COVID-19: Ecuador Travel Updates

Quito, Ecuador

Updated 12th June 2021.


  • Ecuador announced it was implementing a nighttime curfew to try and curb the spread of COVID-19. The curfew came into effect on 23rd April 2021. Source.  
  • From April 7th, passengers arriving in Ecuador from Brazil (including those who have transited through the country) will need to self-isolate at a Ministry of Tourism accredited hotel. This requirement is regardless of a COVID-19 PCR test. Source

See here for South America Travel COVID-19 overview. 

Ecuador Travel Restrictions (June 2021)

Can you travel to Ecuador right now? SUMMARY:

Yes. As of June 1st 2020, mainland Ecuador reopened for commercial international flights. The Galapagos Islands reopened for tourism on 3rd August 2020. 

Before you enter Ecuador, you will need to:

  • Take a PCR test no more than three days before you arrive in the country. A negative result is required to board the aeroplane. (Exemptions: airline crew, children under 2 years of age, passengers in transit to other countries.)
  • You are exempt from the above requirement if you meet all of the criteria below. In this case, you will need to obtain an official Medical Certificate in your home country to certify that you have already had COVID.
  1. You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through a positive result from a PCR test.
  2. Over a month has passed since your symptoms began.
  3. You continue to show a positive test result.

(As more research is done into COVID-19, it appears that some coronavirus patients test positive for weeks even though they may no longer be contagious. Source.)

  • Bring your official vaccination certificate if you have one. As of March 22nd 2021, those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can present the certificate instead of the negative PCR test result. Bear in mind that the vaccine certificate scheme is subject to constant review by the authorities.
  • Make sure you have travel health insurance that covers COVID-19. (We recommend SafetyWing.)

Quarantine Period: 

Visitors who test positive on the arrival test given at the airport in Ecuador will be required to quarantine for 10 days. This self-isolation period can be carried out in any hotel for non-residents. Locals and those who qualify as ‘priority attention groups’ (those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19) will be permitted to self-isolate at home. This can include but is not limited to children, pregnant women and those over the age of 65. 

Face Masks: 

Face coverings must be worn in public places. Check out this post if you are looking for recommendations for the best face masks for travel. 

COVID-19 Tests Required: 

  • Unless you are exempt because you are fully vaccinated or have had a positive COVID infection over a month ago and can produce a Medical Certificate, you will need to take a PCR test or antigen rapid test up to three days before your arrival in Ecuador. 
  • When you arrive in the country, you may be required to take another PCR test (at your expense) and sign a health declaration form with your local contact details and itinerary for your trip. 
  • If you are travelling to the Galapagos Islands, you will need to do another PCR test, taken no earlier than 96 hours before your departure. You will also need to fill in another health declaration and present a safe passage document (salvoconducto) issued by the Ministry of Tourism. This will prove that you are exempt from doing a 14-day quarantine once you arrive on the islands. As always for entry into the Galapagos, a return flight is a mandatory requirement. 

Internal Travel Restrictions in Ecuador: 

Regional restrictions are determined by the relevant local authorities and can change with short notice. Until 30th June, the ‘Hoy no circular’ system has been reintroduced in the Quito area. This prohibits certain vehicles from circulating between certain times on specific days. For example, those with a licence plate ending in 0,1,2,3 are not allowed to drive on Mondays between 6am-8pm.

Visa Extensions:

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility has authorised a 30-day visa extension for eligible visitors. This applies to those whose visas expired between 19th March 2020 – 21st January 2021. If this applies to you, you can book an appointment at your local immigration office online. 

Land Borders: 

Until further notice, all ports remain closed. Land borders with both Peru and Colombia also remain closed for the foreseeable future. However, the Rumichaca and Huaquillas northern and southern borders are serving eligible Ecuadorian nationals and foreign residents. 

Public places: 

Mass gatherings are not permitted and social distancing rules should be adhered to at all times in public spaces. There is also mandatory use of face masks in these areas. 


On the ground: Traveller Reports:

These reports have been taken from our South America Backpacker Facebook community. 

Traveller report 17th May 2021 – “Ecuador still bad…Curfews from 20h to 5h from Monday to Fridays. Weekend total curfew…” – FA OB

Traveller report 17th May 2021 – “[We are in] Ecuador. Our area [has] no problems, it’s paradise here. We are in Mompiche, Esmeraldas. Small remote village with good surf, jungle, food and lots of relaxing time. We have been here since the beginning of the pandemic and it is as if nothing happened. No late-night parties but that’s a great thing for us. Still enough food and fun. In Ecuador, the internal restrictions end on Thursday May, 20th and they won’t be extended. The country is open for tourism.” – Carlos 

Sheree is the awkward British wanderluster behind, a travel blog designed to show that even the most useless of us can travel. Follow Sheree’s adventures as she blunders around the globe, falling into squat toilets, getting into cars with machete men and running away from angry peacocks.

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