The Ecuadorian government has extended the current state of emergency until September 15 to curb the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the state of emergency, the use of face masks remains mandatory in public spaces. Fines may be given to those who do not comply with the measures. All public gatherings (including sporting events and entertainment centers) and all inter-provincial travel remain prohibited. Schools also remain closed nationwide. Those over the age of 60, or anyone who has been designated as vulnerable to COVID-19, is to undergo mandatory self-isolation.
The traffic light system was established on July 1, with all cantons determining their own level depending on COVID-19 infection rates, with the exception of Quito, which has stricter measures enforced. Under the different levels in the color system, different curfew times apply (with none for those in green) and different capacity levels are permitted in shops, on public transport, and in other public places. An interactive map showing the color under which each canton falls can be found here.
International commercial flights resumed limited operations on June 1. All arriving passengers must present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken up to seven days prior to departure, or if unable to do so will have to take a test at the airport. All passengers must fill out a declaration form to provide their itinerary and contact details and are subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period. Land borders with Colombia and Peru remain closed until further notice.
As of Monday, August 17, health officials in Ecuador have confirmed 101,542 cases of COVID-19, with 6083 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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