Foreign travel advice

Ecuador

Important COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice

As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

Summary

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Coronavirus: stay up to date

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British nationals against all non-essential international travel at this time. Existing advice for Ecuador remains in place:

The FCO advise against all travel:

  • within the 20km exclusion zone along the border with Colombia, except for the official border crossing town of Tulcan in Carchi province.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the areas of Tarapoa and the Cuyabeno reserve outside the 20km zone in Sucumbios
  • the areas of El Angel Ecological Reserve inside the 20 km exclusion zone in the province of Carchi
  • all other areas of Esmeraldas province outside the 20km exclusion zone.

The UK will operate a special flight from Quito on 11 June to London Stansted, UK. For information on how to book, see Return to the UK

For guidance on how to stay safely in Ecuador as a visitor if you are unable to return to the UK, see Staying during coronavirus

In light of extensive restrictions on mobility announced on 16 March, British Embassy personnel are working remotely, and are in contact with the Ecuadorean authorities to support British nationals in these exceptional circumstances. If you need urgent assistance, call +593 2 3972 200.

Around 27,500 British nationals visited Ecuador in 2019. Most visits are trouble free.

There were nationwide protests across Ecuador in October 2019, which caused extensive disruption. Some protests became violent, especially in Quito, and led to a number of fatalities. Remain vigilant, avoid any protests or demonstrations and keep up to date with developments via official local sources (ECU 911 emergency services) and this travel advice.

Although Ecuador doesn’t have a history of terrorism, in 2018 there were a number of bomb explosions and kidnappings in the northern province of Esmeraldas. See Terrorism

The security situation in the province of Esmeraldas can change very quickly. If you’re undertaking essential travel in areas of the province beyond the 20km exclusion zone, you should pay close attention to warnings issued by the Ecuadorean authorities, be particularly cautious and vigilant, and monitor this travel advice regularly. See Local travel

Ecuador is situated in an area of intense seismic activity. There is a high risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. You should make sure you are aware of the risks and are familiar with the relevant safety and evacuation procedures. In the event of a natural disaster, you should monitor official channels – the Ecuadorean National Geophysical Institute and the National Service for Risk and Emergency Management (both Spanish only) – and follow the advice of the local authorities. See Natural disasters

Cases of armed robbery are increasing and petty crime is common. See Crime

UK health authorities have classified Ecuador as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. Consular support may be limited in parts of Ecuador.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.