Travel in Ecuador - Corona Update

Posted by Marianne Salmans (status September/October 2021)

“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 when can we visit this stunning destination again? 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 a while now. You are free to travel across provinces by car or plane, and shops and restaurants are open.

Ecuador has 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 now been fully vaccinated. Current level of vaccination can be found here.

Exploring the country now

Return from Ecuador to the Netherlands

The travel advice for Ecuador is “essential travel only”. For current travel advice, click here. As of September 4th, 2021, the following applies when returning to the Netherlands:

If you travel back to the Netherlands, you will need a “corona certificate”. This means that you must be able to show 1 of the following 3 proofs:

  • A vaccination certificate showing that you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency) or WHO (World Health Organization). Or;
  • A proof of negative test. Your negative PCR/NAAT test must not be older than 48 hours before departure to the Netherlands. Your negative antigen test must not be older than 24 hours before departure to the Netherlands. Or;
  • Are you traveling with a recovery certificate? Then your recovery certificate must have been issued by an EU member state. Your positive PCR/NAAT test must have been taken no less than 11 days before travel and no more than 180 days before travel.
  • 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 with a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate are strongly advised to do a self-test 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 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 are as follows:

  • All arrivals from abroad must provide either proof of a negative test or vaccination certificate.
  • Negative test: those aged 2 or older must provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Ecuador; this proof must be presented before boarding the aircraft at the country of origin. As long as visitors don’t present symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival, they do not need to fulfill a mandatory preventive quarantine period. Important note related to type of test: since July 15th, the antigen test is no longer accepted.
  • Vaccination: Instead of the negative test, those aged 2 or older may also present a COVID-19 complete vaccination certificate with two weeks of validity. In case of a valid certificate, the PCR test is no longer necessary for entry into Ecuador.
  • 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.
  • 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 or 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 protocols apply to citizens from any country and from flights from any destination.
  • Infants up to 2 years old are not required to show a negative test result nor a vaccination certificate.

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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