Foreign travel advice

Ecuador

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Health

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ecuador on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Ecuador.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

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.

The Ecuadorean authorities are recommending travellers to have a yellow fever vaccination if travelling to some areas in the Amazon region. A yellow fever vaccination is obligatory when entering Ecuador from endemic countries such as Brazil, Dominican Republic, Congo, Uganda, etc).

High altitude

Parts of Ecuador (including Quito at 2,800m) are at high altitude. Don´t underestimate the effects of high altitude on your body. Be aware of higher exposure to UV radiation. In January 2020 the levels of UV radiation have significantly increased throughout Ecuador. You should use high factor sunblock, wear long sleeved clothing and keep very well hydrated. Use high factor sunblock and keep well hydrated. If you plan to travel to altitudes over 2,500 metres discuss the health risks associated with travelling to high altitude with your GP before you travel. Check this factsheet for more information and advice on how to reduce the risk of altitude sickness and recognise symptoms.

If you’re taking a long bus/plane journey, make sure you keep yourself well hydrated during the trip and move around regularly.

Local medical care

As with other medical matters, travellers should assure their own healthcare arrangements. This might include obtaining access to anti-viral medicine or to seek medical advice. Private treatment can be very expensive and private hospitals will demand a credit card guarantee for admission. The Ecuadorean public healthcare system provides the same level of assistance to locals and foreigners, at no cost. However, good/specialised medical treatment may not always be available outside the main cities.

Make sure you have adequate travel and medical insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. For life threatening emergencies, in principle every private or public health institution is obliged by law to assist patients.

There are limited facilities on the Galapagos Islands. If you travel to the Galapagos make sure your insurance includes evacuation by air ambulance. San Cristobal island has a well-equipped public hospital, but Santa Cruz island only has a basic hospital. If you travel to the Galapagos Islands by boat, you may be asked to supply information such as your blood group and emergency contact information when you board the ship.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.  

Ecuador has an Emergency Integrated Response Service (ECU 911) to respond to any emergency incidents that may require immediate assistance from emergency agencies. Dial 911 to report or request emergency help. Consider using ECU 911 free smartphone application to register any medical issues and to report various types of emergencies involving yourself or others for emergency assistance.

Some medical prescriptions issued overseas (including from the UK) may be accepted in Ecuador, The Ecuadorean Constitutional Law, Decree 1395 (Official Registration 457) states that if it is an antimicrobial prescription then it must be up to 3 days old, if it is a narcotic or psychotropic prescription then it must be up to 5 days old.

View our hospitalisation information pack for further details on healthcare in Ecuador, including a list of hospitals.