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Galapagos COVID-19 Update and New Entry Protocols

Galapagos COVID 19 update


Updated Monday 16 March 2020

FROM THE ECUADORIAN MINISTRY OF TOURISM:

AS OF 11:59P SUNDAY 15 MARCH, FOREIGN CITIZENS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ENTER ECUADOR AS A MEASURE TO AVOID AND PREVENT THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19), PER THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY OPERATIONS COMITEE (COE) THIS SATURDAY 14 MARCH.

The measure applies to foreign passengers arriving on flights that land at the country's international airports, as well as those arriving via international land or sea transportation. For nationals or foreigners residing in Ecuador, this restriction applies from Monday, March 16 at 11:59 p.m.

In addition, as a preventive measure, most land border crossings are closed. The only authorized points are: to the north, the International Bridge of Rumichaca, San Miguel and Puerto del Carmen; while to the south the entrances of Huaquillas, Macará and Zapotillo will be enabled.

It is important to clarify that the exit from Ecuador is not restricted, so those who need to move to other countries by air can do so.

Also, entry to the Galapagos Islands is severely restricted. For this reason, nationals or foreigners, who come from anywhere abroad, must submit to mandatory preventive isolation for 14 days. This period must be completed within the continental territory. 

Wildland Adventures is currently working to insure our travelers who are now abroad reach home safely and quickly.  We have also successfully rebooked a number of families and groups to future Galapagos trips.  We will be contacting upcoming travelers to discuss the best options for everyone.  Our partners in Ecuador and the Galapagos are extending generous rebooking options into 2021.  Different vessels will have different offers, please contact us for details.   

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Thursday 12 March 2020

For all of our valued Wild Galapagos visitors, whether confirmed or considering, please see the protocols below that have been put into place in the wake of the COVID-19 arrival to our world:

As of today, there are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on mainland Ecuador. No cases have yet been reported in the Galapagos Islands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides country-specific COVID-19 risk assessment information on its website. Currently, Ecuador is in the lowest risk category, which means that while there is a risk of limited community transmission, there is no widespread or sustained ongoing transmission of the disease within the country at this time.

In response to the emerging situation, Galapagos and Ecuadorian officials have implemented measures to prevent the further spread of the disease. As of March 10, all passengers arriving in Ecuador will undergo health screenings and will be required to fill out a sworn Declaration of Health form, which includes questions regarding nationality, country of origin, and places visited in the preceding 21 days. Passengers exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be transported to a hospital for testing and treatment.

Last week, the Galapagos Provincial Emergency Operations Committee issued a resolution regarding the control and prevention of COVID-19 in the Galapagos Islands. This resolution cancels previous resolutions on the subject.

The resolution states that everyone entering and leaving the Galapagos Islands will be subject to health screenings and migration interviews at ports of entry. If symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection are detected, including fever, coughing, and/or shortness of breath, the visitor may be denied entry and those who test positive will be placed in quarantine. The resolution also warns of longer than usual delays at airports due to the health screenings.

For travel to Ecuador, the CDC recommends:

  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • Clean your hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60%-95% alcohol
  • Pay attention to your health for 14 days after returning to the US. Stay home and seek medical advice if you get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing
  • Avoid traveling if you are sick
  • Visit the CDC webpage for additional information about COVID-19.

Our thanks to International Galapagos Tour Operators Association Executive Director, Matt Kareus.  

For further questions regarding travl to the Galapagos, please contact our South America Program Director, Sherry Howland 

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