Surtrek Travel Information Regarding Coronavirus
With the recent and ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) people have many questions regarding safe travel in Ecuador and throughout South America. We at Surtrek, of course, recognize the increased uncertainty that this may be causing, and have prepared this information for our existing and prospective clients.
ECUADOR’s Quito Airport Tentatively Set to Open June 1: According to Airport World, Quito Airport has announced that it is working with the airlines and airport community to resume operations on June 1 if given the green light to do so by the Ecuadorian government. The airport, which notes that it has remained open and operational for cargo and repatriation flights for Ecuadorians and foreign nationals throughout the coronavirus crisis, reveals that it been preparing to “adapt to a new way of traveling, with new processes and protocols to care for passengers and airport collaborators” for the past few weeks.
PERU Lockdown Extended Till June 30: Peru’s government is extending its state of emergency and the national lockdown until June 30th Along with the extension of the state of emergency, the president also announced that a series of flexibility measures will be incorporated to aid in the country’s economic reactivation.
ARGENTINA’s Lockdown Extended Until June 7: Argentina has also announced an extension of their national lockdown until June 7th, while still allowing international commercial flights to enter the country.
CHILE Extends Quarantine Measures Till May 29th: Chile has extended all quarantine measures put in place until the May 29th and have already lifted the lockdown in Vitacura, Providencia and Las Condes. Santiago’s City Center and 2 neighborhoods in Antofagasta will remain under lockdown until further notice.
Though the Covid-19 pandemic seems now to be slowing, most governments continue to advise against all non-essential travel worldwide – which, of course, includes travel to mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands and all other countries in South America.
For your country’s official advisory related to travel to South America during the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit one of the following English-language websites:
- USA: Global Health Advisory regarding travel to South America / Ecuador
- European Union: General travel information during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Great Britain: Travel to South America / Ecuador
- Canada: Travel to South America / Ecuador
- Australia: Travel to South America / Ecuador
- New Zealand: Travel to South America / Ecuador
Ecuador Leader in Heath Protocol
(Quito/ August 25, 2020): Ecuador is the first country in South America to be officially recognized and certified for its health-security protocols for tourist operations. The certification, known worldwide as “Safe Travels,” was awarded by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Even prior to this recognition, since August 15, the mandatory quarantine of travelers arriving in the country was suspended as visitors have been required to provide a negative PCR test for Covid-19 from their country of origin.
What’s more, because Ecuador’s main attractions are natural and historic tourism sites that operate in a sustainable manner, social distancing is not a problem for small groups and individual travelers. What this means is that Ecuador is an ideal destination for post-COVID-19 travel.
For these reasons, tourists can now arrive with increasing confidence of being able to enjoy the natural wonders of Ecuador in a safe and secure environment!
USA Lifts Restriction On Some Travel Abroad
(CNN Español – August 7, 2020) — The United States Department of State partially lifted a global coronavirus travel alert on Thursday, but still recommends its citizens not to travel to 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Previously, on March 19, the U.S. Department of State issued a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” global alert — the highest travel notice in the country — urging Americans not to travel abroad because of the covid-19 pandemic.
Currently, “With health and safety conditions improving in some countries, and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is reverting to our previous system of country-specific travel advice levels (with levels 1-4 depending on the country-specific conditions) to give travelers detailed and actionable information to make informed travel decisions, “the State Department indicated.
The Latin American and Caribbean countries that are still at “Do Not Travel” level 4 alert are:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Dominican Republic
Other places in the region at in Level 3 of travel advice, which recommends travelers “reconsider the trip”:
- Antigua y Barbuda
- Santa Lucia
- San Vicente y las Granadinas
- Trinidad y Tobago
The Galapagos Islands Establish Re-opening Measures to Ensure Traveler Safety
With Galapagos Islands tourism operations set to reopen on July 1, the islands’ have organized a set of guidelines for ensuring the safety of travelers during their entry, stay and exit from the world-famous archipelago. Measures at island airports include the presence of health professionals who will perform temperature control and pose respiratory triage questions upon arrival of all flights. Passengers will also be required to present proof of a real-time PCR COVID test performed no more than 72 hours prior to landing. In addition, island professionals will carry out epidemiological follow-up and investigations of any suspicious respiratory symptoms or suspected cases of COVID-19.
Travelers in Argentina Required to Re-book with Different Airline as LATAM Suspends Domestic Flights
The Latam airline is suspending all domestic flights in Argentina until further notice, meaning that most domestic flights in that country will be booked with Aerolineas Argentinas. Therefore, any travelers who have already booked a domestic flight(s) with Latam must request a refund and reschedule their flights with Aerolineas Argentinas.
Surtrek Adopts International Travel Protocols
To achieve effective coronavirus recovery protocols, Surtrek tour operator is implementing the action plans developed by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). These concrete measures optimize recovery efforts in the tour operator sector so that the future of travel is safe, secure, seamless, and provides authentic and meaningful experiences for travelers. As it has been noted, these WTTC protocols are consistent with those recommended within Ecuador.
Resumption of Commercial Passenger Flights in Ecuador
The resumption of regular commercial passenger flights at Ecuador airports has now been approved by government authorities. While each airline is being allowed only 30% of their previously assigned frequencies, limited demand is also expected for these flights as they reinitiate operations.
The restart commercial flights at Ecuador principal airports are as follows:
Quito airport: International and domestic flights re-starting June 1, 2020.
Guayaquil airport: International flights re-starting June 1, 2020, domestic flights reopening June 15, 2020.
However, all travelers arriving in Ecuador must comply with protocols such as Mandatory Preventive Isolation (up to 14 days of uninterrupted quarantine upon arrival in Ecuador) and/or coronavirus “PCR” testing within 72 hours prior to their trip.
Galapagos Islands Tourism Resuming July 1 (El Comercio)
Ecuadorian government officials, when noting that the Galapagos Islands are free of covid-19, announced that tourism activities will be able to restart from on July 1, 2020 in those Ecuadorian islands. However, the country’s vice president stressed that that the safety, hygiene and distancing protocols will continue to be enforced throughout the archipelago.
Initial Flights Restarted in Quito, Ecuador
Quito International Airport resumed operations on commercial passenger flights on Monday, June 1, applying strict sanitary security protocols. The first international connections with the Quito airport are Miami and Houston, operated by American Airlines and United Airlines.
Several other international airlines have already submitted proposals for dates to resume their operations at the Quito airport beginning in July.
Still, passengers are being recommended to take their flight in the safest and most efficient ways:
- Buy your flights through airline websites and travel agencies. Air tickets are not being sold at airports.Check in online to avoid processes and save time in the terminal.
- Check in online to avoid processes and save time in the terminal.
- Only passengers with a confirmed flight presenting a boarding pass or flight ticket may enter the terminal. The entry of family or companions is prohibited.
- Arrive at the airport four hours in advance for international flights and two hours for domestic flights.