We’re going to start placing Covid-19 updates for Ecuador at the top of this article so that regular readers can find the information they are looking for without having to read the entire article.

Covid-19 Update

April 1

Ecuador reports 2748 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. There have been 93 deaths and already the city of Guayaquil seems overwhelmed as families gather to collect the bodies of their deceased.

For continued updates on the US Embassy repatriation flights, check the website often. Today there is a planned departure from Guayaquil including bus transportation to the airport from Cuenca. If you think you will want to leave Ecuador, it is better to contract the Embassy sooner rather than later.

March 28

Ecuador reports 1,823 coronavirus cases. Over 1,300 of those are in the Guayas Province.

The US Embassy completed it’s repatriation flights but did announce other ongoing flights that still have availability:

We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens who wish to return home to consider commercial flight options listed on the U.S. Embassy’s website https://ec.usembassy.gov/.  We are aware that some commercial flights, including from Quito on TAME to Fort Lauderdale and on United to Houston remain available this weekend.  There is also a flight from Manta to Toronto, Canada, this weekend, and from Guayaquil on Eastern to Miami scheduled for Monday, March 30.

March 26

As of yesterday, buses, automobiles, and other vehicles carrying people will be prevented from entering the Azuay Province. Even cargo trucks will be inspected to see if they are carrying people. This is an attempt to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Guayaquil has removed the restriction preventing senior citizens from entering the market. Too many older citizens do not have family or friends to shop for them.

The US Embassy is making a final push to get Americans out of Ecuador. They do not expect to schedule further repatriation flights:

⚠️ We urge all U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ecuador to strongly consider taking one of the U.S. State Department-chartered humanitarian flights described in the link. Due to the global nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the worldwide demand for evacuation assistance, we cannot guarantee any additional U.S. State Department-chartered flights will be available for U.S. citizens wishing to depart Ecuador. http://ow.ly/RQso50yVRJl

 

March 25

The US Embassy in Quito, Ecuador has scheduled eight repatriation flights. Be warned, you will need to pay for these tickets by first signing a promissory note. Exact costs are not known at this time but the Embassy is stating that they don’t expect them to be more than a full-fare economy flight:
 
To obtain a ticket on a U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT-chartered flight from Quito or Guayaquil, you should email QTOUSCitizen@state.gov IMMEDIATELY with the information requested in the form below. EIGHT such flights have been initially programmed from Ecuador to Miami International Airport (MIA): Two flights per day are scheduled to depart from both Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport and from Guayaquil José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport the afternoons of both Thursday, March 26, 2020 and Friday, March 27, 2020 (exact times will be confirmed). Exact flight departure time and routing are subject to change.

All passengers on State Department-chartered flights are required to reimburse the U.S. Government for their tickets and must sign a promissory note (U.S. Department of State Form DS-5528 – PDF 101kbbefore boarding.   Tickets are available through evacuation loans only, and not direct purchase.  The promissory note serves as a repayment agreement with the Department of State for your evacuation loan/charter flight ticket and it includes information about repayment options.  No cash or credit card payments will be accepted at the airport.  We do not have specific cost information at this time; however, ticket costs will be comparable to full-fare economy flights that would have been charged immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please visit this link for ALL information regarding these flights: https://ec.usembassy.gov/msg200324-01/

March 24

Mid-day, the Ecuadorian government decided to extend the hours of the nationwide curfew from 2:00 pm until 5:00 am. This is an attempt to keep people at home in a nation that is used to making daily trips to the market and more. In this vein, the President also tweeted new and hefty penalities that will increase with each violation: First violation: Fine of US$100. Second violation: Fine of the basic salary (approximately US$400). Third violation: jail time.

Este contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por Diario EL COMERCIO en la siguiente dirección:https://www.elcomercio.com/actualidad/toque-queda-ecuador-coronavirus-covid19.html. Si está pensando en hacer uso del mismo, por favor, cite la fuente y haga un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido. ElComercio.com

Ecuador confirms 1049 Coronavirus cases with 27 deaths. Hot spots continue to be Guayas Province followed by Pichincha. Guayas Province is under martial law in an attempt to keep more people at h0me. Quito remains under the strictist levels of quarantine and has implemented plans to allow entry to markets by the last number of your cedula. Please read exact guidelines under March 23.

El Comercio reports that a new coronavirus testing regimen will be released in the next few days. The hope is to identify coronavirus victims before they spread the virus further.

March 23

Quito has announced further restrictions on markets starting tomorrow.

Establishments will be open from 8 am until 4 pm. Access will be permited to one member of a family who is between the ages of 18 and 55 years old. The 56 markets will not allow entrance to senior citizens, pregnant women, or children. Entrance will also be controlled by the last digit of the cedula of the person entering the market. For this reason, you must carry your identifying document with you. Mondays will be for cedulas ending in 1 or 2; Tuesdays in 3 or 4; Wednesdays in 5 or 6; Thursdays in 7 of 8; Fridays in 9 or 0. Saturdays will be for cedulas ending in even numbers, Sundays for odd.

For a full recap in Spanish of the current Coronavirus quarantine in Ecuador, El Comercio has done an excellent job. Here’s the English short version:

1.Ecuador is under quarantine until April 5, 2020. All people must remain home. All classes have been canceled.

2.The work of all public and private employees is suspeneded until March 31, 2020. Employees may telework from home in coordination with their employers. Exception to this rule are areas that require service or production for the emergency: health, food, and others.

3.Purchases in markets, pharmacies, and supermarkets are strictly controlled. Only one member from a family may shop at a time. In some cities, they are controlling access by cedula number. In others, they are controlling how many can enter at one time. Senior citizens are told to stay at home. Supermarkets ask that all customers wear masks, use hand sanitizer upon entering the store, and remain at leaset one meter from other shoppers.

4. Since Saturday, March 21, a curfew prohibits ciculation in all streets, plazas, and public spaces between 7 pm and 5 am with exception to the provinces of Guayas, Santa Elena, and the Galapagos which are from 4 pm to 5 am. Breaking curfew can result in a three year jail sentence. This curfew is in place until the government makes an announcement otherwise.

5. Beginning on March 17, all national flights, interprovincial transport, and personal automobiles have been suspended for 14 days. Exceptions are made for authorized companies. The arrival of international flights is also restricted until Aprl 5, 2020. For the reason of purchasing food or medicine, cares with even number plates (0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are forbidden on the road Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Odd numberd plates (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are  Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday cannot be on the street. The exception to this rule is in Quito where no cars are allowed on the street at any time. There are no public buses (except for healthcare workers, security, and live saving emergencies). Only taxis can be used for grocery shopping and purchasing medicines or motorcycles for food and medicine deliveries.

6. Safe conduct is restricted to citizens who must report to work for the emerency: healthcare workers, security, emergency services, food, pharmacy, and media. The document for safe passage can be downloaded on the Ministry of Government website.

7. Restaurants can only provide food for delivery. Delivery must be conducted by a car with a license plate with a final digit that matches the day of the week (listed above). No food deliveries can take place during the hours of curfew. Additionally, restaurants must follow special protocols in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

8. Journalists and other media workers can use passage of safe conduct in their own vehicles but are not exempt from following the license plate restrictions. Journalists can move about during the hours of curfew.

9. The only people who can use personal automobiles at any time are health care workers, people working at hospitals, such as doctor, workers in food service, cleaning, and administration. Cargo vehicles that transport food can travel without restriction.

10. The Government has gauranteed electricity service during the emergency. COE made a call to local governments asking them to adopt measures to improve waste management and to reduce to frequency of public transportation while prioritizing its exclusive use for workers in helath, security, and emergency services. COE has also asked local governments to guarantee drinkable water, garbage collection, and food in local markets, following all sanitary guidelines. 

In other news, three mayors in the Guayas Province have tested positive for Coronavirus. They are a small portion of the now 981 confirmed cases in the nation.

There is talk of adding a further restriction in at least some cities to the shelter in place order. Some people are passing around a document from Asociacion de Municpales Ecuatorianos (AME) that limits access to public areas by the last digit of your government identificatio card (cedula). However, this seems to be a proposal only. The AME website does not have a link to this document. At this time, we cannot confirm this news from a valued source.

Canadians wanting to leave Ecuador and return home have good news. The Canadian government is undertaking a huge repatriation effort by negotiating with each and every government to include Ecuador.

This is in stark contrast to the United States. We are still relying on private businesses to schedule flights. Currently the US Embassy is collecting names of individuals waiting for flights out:

The U.S. Embassy continues working hard 24/7 to arrange additional flights to help U.S. citizens return home.  U.S. citizens seeking assistance to depart Ecuador should complete this form.  The U.S. Embassy will contact registrants if additional departure options become available.

Please visit the US Embassy in Ecuador website for the most up to date information. If you are an American overseas and want to return home, this would be a good time to call your elected officials if you are having trouble getting on any of these flights.

March 22

Ecuador reports 789 cases of Coronavirus and 14 deaths.

With the highest concentration of Coronavirus cases, the Guayas Province has been placed under martial law. Of all the cities in Ecuador, Guayaquil has struggled to convince its citizens to follow the quarantine. It is hoped that soldiers will be able to enforce the quarantine more strictly that the national and metropolitian police.

From the US Embassy Facebook page:

MESSAGE FOR U.S. CITIZENS: The U.S. Embassy is aware of the following potential flight options from Quito and Guayaquil for U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States:
*TAME flights departing Quito to Fort Lauderdale: Interested travelers should visit http://www.tame.com.ec
*United Airlines flights departing Quito to Houston: Interested travelers should book directly through United at https://www.united.com.
*Private charter flights from Guayaquil to Miami: Interested travelers should contact the airline directly at +1-855-216-7601, +1-877-971-0919, or +1-201-526-7616.

March 21

Tourists and expats currently in Ecuador will be relieved to learn that the Ecuadorian government has extended visas. This extension will last to at least mid-May and could possibly be extended again. According to the Ministry of Foreign Relations website: Once the emergency has ended, foreigners will have thirty days to legalize their visa without paying a fine.

Switzerland has scheduled flights to Ecuador and Peru in order to repatriate its citizens traveling in both countries.

March 20

With 367 cases of Covid-19 in 14 provinces, Ecuador will increase curfew hours nationwide. In the hardest hit province, Guayas, curvew will be from 4 pm until 5 am. In the rest of the nation, it will be from 7 pm until 5 am. New curfew hours begin on Saturday, March 21.

For US Citizens, the US State Department has declared a worldwide Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory. They recommend immediately returning to the United States. If you cannot find a return flight, make plans to shelter in place for the foreseeable future. Some groups of Americans are finding ways to get flights out but rumors are running wild. It is best to contact airlines directly. This information is also posted on the US Embassy in Ecuador’s Facebook page:

📌The U.S. Embassy is aware of possible charter flights from Guayaquil for U.S. citizens to return home. Interested travelers should contact the airline directly at 855-216-7601, 877-971-0919, and 201-526-7616. We urge all travelers to only travel to the airport if you have a confirmed ticket.

📌The U.S. Embassy is working to facilitate return travel home. U.S. citizens seeking assistance to depart Ecuador should complete this form (http://ow.ly/mzY750yQweo). The U.S. Embassy will contact registrants if additional options become available.

Contact information for the US Embassy in Quito and Guayaquil can be found below.

March 19

Ecuador continues to try to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

The Guayas Province has closed its borders with neighboring provinces in order to slow down transmission of the virus. Guayaquil and the surrounding area are at the center of the outbreak in Ecuador. The mayor of Guayaquil announced on Twitter:

“Businesses that will remain open during the shelter in place order are stores, markets, supermarkets, pharmacies, health-related stores, and banks. To insure the shelter in place order, the Armed Forces, the National Police, and the Guayaquil Municipal government through its transport police force and city agents, will be avaialable to divide the city by quadrants and insure the order is followed.

El resto de tiempo, es decir fuera del toque de queda, estarán permanentemente abiertos tiendas, mercados, supermercados, farmacias, sitios de salud y bancos. Para hacer cumplir este operativos las Fuerzas Armadas, la Policía Nacional y el Municipio de Guayaquil a través de ATM y su personal de agentes metropolitanos, estarán dispuestos a dividir la ciudad por cuadrantes para que la medida se cumpla”.

March 18

Ecuador reports the first community transmission of Covid-19. The government is firm in its commitment to keep people at home. In this regard, cars with license plates ending in an even number are forbidden from being on the road today. This is an Ecuador-wide advisory. Tomorrow, odd-numbered plates will be forbidden.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Quito is threatening a $6000 fine for anyone who breaks the shelter in place order for reasons other than emergencies, the purchase of food, taking care of the elderly or sick, or walking a pet.

In other news, Ecuador refused to recieve passengers, including Ecuadorians, from an incoming flight from Spain. Instead, the plane will arrive empty and allow Spaniards in Ecuador to return home. To check on other flights, here is the link to the Quito Airport departures board.

For those stuck in the Galapagos, the regional government is asking tourists to register for a flight out of the Galapagos Islands.

March 17

Late yesterday, the Moreno Administration added new Covid-19 travel restrictions, cancelling all national flights in Ecuador for 14 days. Additionally, a curfew is in place from 9 pm until 5 am for the foreseeable future. People may leave their homes only for very certain reasons like grocery shopping, caring for the elderly or ill, or going to work in one of the industries where workers are still required.

Last night, the mayor of Quito has announced stricter requirements for the capitol city:

Measures in Quito announced right now by the Mayor, measures that will govern from 05:00 this Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

  1. Suspension of use of public space, streets, parks, roads, squares, bridges and passages: except health personnel, personnel from risks, etc.
  2. Suspension of all business activity licenses except medicines and basic necessities.
  3. Sanctions for those who fail to comply with a fine of up to USD 6,000.
  4. Mobility: total restriction of vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, trolley, ecovia
  5. Close land terminals and close Quito airport.
  6. 51 markets open only for basic necessity products served by people from 18 to 50 years old.

Additionally, those who go out MUST wear masks. If the focus of the epidemic lights up, we have no chance of containing it because the health system would collapse, there are no more than 250 intensive care units in the entire city. (Translation from Ecuador Expats – Facebook; Link to original article on El Comercio. 

March 16

President Moreno announced strict rules for being in public.

  • To buy food and medicine or other essential products
  • To go to medical facilities like hospitals and clinics
  • To go to and from work
  • To take care of the elderly and the sick
  • For major emergencies only may you visit gas stations
  • All restaurants must be closed except for delivery; an exception has been made for restaurants attached to hotels with foreign guests
  • All commercial establishments except for those mentioned about must remain closed

March 15

The Ecuadorian government has clarified that departure flights will continue after the entry ban begins this weekend. People are free to leave Ecuador. However, it is still unclear how airlines will respond. It is highly recommended to have a reservation before presenting yourself at the airport for departure. Especially after this Sunday.
 
 
People arriving in Ecuador prior to the no-entry deadline will be required to submit to a 2-week quarantine. While Ecuador has made accommodations available to tourists needing quarantine in the past week or so, it is projected that these spaces won’t be sufficient. Additionally, individual passengers will have to make a quarantine plan. In other words, both the arrangement of quarantine and the expense of quarantine falls to the traveler.
 

Add Your Name to the US State Department Traveler Program

To recieve the latest upates from the US State Deparmtent while you are traveling, please enroll in Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

To contact the US Embassy in Ecuador, use these numbers and email addresses:

March 14, Original Article:

This morning, Not Your Average American made a recommendation on our Facebook page that anyone planning to travel to Ecuador within the next month cancel their plans. Our decision wasn’t easy. It was based on the US State Department Level 3 Travel Advisory that suggests all US citizens reconsider any travel abroad during the Covid-19 outbreak and Ecuador’s decision to restrict entry from Washington, California, New York, and Massachusetts.

Ecuador Will Close Its Borders

This afternoon, Ecuador more than doubled down:

  • [Ecuador will] restrict the entry of foreigners on international flights and international land and sea transport from Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
  • For Ecuadorians or foreigners residing in the country, the deadline for [arriving from overseas] will be Monday, March 16 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Mass gatherings of more than 30 people are prohibited, including the religious processions of Holy Week.
  • Ecuador border crossings are closed. Only the Huaquillas, Macará and Zapotillo passes (to the south), and Rumichaca, San Miguel and Puerto el Carmen (to the north) will be open, with restrictions.
  • In the case of Galapagos, there will be a special protocol that is being analyzed. This will be published sometime today.

Flights To and From Ecuador

Since Ecuador will essentially be closing their borders as of Sunday night, it is highly unlikely that airlines will continue service. Therefore, if you are in Ecuador and want to leave, we recommend doing so before Sunday.

Current Coronavirus in Ecuador

For up-to-date information on Covid-19 in Ecuador, we highly recommend these Spanish language websites:

Current Coronavirus cases and deaths: https://www.salud.gob.ec/actualizacion-de-casos-de-coronavirus-en-ecuador/ 

Basic Instructions on Protecting Yourself and Others from the Coronavirus: https://www.salud.gob.ec/medidas-de-proteccion-basicas-contra-el-nuevo-coronavirus/ 

Twitter Feed for Riesgos Ecuador: https://twitter.com/Riesgos_Ec 

 

Ecuador Covid-19 Emergency Procedures

If You Are Experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms in Ecuador

If you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms like fever, cough, or chest pain, please contact the Ecuadorian Ministry of Health. Your first step should be to dial 171. You will be triaged over the phone and told where to go for a Covid-19 test. Please be prepared to speak in Spanish. Here is a short primer to help you with a few key words:

I am congestedEstoy congestionado (a)
My throat hurtsMe duele la garganta
I have a light coughTengo una tos leve
I have a bad coughTengo una tos fuerte
My chest hurtsMe duele el pecho
My lungs hurtMe duelen los pulmones
I have a low feverTengo fiebre baja
I have a high feverTengo fiebre alta
I need help getting to the hospitalNecesito ayuda para llegar al hospital

 

Ecuador Covid-19 Help Sheet