COVID-19 Information

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Last updated: 08/26/2021

*** Effective January 26, 2021, 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, airline passengers to the United States 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 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.

Country-Specific Information:

  • Ecuador has confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in all 24 provinces.
  • On August 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of State removed the Global Health Advisory Level 4.  On June 8, 2021, Ecuador’s Travel Advisory was updated to Level 3: Reconsider Travel.
  • Upon entry to Ecuador, all travelers (except airline crew and children age two [2] and under) must provide:
    • Proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test taken no more than three (3) days before entering Ecuador, or;
    • Present a COVID-19 vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to entering Ecuador.
    • Special rules apply to travelers whose point of origin is Brazil or India or who transit these countries en route to Ecuador: For more information, please see the full Government of Ecuador resolution: https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe-nacional-de-09-de-julio-de-2021/.
  • As an alternative to the above entry requirements, travelers entering Ecuador who were previously diagnosed as COVID-19 positive may present a medical certificate from their country of origin attesting to their recovery and current good health, as long as onset of the COVID-19 symptoms occurred more than 30 days prior to arrival in Ecuador.
  • 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 of Public Health’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.

COVID-19 Testing:

  • 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).  The Ministry of Public Health signed a ministerial agreement on April 20, 2021 which fixed the price of RT-PCR tests at $45.  More information is available at this link: https://www.salud.gob.ec/comunicado-oficial-el-costo-de-las-pruebas-rt-pcr-sera-de-usd-45-08/.
  • 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 program is managed by Ecuador’s Ministry of Public Health.  The Ministry of Public Health is executing a four-phase vaccination plan, from May 31 through September 5.  Phase 1 focused on priority and vulnerable populations, included individuals over 65 years of age and individuals between 50 and 64 years of age with chronic medical conditions, and was completed on June 13, 2021.  Phase 2 focuses on individuals between 50 and 64 years of age and individuals between 16 and 49 years of age with chronic medical conditions, and began on June 14, 2021.  Individuals can obtain information about their vaccination appointment by contacting the Ministry of Health at 171 or at this link: https://lugarvacunacion.cne.gob.ec/.
  • Are vaccines available in Ecuador for U.S. citizens to receive?  Yes
    • U.S. citizens that are legal residents in Ecuador can obtain information about their vaccination appointment at this link: https://lugarvacunacion.cne.gob.ec/. U.S. citizens that are not legal residents in Ecuador should contact the Ministry of Health at 171 for guidance on receiving the vaccine.
  • Which vaccines are available in Ecuador?
    Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, and Sinovac are available in varying supplies.
  • 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.
    • As of March 22, 2021, all travelers (except airline crew and children age two (2) and under) arriving in Ecuador must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR 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-19 vaccine at least 14 days before entry.  Airlines will verify that travelers have a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination card before boarding at the point of origin.  Special rules apply to travelers whose point of origin is Brazil or India or who transit these countries en route to Ecuador: For more information, please see the full Government of Ecuador resolution: https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe-nacional-de-09-de-julio-de-2021/.
    • As of July 12, 2021, the Government of Ecuador no longer accepts rapid antigen tests for entry. The only test accepted is the RT-PCR test.
    • As an alternative to the above requirement, travelers previously diagnosed as COVID-19 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.
    • As long as the traveler does not present symptoms of COVID-19, the traveler does not need to perform mandatory preventive quarantine and they may freely move within the continental territory of Ecuador (Special rules apply to the Galapagos Islands; see below).
    • 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-19 test taken within three (3) days prior to arrival in Ecuador or present a vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry?  Yes
    • Ecuador Ministry of Health personnel will evaluate any traveler who presents symptoms of COVID-19, and may conduct rapid antigen testing. 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.
  • 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 was 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:
    Beginning September 11, 2021, any international traveler wishing to transit Quito or Guayaquil International Airport en route to the Galapagos Islands should first arrive in country with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the last three days or a COVID-19 vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before entering Ecuador (as per instructions above). To enter the Galapagos Islands:

    • All travelers age 2 and older must present a negative RT-PCR test taken a maximum of 72 hours prior to boarding the aircraft to the Galapagos, counting from the time the sample was taken.
    • All travelers to the Galapagos Islands also need a “transit control card” issued by the Government of Galapagos.  Contact your tour operator for more information on this requirement.

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place?  No.
  • 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.

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes, in some circumstances
    • Regardless of whether a negative COVID test is provided, travelers who 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.

Transportation Options:

  • 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.

Consular Operations:

  • For current status of operations for the American Citizen Services section click here. 
  • For current status of operations for visa services click here

Local Resources:


Assistance:

 


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 acsquito@state.gov (for U.S. citizens) or consularquito@state.gov (for non-citizens), or the U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil at acsguayaquil@state.gov (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)