Alert issued against all but essential travel to Ecuador

An alert against all but essential travel to mainland Ecuador has been issued amid political unrest across the country.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office updated its travel advice to the South American nation on Friday.

However, the advice does not apply to transits through Quito or Guayaquil airports, or onward travel to the Galapagos Islands, where many cruises operate. 

The UK stance came despite a state of emergency imposed on six provinces being repealed on Saturday together with a curfew in the capital Quito.

The country has been in the grip of protests against government economic and social policies in Ecuador, including riots last week in Quito.

The decision to end the state of emergency followed an initial meeting between government officials and Ecuador’s largest indigenous organisation, which began a strike two weeks ago to demand fuel prices be cut, price controls be imposed on agricultural products and a larger budget be set for education.

The FCDO said: “If you have a flight arranged from Quito, you should ensure you get to the airport well in advance due to intermittent roadblocks. 

“Consider staying in a hotel near the airport or check your hotel booking for onward travel as some hotels are running low on food supplies or are reporting no availability.

“British nationals should avoid all areas of protest and remain in a safe place. 

“You should also monitor local media, including social media channels, and plan ahead for any possible disruptions to your travel plans, due to extensive national road closures. 

“You should recheck with your hotel or travel plan itinerary due to reports of hotel closures and shortages of food provisions.”

Around 2,500 British travellers visited Ecuador last year, according to the FCDO.

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