COVID Testing in Ecuador: What are my testing options for return travel?
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Book with us and we’ll arrange your FREE COVID-19 Viral Test for return travel to the U.S.!
Visiting Ecuador can be one of the best experiences you’ll ever have as a traveler. Yes, in this current era of coronavirus there can be much uncertainty when it comes to coordinating details for your return trip. The important thing is to not feel overwhelmed and to not give up on your dream of visiting one of the most biodiverse countries in the world!
Perhaps you fear getting stuck in a foreign country, not knowing where to get the necessary test to return home to the United States. In this blog, we’ll explain the current requirement for return travel to the U.S. and your testing options to help you feel confident and at ease in your decision to travel and your ability to return home safely.
What are the current requirements for return travel to the United States?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly update their guidelines for all airline passengers entering the United States. As of their most recent post, the U.S. requires all passengers 2 years old and up to present a negative COVID-19 viral test result upon entering the country. This viral test must be taken within 24 hours of travel.
What is a COVID-19 viral test?
There are a few general types of COVID-19 tests. Viral Tests are those that can detect if you are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2. These can include Antigen, some NAATs (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests), and RT-PCR (Real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests.
Rapid self-tests also qualify as viral tests, but only if they meet the following requirements:
- The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral [NAAT or antigen] test approved by the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) or Ecuador’s Ministry of Health.
- The test must be performed under the supervision of a medical professional in a telehealth situation (with live audio and video). Additionally, this medical professional must complete and issue a report with all the information necessary to satisfy the CDC’s requirements.
- The documentation and results must be presented to, and easily confirmed by U.S., local, and state officials upon entry to the country, if requested. A list of the information to be included on the test result is available here.
In comparison, antibody tests (also known as serology tests) are limited to revealing whether you have previously been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Antibody tests do not qualify as viral tests.
How much do COVID-19 viral tests cost in Ecuador?
In April of 2021, the Ecuadorian government passed a law standardizing the cost of the RT-PCR test (to USD 45). This and other tests approved for travel are available 24/07 at Quito’s Airport. Below is the list of fees associated with each of the different tests they offer:
RT-PCR Test =USD 45
Antigen Test = USD 35
Qualitative test IgG – IgM = USD 17
Cobas Liat PCR Test = USD 70
Anti Spike = USD 28
(Please, keep in mind that prices listed are subject to change without notice.)
Should your travels through Ecuador find you returning to the U.S. from the country’s only other international airport in Guayaquil, the only test available at the airport is the Rapid Antigen Test, which carries a cost of USD 40. Also, these tests are not available except during select hours (2:30-6:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. to midnight).
Keep in mind that with a busy itinerary and so much to see and do while visiting Ecuador, it can be cumbersome to have to arrive at the airport several hours prior to your flight.
Metropolitan Touring aims to make your trip as smooth as possible. Should you choose to book with us, your Destination Expert will take care of arranging your free COVID-19 viral test for return travel to the U.S. This way, you can have peace of mind and enjoy your visit to Ecuador with one less thing to worry about.
Nonetheless, we understand that unforeseen issues can arise at any moment, not just during your travels but before they even begin…
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 before my trip or some other event disrupts my travel plans?
When making your reservation, it is always a good idea to check with your travel agent about the company’s peace-of-mind policies, should you need to reschedule your trip due to a force majeure reason. The first step is to get in touch with your travel agent so they may assist you in modifying your travel plans.
If you’re planning on booking with us, you have nothing to worry about. We have excellent Peace of Mind Policies, and we’ll help you find an option that suits your case.
Rebooking Your Trip
Travel to an incredible destination like Ecuador can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people. Should you find you need to postpone your trip, Metropolitan Touring is committed to working with you to reschedule your hard-earned vacation. We have flexible payment policies, which are designed to facilitate this. Here are some of them:
- Metropolitan Touring only requires a minimum deposit per person (or 10% of the total) to confirm the reservation.
- The tour must be paid in full 60 days prior to start date.
- You can customize your payment schedule with your destination expert.
Travel insurance is an invaluable purchase for any trip, it is highly recommended for all travelers to Ecuador. Some policies offer coverage in case you need to cancel your travel plans for any reason. Obtaining one of these policies is a sure bet for ensuring peace of mind throughout your entire trip, even before it begins.
José Ayerve enjoys traveling. After graduating with a degree in Romance Languages and Latin American Studies from Bowdoin College, Ayerve spent many years touring around North America as a musician while telecommuting as a Spanish language translator for a public school system. In 2015 he returned to South America. He spends a lot of time in Quito, Ecuador, though his mind and heart belong to the islands of Hawaii and the Galapagos.