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Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
4,462 posts
18 reviews
21 helpful votes
Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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In its meeting held yesterday, the national Emergency Operations Committee resolved that from 11 September (tomorrow), everyone from 2 years old and up will ONLY require proof of a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours prior to embarking on your domestic flight to the islands. As recently as 1st September, BOTH a negative PCR test AND vaccination had been a requirement.

The requirement for proof of vaccination has been dropped.

For the official communiqué, see: https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe-nacional-de-09-de-septiembre-de-2021/

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

CNH Tours

27 replies to this topic
Vienna
Level Contributor
226 posts
29 reviews
23 helpful votes
1. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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My opinion: I would have felt safer to know that my fellow passengers had a vaccination AND a test. Kind of disappointed that they changed it.

Ottawa, Canada
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332 posts
24 reviews
29 helpful votes
2. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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"My opinion: I would have felt safer to know that my fellow passengers had a vaccination AND a test. Kind of disappointed that they changed it."

Agreed. Would make us much more comfortable to know our fellow passengers had all been vaccinated. This regressive change brings back an element of doubt that makes us less want to travel there anytime soon.

Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
4,462 posts
18 reviews
21 helpful votes
3. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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I wonder what motivated this change. Will try to find out...

C
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48 posts
165 reviews
136 helpful votes
4. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Thanks, Heather.

I agree ... the combination of both proof of vaccination and a recent PCR test made me feel much better about the COVID risk. Hope the rules change back!

Has anyone heard more about the Mu variant in Ecuador? Is there a way to find out if it's spread to the Galapagos? How can we see which areas of Ecuador have the highest number of COVID cases overall? We're trying to figure out whether it's safe to travel elsewhere in the country (Quito, Amazon, Papallacta, etc.) OR just stay on the Galapagos islands. Advice and insights welcome.

Thanks.

5. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept

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C
Level Contributor
48 posts
165 reviews
136 helpful votes
6. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Thanks, Dennis, and Ecuador deserves praise for its success in vaccinations. But I think you are incorrect on the Mu variant. Here's what I see online:

"Although the global prevalence of the Mu variant among sequenced cases has declined and is currently below 0.1%, the prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has consistently increased," the WHO said." ... and

"A WHO report cites preliminary data to suggest that Mu may be able to evade immunity generated from both past infection and coronavirus vaccination."

That's why I'd like to know WHERE the Mu variant is seen in Ecuador so we can plan our trip to avoid any hotspots.

Quito, Ecuador
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2,244 posts
139 reviews
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7. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Dear Kmc,

You are welcome.

You are totally right about the "Mu" variant presence in Ecuador, I just researched again and we have it since four months ago but there are only 170 cases of it at the moment. The reason why there are so little cases is because we are pretty much vaccinated and close to reach collective immunity.

If we continue vaccinating people in the way we are doing (200000 people per day) we could reach 70% of our population fully covered by the vaccine at the end of October.

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yépez

Guanguiltagua Expeditions

Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
2,244 posts
139 reviews
128 helpful votes
8. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Dear Kmc,

The provinces where the "Mu" variant is present are:

Carchi, Esmeraldas, Imbabura, Pichincha, Santo Domingo, Manabí, Los Ríos, Bolívar, Chimborazo, Guayas, Santa Elena, Azuay and El Oro.

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yépez

Guanguiltagua Expeditons

C
Level Contributor
48 posts
165 reviews
136 helpful votes
9. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Thank you, Dennis!

It looks like Mu is in Quito, Guayaquil and the coast, but not in Napo, Orellano or Sucumbios. The vaccination effort is very impressive. Hope it slows the virus spread. 170 cases is not many, so that's good news.

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
13,087 posts
109 reviews
131 helpful votes
10. Re: Another change in GPS COVID entry protocols starting 11 Sept
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Your trip's not for a couple more months. Anything can happen between now and then in this fast-changing environment. .We might be seeing chi, psi, or omega variants by then. If you haven't already, I suggest signing up for the State Dept's Smart Traveler program to keep abreast of alerts. They come directly to your inbox.

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