Official Message by Galapagos Connoisseur
The entire planet is going through an unprecedented situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. All countries worldwide are doing their best to avoid a spike in contagion. Ecuador is no exception, and these are the latest measures taken by the Ecuadorian government.
On March 11th, 2020
A State of Sanitary Emergency was declared by the Ministry of Public Health. This state of Emergency brought along some preliminary measures that have changed and have been incremented in the last days.
On March 15th, 2020
New measures were implemented which include:
- Starting on March 17th at 6:00 am, the mobility of people and vehicles on public roads, sidewalks, etc will only be allowed for the following circumstances:
- To purchase food and water
- To purchase personal hygiene products and medicine
- To attend hospitals, clinics, and health centers
- To attend workplaces and return home
- To take care of the elderly, handicapped, or people with terminal illnesses
- For an emergency or situations of Force Majeure (these need to be justified)
- The use of vehicles is authorized for said activities and for gas supply.
- Starting on March 17th, all commercial activity is suspended, and/or any establishment that gathers more than 30 people.
- Locales that sell basic need products; food, water, pet food, and other essentials
- Pharmacies, doctors, orthopedics, etc.
- Financial service and telecommunications providers
- All restaurants and cafeterias are suspended except for delivery services
- All types of gatherings are prohibited. Clients and workers at commercial locales should keep at least a distance of 1 meter from each other to avoid contagion.
- The test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) is free for those that present symptoms. The elderly will have a preference for testing.
- Schools will be suspended and teachers and students should stay home and will continue their studies on an online platform.
- The government and private businesses should adopt telework.
So, what does this mean for clients that have booked a Galapagos trip or cruise?
In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government and the Galapagos Authorities have declared that: all foreign citizens will be denied entry into the country (by air, sea, and land) and to the Galapagos Islands starting at midnight on Sunday, March 15th and for all Ecuadorian citizens or residents starting at midnight on Monday, March 16th.
The disturbance in air travel that this precise decree implies, on flights in and out of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, makes it impossible to continue operation in Galapagos until April 6h, 2020 (date when the travel ban expires, keep in mind that authorities have mentioned that this travel ban could be extended).
It’s important to emphasize on the fact that all bookings made until April 6th will be relocated without penalty. In other words, if you had a booking during March and April you can request a date change for your cruise or trip with no surcharge.
So, what does this mean for clients that have booked an Ecuador Mainland tour or trip?
The government has prohibited any kind of mobility that is not justified and has banned mainland tour operators from operating tours for the time being.
If you have a tour booked with us in mainland Ecuador during March and April 2020, we will work together with our partners to change your travel dates with no surcharge.
Galapagos Connoisseur understands that these global events are inevitable and that we will get through this together with all your support.
To all our clients, like yourself, we thank you for rallying side by side in these tough times. We are in this together and this too shall pass.
We will continue to closely monitor all travel advisories from the Ecuadorian & Galapagos Authorities, the CDC and the WHO, as well as coordinate with our staff, and revise our plans as necessary. We’ll communicate any revisions on our website and by email to all our clients.
PLEASE KEEP SAFE