Galapagos travel Covid-19

Travel to Galapagos in Times of Covid-19

Galapagos Covid-19 vaccinationThe governing authorities of Galápagos have undertaken a mass vaccine program. They determined the best way to keep both visitors and residents as safe as possible against Covid-19 is by using testing and vaccination. The program to vaccinate 100% of the adult population with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine has been underway since March of 2021 and is planned to be completed by the end of June 2021. This will make Galápagos the first fully vaccinated island community in South America. All of our staff has participated and received the Pfizer vaccine. COVID-19 testing is available in Galapagos on Santa Cruz Island. The goal is to keep both residences and visitors safe. Local authorities have added an extra layer of security for visitors to the islands, over and above that required for visitors to continental Ecuador including enhanced documentation, health requirements, and procedures for entry to the Galapagos Islands. We provide this guide as a courtesy to our guests, but we are not the authority and you should still contact your local embassy for updated requirements or restrictions.In addition, local authorities have issued a set of guidelines, for the tourist industry, to minimize the risk of transmission while hosting, transporting, and guiding guests. This is to enhance the protection of guests and residents. The requirements include mandatory face masks and social distancing and are enforced by local authorities.

As with the underlying protocols, the Guide and Covid-19 Policy will change as protocols are updated.

Definitions

RT-PCR Test for Covid-19 infection: The only type of rapid test recognized by Ecuadorian health authorities. (RT-PCR = Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction). Mandatory Isolation: If travelers or service providers are identified as Suspect Cases or Confirmed Cases that do not require hospitalization, you must stay in your current accommodation for 10 days.

Requirements for Travel to Ecuador

  • As of March 22nd, all travelers (including minors) arriving in Ecuador must provide proof of a negative COVID RT-PCR or rapid antigen test taken no more than three (3) days before entering the country or present a vaccination card showing the traveler received a complete series of the COVID vaccine. Minors two years of age and younger are exempt, as well as airline crew.  Airlines are now required to verify that travelers have a negative COVID test before boarding at the point of origin.  As long as the traveler does not present symptoms of COVID, the traveler does not need to perform mandatory preventive quarantine (“aislamiento preventativo obligatorio”, or APO) and they may freely move within the continental territory of Ecuador (Special rules apply to the Galapagos Islands; see below).
  • As an alternative to the above requirement, travelers previously diagnosed as COVID positive, but with more than one month since the onset of symptoms, may present a medical certificate from their country of origin attesting to their recovery and current good health.
  • Regardless of whether a negative COVID RT-PCR test is provided, passengers that present symptoms of COVID-19 will be evaluated by Ministry of Health personnel.  Rapid antigen testing may also be conducted.  If the rapid antigen test is positive, the traveler must isolate for ten (10) days.  The isolation may take place at a private residency or hotel of the traveler’s choosing.  If the rapid antigen test is negative, no isolation is required.

Documentation required for Visitors to Ecuador:

  • A passport with at least 6 months of validity.
  • Documentation of being fully vaccinated or of a negative RT-PCR test, from your country of origin, taken within 3 days of arrival in Ecuador.
  • You must complete the Traveler Health Declaration form with contact information, details of recent travel, and current health upon arrival in Ecuador.

Requirements for Travel to Galapagos:

Guidelines for the entry of tourists to the Galapagos Islands. As of July 1, 2021, all visitors who wish to travel to the Islands and traveling from the Quito and Guayaquil airports must present the following:

  • Identification (National I.D. or passport).
  • A round trip air ticket to the Galapagos province.
  • Documentation of being fully vaccinated for a minimum of 14 days or RT-PCR negative test results performed up to 72 hours before entering the Galapagos.  This can be the same test as the test used to get into Ecuador, assuming it was taken within 72 hours of arrival to the Galapagos.  If the initial test was not taken within 3 days of arrival to the Galapagos, the traveler will need to take a second test in Ecuador at a laboratory recognized by the Quality Assurance Agency of the Services of Health and Prepaid Medicine (ACESS), at their own expense. These tests will not be compulsory for minors under 2.
  • Traffic control card issued by the Government Council of the Galapagos Special Regime and purchased at the airport.
  • Traveler Health Declaration Form in order to identify the place of stay, for tourists who start the trip in Ecuador. For tourists starting the trip abroad, this form will be completed upon arrival in the country.
  • Mandatory health insurance. This applies only to foreign tourists (Art. 49 of the Organic Law of the Special Regime for the Province of Galapagos).
  • All tourists must pay in cash the current tax of the Galapagos National Park for national and foreign tourists upon arrival in the Galapagos province.
  • The guidelines will be subject to permanent review and may be modified according to the epidemiological situation in Ecuador and the world.
  • For more information, please refer to the Special Regimen of the Galapagos Government Council, Ministry of Tourism, and the Ministry of Public Health.

COVID-19 testing is available in Galapagos on Santa Cruz Island if a negative Covid-19 test is required for entry at your next destination.

Also Recommended

We strongly advise all guests to obtain travel interruption and cancellation insurance that includes disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A Positive test result – Mandatory Isolation 

If at any stage, you receive a positive test result, you will have to re-schedule or cancel your plans for Galapagos and enter 10 days of Mandatory Isolation. That will usually mean staying in your current accommodation. You will have to cover all the costs of your mandatory isolation, including lodging, maintenance, transportation, etc.Please take all due precautions in your travels prior to departure for Galapagos. Please self-monitor for symptoms of Covid-19 as it will better to know before you get here and get turned away at entry, need to isolate on the island, or even be evacuated back to the continent by air ambulance.

Recommendations for Guests

Traveling – Extras to Bring

Bring face masks, gloves, alcohol gel, and other protective products during your travels. We strongly recommend you travel with a good supply of:

  • Protective Masks –Preferably washable\reusable
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol-gel

We further recommend the following:

Mask & Snorkel \ Scuba Gear

While operators clean equipment between trips, having your own equipment, including short wetsuits, will provide more peace of mind. You will also be able to take advantage of snorkeling opportunities at the beaches.