Tourists in Ecuador urged to stay inside hotels as violence erupts following prison escape

Ecuador curfew
By Linsey McNeill
09/01/2024
Home » Tourists in Ecuador urged to stay inside hotels as violence erupts following prison escape

Tourists in Ecuador are being urged by the Government to stay inside their hotels or other accommodation until further notice after a state of emergency was declared.

The Ecuadorean Ministry of Tourism says tourist should only move for essential travel and they have been urged to observe a curfew from 11pm till 5am.

Exceptions to the curfew include passengers travelling to/from airports who will need to show their passports or ID and relevant boarding pass or flight booking. 

The state of emergency was declared after the escape from prison of a notorious drug gang boss, Adolof Macias – also known as Fito – sparking violence across the country, especially in Guayaquil and Quito.

There have been reports of a series of explosions, shooting, vehicles set on fire and the abduction of police officials and prison security guards, said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in an update to its travel advice.

An armed gang stormed a state TV channel during a live broadcast.

The FCDO warned that during the state of emergency, only passengers will be allowed to enter airports; family members and friends will not be allowed into the terminals to drop off or pick up passengers. 

“You may wish to leave extra time to travel to the airport, as extra security checks may be carried out on arrival,” it added.

“All airports are currently open but some airlines have cancelled flights. Please check your flight status with your airline or airport website (Quito AirportGuayaquil Airport) before proceeding to the airport.”

The FCDO also warned that travellers are likely to see increased military and police presence around key public buildings, airports and on the streets. 

“This may also include closure of the public buildings, shopping centres and key tourist destinations. You should monitor local media and stay away from areas involving increased security activity,” it added.

Chair of the Latin America travel body LATA, Danny Callaghan, said: “Whilst the Ministry of Tourism in Ecuador has confirmed that tourism throughout the country will continue to operate with the ongoing provision of tourism services, 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.

“LATA is in close contact with the Ecuadorian authorities and our partners on the ground to gather more information to enable us to update our members accordingly. “

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