Galapagos re-opens its doors to tourism with entry protocol
The Galapagos Islands have been one of the destinations most affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, not so much in terms of its health system but in terms of its economy, since the islands’ economy relies almost entirely on tourism.
The good news is that on July 1st the Ecuadorian government was opening its doors to national and foreign tourists to the Galapagos Islands, as long as all biosecurity procedures are followed in the airports and all prerequisites for entry are met with its entry protocol for tourists.
Below I’m going to leave you important information so that you can move forward in planning your trip to these enchanted islands in 2020. It’s time to contact your desired hotel and book a day tour or cruise to the Galapagos Islands.
Before continuing, please note that the only airlines that are currently operating under this protocol for the Galapagos Islands are LATAM and AVIANCA.
PROTOCOL FOR TRAVELERS ENTERING THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS:
- Travelers must wear a mask at all times in the airports.
- In the case of national tourists, a negative RT-PCR test must be provided, performed maximum 96 hours prior to travel, counting from when the sample was first taken. This test is not required for minors. This PCR must be performed in one of the laboratories authorized by the Ministry of Health. Some of the laboratories that perform these tests are Interlab (Guayaquil) or Synlab (Quito) and the results are delivered in a maximum of 48 hours.
- In the case of international tourists, a negative RT-PCR test must be provided, performed maximum 10 days prior to arrival in Ecuador. This test is not required for minors.
- Foreign tourists must have the RT-PCR test results negative maximum 96 hours before arriving in Galapagos. If it is necessary to have the test done in Ecuador, it also costs $120 USD. The PCR test must be carried out in one of the laboratories authorized by the health ministry. Interlab (Guayaquil) and Synlab are two laboratories that offer these services and they return the results in maximum 48 hours. The foreign tourist will only be allowed into Galapagos with the documentation proving a negative test RT-PCR result.
- Fill in the form “Traveler’s Declaration of Health,” indicating your place of residence/accommodation while on the Ecuadorian mainland as well as in the Galapagos.
- Travelers must have health insurance. I recommend you purchase insurance that also covers trip cancellation.
- In the case of both national and international tourists, you must provide a safe conduct issued in your name by the hotel, which is responsible for issuing it.
Book your accommodation and ask to be issued the safe-conduct
- After experiencing a global pandemia due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) we realized that an entire trip can change in just a matter of days and, when faced with an emergency away from home, our clients (travelers to the Galapagos) should have access to travelers’ assistance that actually helps and works in a time of crisis. From now on, we strongly suggest you purchase good health and travel insurance.
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