Ecuador state of emergency extended into April

A 60-day state of emergency in Ecuador has been extended for until April 6 amid continued armed conflict in the country.

The Peruvian government has taken preventive measures in the north of the country in response to the security situation in Ecuador, the Foreign Office noted in updated travel advice. 

The new state of emergency in Ecuador continues to include a daily curfew with the exception of passengers travelling to and from airports.

The initial alert in January came in the wake of various prison riots and the escape of gang leaders, foreseeing increased crime activity nationwide. 

However, various incidents escalated throughout the country, the Foreign Office warned. 

“There were reports of a series of explosions, shooting, vehicles set on fire and the abduction of police officials and prison security guards,” the latest guidance for British travellers said.

“If an incident occurs near you, follow the instructions of police and other security officials at all times.”

Latin America Travel Association chairman Martin Johnson said that while the Foreign Office advises against travel to some specific coastal provinces, it was important to note that these are not the common tourism spots in Ecuador.

The advice excludes the capital city of Quito, the Galapagos Islands and many of other “flagship destinations” within the country.

He said: “We understand that the 60-day State of Emergency in Ecuador, which took effect on 8 January, has now been extended for a further 30 days.

“The Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador has confirmed that tourism throughout the country will continue to operate, and Lata members in Ecuador report that, outside of the specifically mentioned areas, tourism continues as normal.

“As always, we advise anyone with a trip planned to Ecuador during the state of emergency time frame to consult their tour operator and check the official UK FCDO advice.”

Johnson added that the association continues to be in close contact with the Ecuadorian authorities and partners on the ground to gather more information to enable us to update members accordingly.

“We recommend all those looking to travel to Ecuador in the foreseeable future to book via a reputable Lata tour operator to ensure their trip is protected,” he said.

Latest Foreign Office advice for neighbouring Peru said: “If you are travelling to northern Peru or you plan to cross land border checkpoints, ensure you follow the advice of local authorities.

“Only cross the Peru-Ecuador land border at official checkpoints. Other parts of the border may still have unexploded landmines. Some tourists have been robbed by fake taxi drivers. Be extremely vigilant in these areas.

“The British Embassy may have difficulty in providing in-person emergency or consular support in these areas. While we will work with local authorities to request help, their ability to respond may also be very limited.”

The Peruvian government declared a state of emergency across the entire border region with Ecuador in January.

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