Ask a COVID-19 Question
Last updated: 04/05/2021
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. More information on waivers is available at the bottom of this page.
- Ecuador has confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in all 24 provinces.
- On August 6, the U.S. Department of State removed the Global Health Advisory Level 4. Ecuador is now listed as Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
- The Government of Ecuador provides coronavirus-related information at this website: https://www.coronavirusecuador.com. The most up to date information can be found on the Ministry’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/salud_ec.
- To receive important updates, U.S. citizens should ensure that they have registered their travel in Ecuador in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Our alerts and messages are also posted on our website.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Ecuador? Yes.
- The Ministry of Public Health recommends calling 171 if you present COVID-19 symptoms. If you qualify, you could be referred for a free RT-PCR test sample collection.
- A list of laboratories licensed to perform RT-PCR and rapid antigen tests is available on the website maintained by Ecuador’s Medical Services and Prepaid Medicine Quality Assurance Agency (ACESS). RT-PCR tests cost between $80 and $120.
- If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes.
- You should advise the laboratory that the test is needed for imminent air travel and results are needed within 72 hours. Laboratories generally promise results within 24 to 48 hours. Many laboratories will email results the same or following day.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the Government of Ecuador approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
- Ecuador’s vaccination plan will be implemented in three phases: phase zero (86,000 doses will be applied to frontline staff and seniors in geriatric facilities); phase one, which will begin in late March-early April (health personnel, law enforcement, firefighters, waste-collection personnel, strategic sectors and vulnerable groups); and phases two/three (general population). Specific dates for phases two and three have not been released. More information about Ecuador’s vaccine distribution plan is available at the “Plan Vacunarse” website.
- Are vaccines available in Ecuador for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes
- Ecuador’s Ministry of Health is making vaccines available to foreigners that are registered as legal residents in Ecuador.
- U.S. citizens interested in registering for the vaccine should do so through Ecuador’s “Plan Vacunarse” website.
- Which vaccines are available in Ecuador?
Ecuador’s Ministry of Public Health has entered agreements to purchase vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, and Sinovac. More information is available on theMinistry of Public Health’s website and Ecuador’s “Plan Vacunarse” website.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.
- The U.S. government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
- Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? Yes
- Ecuador has a Level 3 Travel Advisory: Reconsider Travel.
- Ecuador approved resumption of commercial flight operations on June 1, 2020.
- As of March 22nd, all travelers (including minors) arriving in Ecuador must provide proof of a negative COVID RT-PCR or rapid antigen test taken no more than three (3) days before entering the country or present a vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID vaccine. Minors two years of age and younger, as well as airline crew, are exempt from this requirement. Airlines are now required to verify that travelers have a negative COVID test before boarding at the point of origin. As long as the traveler does not present symptoms of COVID, the traveler does not need to perform mandatory preventive quarantine (“aislamiento preventativo obligatorio”, or APO) and they may freely move within the continental territory of Ecuador (Special rules apply to the Galapagos Islands; see below).
- As an alternative to the above requirement, travelers previously diagnosed as COVID positive, but with more than one month since the onset of symptoms, may present a medical certificate from their country of origin attesting to their recovery and current good health.
- Regardless of whether a negative COVID RT-PCR test is provided, passengers that present symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by Ministry of Health personnel. Rapid antigen testing may also be conducted. If the rapid antigen test is positive, the traveler must isolate for ten (10) days. The isolation may take place at a private residency or hotel of the traveler’s choosing. If the rapid antigen test is negative, no isolation is required.
- All U.S. government officials and their dependents are required to quarantine upon arrival in Ecuador. They may take a PCR test 3-7 days after arrival. Those who present a negative test, may be released from quarantine after the 7th day. U.S. government officials and their dependents who do not test must quarantine for 14 days.
- Please note procedures may change at any time. We recommend reaching out to the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate nearest you before traveling for the most updated information at https://www.cancilleria.gob.ec/estados-unidos/.
- Is a negative COVD-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
- Travelers must provide the results of a RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) COVID test or rapid antigen test taken within the last three (3) days prior to arrival in Ecuador or present a vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID vaccine.
- Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes
- Regardless of whether a negative COVID test is provided, passengers that present symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by Ministry of Health personnel. Rapid antigen testing may also be conducted. If the rapid antigen test is positive, the traveler must isolate for ten (10) days. The isolation may take place at a private residence or hotel of the traveler’s choosing. If the rapid antigen test is negative, no isolation is required.
- If you are a U.S. citizen visiting Ecuador on a 90-day tourist visa: The Ecuadorian government announced on March 20, 2020 a no-fault visa extension for tourists whose visa validity or 90-day visa free stay expired during the health emergency. The no-fault visa extension terminated on January 21, 2021. Beginning on January 21, 2021, foreigners had thirty (30) days to renew visas that expired between March 19, 2020 and January 21, 2021. Foreigners with expired visas who did not act could be subject to fines. Foreigners seeking Ecuadorian residency (either temporary or permanent) are exempt from the above requirement if they can present proof of a confirmed residency appointment with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, processed during the thirty (30) day timeframe. Consult with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for guidance on individual visa cases and for the latest guidance regarding the no-fault visa extension.
- SPECIAL, ADDITIONAL ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS: Any international traveler wishing to transit via Quito or Guayaquil International Airport to the Galapagos should first arrive in-country with proof of a negative COVID test taken in the last three days (as per instructions above). In addition, all persons present in Ecuador (regardless of nationality or residence status) wishing to travel to the Galapagos Islands must present negative results from a RT-PCR test taken no more than 96 hours prior to arrival in the Galapagos. This can be the same test as the test used to get into Ecuador, assuming it was taken within 96 hours of arrival to the Galapagos. If the initial test was not taken within 96 hours of arrival to the Galapagos, the traveler will need to take a second test in Ecuador at a laboratory recognized by the Quality Assurance Agency of the Services of Health and Prepaid Medicine (ACESS), at their own expense. They will need to wait for the results of this test before traveling to the Galapagos. With the required negative results in hand, there is no quarantine required upon arrival in the Galapagos (nor to return to the mainland of Ecuador). Travelers to the Galapagos also need a “salvoconducto” from their tour operator, and should contact the operator directly for that document. For more information, please see the August 1, 2020 protocol released by the Special Regimen of the Galapagos Government Council, Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Public Health.
- Is a curfew in place? Yes, in some areas.
- There are curfews in place in some areas. U.S. citizens are encouraged to monitor local media and any information provided by provincial-level Emergency Operations Committees.
- Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No
- Some provinces maintain local restrictions on movement. U.S. citizens should continue to comply with all local laws and monitor local news for any updates. Note these restrictions can change at any time.
- Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, in some circumstances
- Regardless of whether a negative COVID test is provided, passengers that present symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by Ministry of Health personnel. Rapid antigen testing may also be conducted. If the rapid antigen test is positive, the traveler must isolate for ten (10) days. The isolation may take place at a private resident or hotel of the traveler’s choosing. If the rapid antigen test is negative, no isolation is required.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes
- The U.S. Embassy is aware of the following airlines that may have flight options for U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States: American Airlines, Delta, Eastern Airlines, Jet Blue, Spirit Airways, United Airways. Contact the airlines directly for additional information or check with your preferred travel arranger/online travel agency.
- Do not travel to the airport without a confirmed itinerary and please make sure you are aware of current curfew restrictions.
- Is public transportation operating? Yes
- Some provinces maintain local restrictions on movement and U.S. citizens should continue to comply with local laws and monitor local news for any updates.
- Bring and wear a face mask and gloves.
- U.S. citizens who wish to depart Ecuador should contact commercial airlines directly for guidance.
Fines for Non-Compliance:
- Individuals who do not obey rules and regulations regarding quarantine requirements, mask-wearing, and other restrictions may be subject to fines.
- For current status of operations for the American Citizen Services section click here.
- For current status of operations for visa services click here
- U.S. Government portal on COVID-19: https://www.coronavirus.gov
- State Department on our response to COVID-19: COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- State Department on Ecuador conditions: Travel.state.gov Ecuador Country Information and Travel Advisory page
- CDC portal on traveler health in the age of COVID-19: CDC page on COVID-19
- If you believe you may have COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who may have COVID-19 call 171 or 911. Ecuador’s Ministry of Health maintains an information page: https://www.salud.gob.ec/coronavirus-covid-19/. The most up-to-date information can be found on the Ministry’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/salud_ec.
- U.S. Embassy Quito, Ecuador
+(593)(2) 398-5000 (after hours)
- U.S. Consulate General Guayaquil, Ecuador
+(593)(4) 371-7000 (after hours)
- State Department – Consular Affairs
+1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
- Ecuador Country Information
- Enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@USEmbassyEC)
CDC Testing Requirement Waivers
Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy in Quito at email@example.com (for U.S. citizens) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for non-citizens), or the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil at email@example.com (for U.S. citizens) or NIVGuayaquil@state.gov (for non-citizens), and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
a. Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
b. Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
c. Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
d. U.S. destination address
. i. Is U.S. destination home address?
e. Departure date
f. Flight itinerary
g. Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
h. Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
i. Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
j. Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
k. Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
l. Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
m. Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)