Travel in Ecuador - Corona Update

Posted by Marianne Salmans (status December 2021 / January 2022)

“Are you considering a holiday to Ecuador? We are here and ready to give you advice.”

Many of our guests are wondering: what is the current situation with COVID-19 in Ecuador and can we visit this stunning destination? The answer is “yes”! In this blog we will keep you informed about the latest information from Ecuador.

Developments up to now

Developments regarding the coronavirus in Ecuador have somewhat followed equal pace with the Netherlands in the course of last year. On February 29, the first patient was reported in Guayaquil (in the Netherlands this was on February 27) and on March 14, Ecuador announced that it was closing its borders and the country went into a strict lockdown three days later. (in the Netherlands everyone was called to stay at home on March 11).

The country has been open to receive travellers for more than a year now. You are free to travel across provinces by car or plane, and shops and restaurants are open.

Ecuador has successfully launched the COVID-19 vaccination program, where among others, residents of the Galápagos Islands and people working in tourism (drivers, guides, hotel staff, restaurant staff, etc) were given priority. Close to 100% of residents on the Galápagos Islands of 12 years and older and everyone working on the expedition yachts have been fully vaccinated and third booster shots are given to anyone in Ecuador that has received their vaccine 6+ months ago, independent of age or profession. Current level of vaccination can be found here.

Exploring the country now

The travel advice for Ecuador from the Netherlands is ‘essential travel only’. For current travel advice, click here. It is interesting to mention that the UK has flagged Ecuador as safe to travel since October, click here. Also Germany has lifted any tourism restrictions already since July 2021, click here. Furthermore, many insurance companies now provide coverage when a country is flagged as ‘essential travel only’. Below a few examples:

Oom Verzekeringen
Europeesche Verzekeringen
Allianz Global Assistance

Return from Ecuador to the Netherlands

As of December 22, 2021, the following applies when returning to the EU/Schengen area from any country outside this region (and therefore also when returning to the Netherlands from Ecuador):

  • All travelers must have a negative test result, even if you have been fully vaccinated or if you have a recovery certificate. The proof of test can be a NAAT/PCR test, taken up to 48 hours before departure or an antigen test taken up to 24 hours before departure.
  • Children under the age of 12 can travel back to the Netherlands without these documents.
  • You do not need to quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.
  • In addition to the vaccination certificate or test mentioned above, you must also complete a health declaration. Click here.
  • Always check the website of the Dutch government for the most up-to-date information, click here.

Travelers are strongly advised to do a self-test upon return in the Netherlands before meeting others or returning to work/school. Travelers without a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate are strongly advised to get tested on days 2 and 5 after arrival. This can be done with a self-test or at the GGD. If you have symptoms that could be related to COVID-19 or if a self-test is positive, always have yourself tested at the GGD.

Travel to Ecuador

Ecuador’s airports opened on June 1st, 2020 for both domestic and international flights. Also KLM resumed its flights in the month of June last year, flying almost daily. Naturally, these dates can be subject to change. For current information, please refer to the KLM flight status, route Amsterdam-Quito.

Ecuador has taken strict measures for international inbound travelers to prevent the virus from spreading as much as possible. Important rules therefore apply before and upon arrival. The regulations were sharpened on December 1st, as a consequence of the Omicron variant, and are as follows:

  • All passengers entering the country, over 16 years of age must present:
    – A complete vaccination card with at least 14 days of validity after completing the vaccination scheme. And;
    – Negative result of an RT-PRC test performed up to 72 hours prior to departure to Ecuador.
  • Children between 2 and 15 years, 11 months and 29 days of age must present:
    – Negative result of RT–PCR test performed up to 72 hours prior to departure to Ecuador.
  • Infants up to 2 years old are not required to show a negative test result nor a vaccination certificate.
  • All travelers fill out a Health Status Declaration form before boarding the aircraft at the country of origin and hand it in upon arrival to Ministry of Health workers, who will also check symptoms. The form can be found here.
  • Quarantine? There is no quarantine upon arrival in Ecuador, exceptions mentioned below:
    – Upon arrival in Ecuador, passengers may be randomly tested with an antigen test by Ministry of Health workers (no cost). If tested positive, the traveler will need to go into quarantine following the measures mentioned below.
    – Travelers who present symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival in Ecuador are required to perform a RT-PCR test at their own expense and proceed to quarantine even if they present a negative RT-PCR test and vaccination certificate at the airport of entry.
    – Inbound travelers who test positive in either case above will be required to complete 10 days of mandatory preventive quarantine at their accommodation and be asymptomatic before leaving their accommodation. The number of days is counted from entry into the country (9 nights, 10 days). Numerous hotels have been designated as official locations where quarantine is permitted under these rules.

The procedures that apply upon arrival at the airport can be found in this video of Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito.
If you are proceeding to the Galápagos Islands, additional measures may apply.
Please read our blog with detailed information here

What is it like to travel in Ecuador?

All travelers entering Ecuador must continue to comply with the bio-security measures established by the Ministry of Public Health such as:

  • Mandatory use of masks
  • Frequent hand washing with soap and water
  • Permanent use of at least 70% alcohol or antibacterial gel
  • Maintain a physical distance of 2 meters
  • Avoid participating in meetings including more than 10 people in closed spaces.

Ecuador was among one of the first countries in Latin America to secure the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Safe Travels’ stamp (more information can be found here). You can think of additional sanitary measures, maintaining an appropriate distance, using face masks and gloves, disinfecting spaces, etc.

The beautiful country has the advantage that it is originally a destination for nature lovers with small-scale lodges and hotels in the great outdoors. in 2018, only 2.4 million travellers visited this country, which is half the size of France (for comparison, in the same year the Netherlands received around 19 million tourists and France 90 million). Away from the human bustle, wandering by yourself through the vast National Parks, you will have true peace and space to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.

Are you considering a holiday to Ecuador? We are here and ready to give you advice. Our friendly partners in Ecuador, guides, drivers and receptionists are eager to receive you with open arms and a big smile. Even if this will be at an appropriate distance.

Aves Travels aims to keep this page up-to-date with the latest information and requirements, but changes can occur at any time. For the most recent information, always check with your airline, the Ecuadorian consulate or the Dutch embassy for Ecuador based in Peru.

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