July 8 with my daughter, my daughter’s boyfriend , my sister and myself , but because of the pandemic jet blue changed the dates, now my daughter and boyfriend don’t want to come anymore, because of the restrictions, but my sister and I would still want to do the trip, my question is , it’s ok to travel for only 10 days and do the quarantine at my family house? Or do we have to stay for 14 days in Ecuador ? And for the Covid test, it’s is 7 days or 72 hours to travel after these test?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Jessica,

      The COVID-19 test has to be no older than 72 hours before you board your flight to Ecuador.

      The self-isolation is at your own expense, in hotels or private accommodation. I'd recommend digging a little deeper to find out if you are allowed to self-isolate at your family house, as this is around other people and might not count as 'isolating'.

      If your flight back home is before the mandatory 14 days, I'm sure there are exceptions where you are allowed to travel back to the airport. Check with your airline to see if they can provide any further clarification.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

      • Jessica Cruz said

        Hi Amelia and thank you for the information, but I’m really confused, in these article clearly says to travel you need to have the test within 7 days prior to travel, but you said 72 hours which is only 3 days , could you please clarify these for me , and thank you very much for your time 🙏🙏

        Reply

        • Amelia Brady said

          Hi Jessica,

          Since two weeks ago, requirements have changed - it is now a test taken within 7 days.

          To follow the most accurate, up to date advice, please contact your airline. We are doing our best to update these alerts as often as possible, but your airline will have the most recent information relevant to you and where you are flying from.

          Safe travels,
          Amelia, World Nomads

          Reply

  • Carla Roseberry said

    We have a trip planned to the Galapagos on January 1, 2021. I read that everything is opening back up on July 1, 2020. Is this there any word on the veracity of this report and if the 14 day quarantine for arriving visitors will be dropped at that time?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Carla,

      Stay up to date with the latest information from your government's travel advisory, and when tourism does open up, contact your airline to see what has changed.

      Luckily, your trip is a while off.

      Safe travels!
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Andrea said

    Hello! First- want to say thank you for posting this information.

    I am flying out to Guayaquil early July. I was wondering if I still need the mobile authorization ? I’m from Canada. I know U.S citizens have all the links to the mobile authorization paper (salvoconducto) but the Canadian website doesn’t show any and I’m wondering if I would still need one?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Andrea,

      It doesn't look like a safe passage document is required any more – I have just updated that information, and thank you for bringing it to our attention!

      For the most up to date information, contact your airline a few days out to make sure you have everything required.

      Have a safe trip,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • GB said

    I have a friend who lives in Cuenca, but has been stuck here but needs to get home. She is traveling with dogs so needs to make sure she does not get stuck in transit. Is there someone she can call to get definitive travel protocols so she can make a good travel plan and doesn’t get stuck?

    Reply

  • Kyle said

    Great information.

    Do you know what is required for "self quarantine"?

    Will they force you to quarantine yourself or do they basically just tell you to?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Kyle,

      Self quarantine requirements are outlined on the Ecuador Coronavirus website, if you scroll towards the bottom there's a tile that says "Home Isolation": https://coronavirusecuador.com/

      Here is a link to the PDF (In Spanish): https://coronavirusecuador.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/DOCUMENTO_CUARENTENA__.pdf

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Irene said

    Hi, thanks for this great article. I am wondering if traveling from Ecuador requires the same swab test? I have a family member traveling from Ecuador (GYE) to NYC (JFK) this weekend. They went to a travel agency to ask if anything was needed and they told her "NO" but I'm trying to double check and it doesn't seem like traveling FROM Ecuador requires anything.

    Reply

  • Amelia Brady said

    Hi Irene,

    If your family member is traveling to the USA, they need to check the entry requirements for the USA – not entry requirements for visitors to Ecuador.

    Depending on whether or not your family member is a resident of the USA or Ecuador, the requirements may differ.

    Hope this helps!

    Amelia, World Nomads

    Reply

  • Mike Fitch said

    Has Ecuador opened up for tourist?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Mike,

      Ecuador has partially resumed international flights, however currently isn't fully open to tourism. If you take a look at the information on the TravelBans.org website, there is a notice that says the country is not open to tourism: https://travelbans.org/south-america/ecuador/

      The situation is a little confusing. Follow the advice of your government travel advisory before you make any decisions on traveling.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Darek said

    Hello, I am polish citizen flying to Ecuador from Florida on 8/9. Is it true you will not be quarantined if you bring negative polymer test from home? How better is polymer test taken in USA on 8/8 than one taken at airport on 8/9?? And it is almost impossible to get tested in USA if you are your and with no things like Asthma.
    Could you please comment?
    Is it true GYE is less strict the UIO? Any chance rules will loosen up by 8/1 or mine 8/9?
    Thank you!

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Darek,

      As it stands today, the information says: "Passengers are subject to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense if they do not have this medical certificate."

      If you are able to get a test done within the given time frame before you leave, I'd suggest doing so. Otherwise you will be tested upon arrival and quarantined at your expense.

      Keep an eye on the updates, as they are changing fast. Contact your airline as it gets closer - they will have the most relevant information for you.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Dante said

    Have you heard anything on the current status of things in Cuenca? I heard a rumor that 30% of the businesses are shut down, as well as the outdoor markets, and that crime has risen significantly over the past few months. I have no way of confirming this though.

    Do you have a reliable source of information for the current status?

    Also, in your opinion, how do you think this pandemic is going to impact expat life in Ecuador in the future?

    Thanks,

    Dante

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Dante,

      I would suggest referring to your government travel advisory, and try to verify information with a number of news sources – both local and international. I can't verify any information, but please do provide links to the sources here.

      Expat life will be affected all around the world post-lockdown. Crimes of desperation may increase in some countries where soaring unemployment rates have forced people out of jobs. While I hope this isn't the situation, it is more important than ever before to really pay close attention to the political and epidemiological situation before traveling anywhere.

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads Travel Safety Producer

      Reply

  • Kevin Nguyen said

    I'm planning to fly to Ecuador from Denmark In about a week or two. If I've the test done 7 days prior to departure will I be quarantined or no quarantine? Very confusing, thanks for your insights in advance.

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Kevin,

      My interpretation is that by taking a test prior to departure and arriving in a new country with a negative certificate, it gives the country peace of mind – knowing the traveler has not arrived in country with COVID-19.

      Even if you arrive with a negative COVID-19 result that is no older than 7 days before departure, Ecuador still asks that people self-isolate for 14 days, just in case.

      The difference here is "being quarantined" and being told to "self isolate".

      I hope this provides some clarity!

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Jose said

    Hi, I'm planning on traveling to Ecuador from USA in November for 2 weeks.. I'm confuse about the self isolation situatuon. If I bring my test results that are negative, do I need to isolate anyway even with negative results? I'm Nurse and want to visit my Fiances family, but want to make sure that I can atleast stay with them... Plz help me understand 🙏.
    Thank you in Advance

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Jose,

      All arrivals, even with the negative certificate, must self-quarantine for 14 days. This will either be at your home, or in designated accommodation (at your own expense).

      On Ecuador's COVID-19 website there is a self-isolation guidelines document available for downloading, and here is the link to the PDF (which is only available in Spanish): https://coronavirusecuador.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/protocolo-para-el-aislamiento-domiciliario.pdf

      By November the restrictions may be different, so please stay up to date with the latest information.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • dale jordan said

    hi i have one question, as a visitor i will be renting an apartment for 6 weeks during my visit to Quayaquil.. would i be required to Quarantine somewhere else ?

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Dale,

      If you provide the required documentation with a negative result for COVID-19, you should be allowed to quarantine at your accommodation.

      If you are unable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival within the time-frame required, you will be tested upon arrival to Ecuador and quarantined at your own expense for 14 days.

      Please check with your airline for the latest information, as the situation may change at short notice.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Munir K. said

    Hi Amelia. Thanks for your patience and service. I'd like to travel to Quito from NY as soon as possible with minimal hassle. I know it's getting redundant, just looking for further clarification. Considering I arrive in Quito alone with a negative test within 3 days and have an airbnb booked will I be allowed to self-isolate, or are accommodations for quarantine not up to me? My dilemma is whether to book accommodations on arrival or 14 day after getting there. Thanks again!

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Munir,

      I'd recommend speaking to a specialised travel agent or a contact from your airline. From what I have read online this morning, "People qualified as 'priority attention groups' such as people over 65 years old, children and pregnant women, will be allowed to self-isolate at their homes."

      With this in mind, it seems anyone else might be put into mandatory quarantine at their own expense, in accommodation decided by authorities. I'd recommend getting in touch with your local embassy based in Ecuador if you can – they will definitely be able to clarify this.

      Please let us know if you do hear from them, as this is very valuable information to provide to others.

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • omar James said

    the Ecuadorian Embassy and Airlines is of little help I've written the embassy requesting information and still wait six weeks later, and as far ar Spirit Airlines is concern you might get better more reliable information from trump.and as far as the goverment is concern there have to post the information so ordinary normal people can understand a majority of the visitors to Ecuador dont really speak spanish and when you do translate the information its like its written by 6 year olds...all im saying the information should be simple and too the point....everytime you read an update you are more confused

    Reply

  • Ali said

    Please note i came to Quito before covid19 lockdown and due to flight restriction i could not return to my home land is there any fine for my overstay by immigration or due to State of emergency till 15Aug it is exempted

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Ali,

      According to the UK Government travel advisory, "Once the state of emergency is over, visitors will have 30 days either to leave the country or to apply for an official extension without paying any fine."

      The immigration officials have an email you can send queries to about extensions for visitor visas: [email protected]

      Send your full name and attach a copy of your passport to the above email address.

      I hope this helps!

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Elyce said

    Just FYI, there are new guidelines for traveling to the Galápagos and there are different rules for foreign tourists. Foreign tourists need a negative COVID test from within 7 days of arrival to Ecuador, then they need to obtain another RT-PCR test in the airport of arrival and wait in that city (they must have a place to stay already planned) until they receive a test result. If it's negative, they can continue to the Galápagos.

    https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/LINEAMIENTOS-PARA-EL-INGRESO-DE-TURISTAS-A-GALÁPAGOS.pdf

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Elyce,

      Thanks for the heads up - I will update the travel alert today with the most recent information.

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Marcy Brown said

    Amelia, My husband and I live in Cuenca and have been here for 2 years. We are wanting to come to Manta to see how we might be able to move there. Both of us are Covid-free. From what I've been seeing it appears that it may be problematic to travel by car or am I mistaken? Are there circumstances that would make it possible for us to do so? We are not interested in taking a bus. Can you give us some information and/or tips? Thank you so much.

    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Marcy,

      It seems inter-provincial travel by private car is only permitted between Amber and Green level cities... and inter-provincial travel is allowed between Amber and Green level cities and where local governments have agreed to open bus terminals.

      Take a look online to see if you are able to travel between Cuenca and Manta: https://srvportal.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5ecd2baea7024774b72765fb764d3690

      All the best,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • Bruce Bindon said

    Good day, from Puerto Lopez. I need the state of lockdown for Manabi as pertains to license plate number ending number, and when I am allowed to travel to Jipijappa where I have a farm project. But, when I check the above Website:

    https://srvportal.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5ecd2baea.7024774b72765fb764d3690

    It say item does not exist or is inaccessible. Is that Link no longer valid?

    Thank you kindly.



    Reply

    • Amelia Brady said

      Hi Bruce.

      This link loads for me, and shows a map of the regions, but it does take a long time to load: https://srvportal.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/portal/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=5ecd2baea7024774b72765fb764d3690
      Perhaps try using a different browser?

      Or, try looking at the Government's Coronavirus Ecuador website: https://www.coronavirusecuador.com/

      Cheers,
      Amelia, World Nomads

      Reply

  • ALLAN said

    Afro American I was scheduled for a 3 month tour to teach English in Esmeraldas City before covid. Now I see warnings of no travel to Esmeraldas due to crime. Whats up.

    Reply

  • Rami said

    I've just read this on UK gov website:

    'Even though the national state of emergency (“estado de excepción”) ended on 12 September, the visa agreement is still in force due to the further 90 day extension of the national health emergency (Acuerdo 57) on 13 September.

    From 12 December 2020, visitors will have 30 days either to leave the country without paying a fine'

    Does this mean any foreign national here as a tourist is able to stay until 30 days after December 12? Please clarify. I have been here since February and visited immigration office in Loja on Friday to check things and they said we had to leave before October 13th but it's extremely difficult to find countries open to fly to! And now I read I can stay until after December. It's all very confusing.

    Thank you for any advice you have. I'm truly grateful

    Reply

  • Gretjen said

    Hi just wondering about dengue. I had dengue this year that was very severe. I will stay near Montanita, just wondering if there is a hospital you recommend nearby for dengue as I’m aware the 2nd case is usually much worse than the first...if so it will be extremely serious. I think I should be prepared if I feel ill. I will take precautions not to be bitten of course.

    Reply

  • anthony said

    hi. Was just wondering if covid restrictions apply if I'm just transiting through quito from colombia on the way to Canada. If my transit is just a few hours, will I still need to have a negative pcr test taken at most 7 days prior?

    Reply

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