International travelers arriving by air who present a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result will no longer be required to quarantine, the National Emergency Operations Committee decided Friday night. The new rule is one of several protocol changes for international airline passengers arriving in Quito and Guayaquil and applies to citizens, legal residents as well as foreigners.
The change was prompted, in part, by complaints from airlines that the previous rule was unfair since passengers arriving with negative test results were required to quarantine along with those arriving without test results. “The rule creates confusion and seems unfair in its application,” a memo from American Airlines to the COE said. “We also note that the rule is applied differently at the airports in Quito and Guayaquil. On some occasions, quarantine is ordered while in others, it is not.”
Under the new rule, those who arrive without a test result will be required to produce a negative test result while in quarantine and then be cleared by a health ministry official. Under the old rule, a quarantine was required but not a negative test result.
Among other changes, the COE increased the period a negative test result is valid for incoming travelers, from 72 hours to 10 days, and reduced the quarantine period from 14 days to 10.
The new rules took effect August 15.