Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Ecuador announces nationwide restrictions will last through at least April 26. A system of local restrictions will be implemented April 27.

This alert affects Ecuador

This alert began 17 Apr 2020 22:42 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least April 26
  • Impact: Movement and travel restrictions, significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
Officials in Ecuador announced that nationwide travel and movement restrictions will extend through at least April 26 as part of the nation's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Afterward, restrictions will change between provinces, with each province coded red, yellow, or green depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 in the area. Each color will indicate different degrees of movement and business restrictions.

Until April 26, the government considers all provinces in the country to be coded red, meaning the strictest restrictions apply nationwide. During this time, personal vehicles will only be allowed on the streets one day a week, according to the following schedule:

  • Mondays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 1 or 2
  • Tuesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 3 or 4
  • Wednesdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 5 or 6
  • Thursdays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 7 or 8
  • Fridays: Vehicles with license plates ending in 9 or 0
  • Saturdays and Sundays: No private vehicles allowed on the streets


All persons need a government-provided permit to use their vehicles for essential tasks, such as purchasing basic goods, on the day of the week that their vehicle is allowed to circulate. Vehicular movement will continue to be allowed throughout the week for essential services such as food and medicine distribution, security, and medical emergencies.

All passenger international and inter-provincial flights, as well as all inter-provincial passenger ground travel, is prohibited through at least April 30. Cargo air and ground transport will continue. Classes have also been suspended until at least April 30, and events such as concerts and sporting events have been canceled through at least May 31. Most businesses must remain closed or continue with employees working exclusively from home until at least April 26. A nationwide 1400-0500 curfew remains in place. Officials have also ordered residents to use a protective mask whenever they leave their homes.

Many provinces are likely to continue to be coded red after April 26. Ecuador's largest city, Guayaquil, as well as its capital, Quito, have particularly high numbers of COVID-19 patients and are likely to remain under strict movement and business restrictions even after the provincial system is implemented. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country, with a larger than usual police presence in the streets. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures imposed by Ecuador's government are similar to those taken by other regional governments in recent days and weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organization (WHO): www.who.int

Coronavirus Ecuador (Spanish): www.coronavirusecuador.com