Foreign travel advice

Ecuador

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

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Ecuador. See information on measures introduced in Ecuador to limit the spread of the virus. Find out how to return to the UK from Ecuador.

See coronavirus travel advice for guidance on international travel.

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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.

Cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Ecuador. The Ecuadorean authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. See Coronavirus

In light of the entry restrictions announced on 14 March, and the implications for travel, we strongly encourage non-resident British nationals in Ecuador to consider leaving if possible. See Return to the UK

In light of extensive restrictions on mobility announced on 16 March, 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 30,210 British nationals visited Ecuador in 2018. Most visits are trouble free.

There were nationwide protests across Ecuador between 3 and 13 October 2019 which caused extensive disruption. Some of these protests became violent, especially in Quito, and led to a number of fatalities. The Ecuadorean government has announced that a dialogue process is underway to review the economic measures that triggered the protests. However, tensions remain heightened and there is a risk of further protests. If you’re travelling in Ecuador, you should 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.