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by on August 10, 2020

Galapagos COVID-19 Faqs

Updated september 14th, 2020

Is the Galapagos National Park Open?
Yes, the Galapagos National Park reopened on July 1st, 2020. The Ministry of Environment of Ecuador announced the reopening of Galapagos Visitor Sites beginning July 13, 2020.

Are international flights available to Ecuador?
Yes, Ecuador approved the resumption of commercial flight operations beginning June 1, 2020, with limited flight capacity.

Can I fly to the mainland from Ecuador to Galapagos?
As of July 01, 2020, the Ecuadorian government has put a green light on commercial flights between the islands and the mainland. Speak with our expert travel advisors for more information, free of charge. Current operators include LATAM, Avianca, and American Airlines. To board a flight, you must have the following:

  • A PCR COVID-19 test certificate. The test must be taken within 96 hours before the flight and must be negative to board. For more information on this, speak with a Greengo travel advisor
  • Safe passage certificate, which is issued by the tour operator, cruise, or hotel at least 24 hours prior.
  • Transit Control Card (must be completed online at least 24 hours before the flight)
  • Check-in Online (Digital Boarding Pass)
  • Pass a temperature control (you will not be able to board if you exceed 37.9 C (100.22 F)

Is mandatory quarantine required upon arrival in Galapagos?
No, there are no isolation measures required for tourists.

Is there a mandatory quarantine for Ecuador?
Any traveler that arrives in Ecuador with a NEGATIVE PCR test within 10 days of their flight and dies not present symptoms does NOT have to do a quarantine and can enter the country and be free to move around.

What safety protocols are in place regarding domestic flights?
All travelers will step on disinfection mats when arriving at the airport, and repeatedly disinfect their hands at different stages for boarding. Guests are required to wear masks at all times. Many airlines will not be providing food or drink services but will provide a bag of essentials including water, sanitizing wipes, and a snack. Airport staff is required to wear masks, and ticket counter employees are separated by glass barriers. For specific information regarding protocols in place in the Quito airport along with helpful videos, see: https://www.aeropuertoquito.aero/en/covid-19-protocol.html

Regarding Galapagos flights, baggage will be disinfected before and after inspection by the Galapagos Biosafety and Quarantine Control Agency. Upon arrival at the Galapagos airports of San Cristobal or Baltra, the procedures are the same as always, but with measures of social distancing, both at the airport and on-board public transport. No voluntary 2-week isolation measures are required for tourists.

What is the U.S Government’s current health advisory for Travel?
The U.S. Government Global Health Advisory is downgraded from level 4 to Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Do I need a COVID-19 Test before arrival to Ecuador/Galapagos?
All arriving passengers are required to have the results of an RT-PCR (polymerise chain reaction) COVID test from within the last seven 10 days before arrival in Ecuador. Passengers that want to enter Galapagos also have to take a COVID-19 test at the airport of Guayaquil or Quito at their own expense (120$), where they must then wait 24-48 hours for results. The proper test for entry is the RT-PCR test.  Luckily, all insurance companies are paying for COVID-19 tests in the United States. If testing is not available in the departure country, arriving passengers need to sign a document promising they will undergo testing by Ecuadorian health authorities.

When will Galapagos cruises resume operation?
Galapagos Cruises will commence operation as soon as commercial flights to the Galapagos reopen, which is expected to be in early August. Cruise lines are ready to take on passengers. New protocols are in place for cruise lines which will prioritize the safety of passengers. For more details on some of the new restrictions, see: https://www.greengotravel.com/blog/the-future-of-galapagos-cruises-post-covid-19/

Can I reschedule or postpone my cruise or trip to the Galapagos?
Many Galapagos cruises and tour operators have relaxed the rules due to COVID-19 and are allowing guests that are due to travel in the upcoming weeks or months to reschedule and postpone their trip until late 2021. Additionally, when making new bookings, rescheduling is an option for the majority of cruises. Lastly, initial deposit fees have dropped significantly for customers.

Are there any travel restrictions about returning to the United States from Ecuador for U.S. Citizens?
At this time, there are no specific limitations or quarantine requirements for U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents entering the United States from Ecuador. Restrictions are in place for individuals returning from Brazil, China, Iran, and certain European countries, which have all been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and the latest updates, please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s COVID-19 website.

What are the advantages of booking with GreenGo Travel?
Besides FREE trip planning and services, our team of travel experts will assist you or completely take over all of the tedious/stressful processes of Galapagos planning, guaranteeing that your voyage operates smoothly from Point A to Point B. This includes finding and purchasing domestic and international flights at the best prices on your behalf, handling the tedious process of document preparation, finding certified testing centers in your area or within airports, and keeping every client promptly informed regarding relevant and new Galapagos regulations. Most importantly of all, we take the health and safety of every customer above everything. We know exactly which tour operators, cruises, and hotels are strictly keeping up to date with COVID-19 protocols that will keep you and other guests safe.

Galapagos COVID faqs

Quito’s historic center

Ecuador’s current situation
Fortunately, Ecuador has made excellent progress towards flattening the curve, and the situation is beginning to look better. Ecuador has implemented a “stoplight system,” which assigns each municipality with a color that is assigned based on the present COVID-19 cases, sanitization protocols, and the area’s capacity to combat the virus. Initially, the entire country began as red as a baseline. Currently, the largest cities of Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil) have moved to and maintained a yellow and green status, signifying that many quarantine measures are still in place to prevent the virus from spreading, but with an allowance of several aspects of social interaction albeit with strict safety precautions including capacity limits, social distancing, and the wearing of masks.

*Please keep in mind that the above information is what is being enforced at present, however, things can change in the coming days and week, as this is an evolving situation.

Do you have a question that we missed? Ask them in our chatbox or email us and we will be sure to add it to this list!


About Keenan Ennis

Keenan Ennis studied Conservation and wildlife biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. This eventually lead him to a program in Ecuador studying hummingbirds and their keystone nutritional species in the Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve. Since, he has worked with the critically endangered Bandurria Andina, or black-faced Ibis of the Andean Páramo. Through his ecological background, he provides an in depth insight into the conservation processes of the Galapagos Islands.

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