COVID-19: Ecuador Travel Updates

Unmissable Places to Visit in Ecuador

Updated 2nd December 2021.


  • 1st December – The land border with Colombia that was supposed to open on 1st December will remain closed until at least the 15th December due to fears over the Omicron variant. Source.
  • 22nd October – Fully vaccinated travellers entering the Galapagos Islands will no longer need to provide a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival. Instead, a vaccination certificate will be enough. However, the use of vaccination certificates by foriegn nationals will be constantly under review. Source.
  • The state of emergency has been renewed in El Oro and Guayaquil city. 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 (December 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.)
  • Since the rise of the Omicron variant, you will also need to provide proof of vaccination when entering Ecuador.
  • 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.)

  • Make sure you have travel health insurance that covers COVID-19. (We recommend SafetyWing.)

All travellers will be required to fill out a Health Declaration Form with their itinerary and local contact information.

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. 

Galapagos Islands

  • Anyone over 2 years old travelling to the Galapagos Islands will need to present a PCR test with negative result, taken no earlier than 72 hours before your departure or provide proof of COVID vaccination status (the final dose must be administered at least 14 days prior to travel). However, the use of vaccination certificates by foreign nationals in Ecuador will be constantly reviewed.
  • International travellers ranging from 2-16 years old will also need to present a negative PCR test, again taken up to 72 hours before travel.
  • You will also need to fill in your Galapagos Transit Control Card at least 24 hours prior to the flight. As always for entry into the Galapagos, a return flight and travel insurance are mandatory requirements. 
  • If you are showing any signs of a COVID-19 infection upon arrival, you will be denied entry.

Internal Travel Restrictions in Ecuador: 

Regional restrictions are determined by the relevant local authorities and can change with short notice. As of July 1st 2021, the ‘Hoy no circular’ system has been reintroduced in the urban areas of the Quito district. This prohibits certain vehicles from circulating on weekdays between 7am to 7pm.

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 July 2021 – “All good in Ecuador and Galapagos. No restrictions.” – Jo

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Sheree Hooker | Winging The World

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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1 thought on “COVID-19: Ecuador Travel Updates”

  1. I will be waiting for a return to normalcy with all of these countries before venturing back out in this mine field of requirements. I would be taking Ivermectin, before, during and after any visits, but it is not formally recognized as a prevention to Covid. Thanks for the update.

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