Travelers entering Ecuador from the U.S. states of Massachusetts, California, New York and Washington have been added to the list of those who must undergo a 14-day quarantine. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health had applied the order to travelers from China, Iran, Italy, Spain, France, South Korea and Japan under an emergency health declaration by President Lenin Moreno.
In addition the U.S. states, the ministry added travelers from Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland to the growing quarantine list.
Officials said that the order applies to Ecuadorian citizens residents as well as foreigners.
“We take this action reluctantly but believe it is necessary to protect the health of Ecuadorians,” said health minister Catalina Andramuño Friday night, adding that the decision followed discussions with the Ministry of Interior and the president’s office. “The Covid- 19 virus has reached contagion proportions in these U.S. states and in the three additional countries and appears to spreading rapidly. As with those traveling from the previously identified countries, it is not our intention to punish innocent people but to protect their health as well as that of all residents of Ecuador.”
Although details of the traveler quarantines have not been released by the health ministry, a spokeswoman said that the quarantines would be overseen by the ministry and office of risk management. Those violating quarantine rules are subject to arrest and deportation.