The Ministry of the Environment and Water of the Ecuador (FEPA) announced the reopening of the network of sites visits of the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve , from this Monday July 13, 2020. The archipelago has 176 sites visit: 91 marine and 85 terrestrial.
“The protected areas of Galapagos already have an exemplary model of tourist management ,” said the director of this National Park, Danny Rueda. For this reason, he added, he works together with the Ministry of Tourism, local travel agencies and guides to establish visit circuits in places close to populated centers.
The National Government seeks to “boost economic revival through local tourism ” in the reactivation process due to the covid-19 pandemic , which has hit the archipelago’s main source of income : tourism.
The visitors must comply with the protocol access approved by the Committee for Emergency Operations (COE) Provincial including health safety measures such as mandatory use of mask , or alcohol hand gel.
In recreational sites near populated ports the maximum stay will be three hours, the Ministry reported in a statement , in which he invited “to enjoy the great biodiversity of the country, taking care of your health and our natural heritage .”
The reopening comes after the warrant of the Plenary of the Galápagos Government Council, which unanimously approved last Saturday, July 11, 2020, the comprehensive plan for the Reactivation of the islands, which includes responses to the health crisis in the health, education and cargo, fishing, agricultural sector, credit, tourism and even solidarity bonds for the inhabitants .
National COE authorized the June 26 resumption of commercial flights to the Galapagos Islands but has not yet been reactivated frequencies periodic with Guayaquil and Quito He made so far flights type ‘charter’ for the return of personnel and settlers to the islands , or for cargo transfer.
Norman Wray, minister president of the Galapagos Governing Council, announced that commercial flight frequencies will resume from next month. “In August (the airline) Latam will already be working with periodic flights , that will allow the tourism sector to plan its activity, as well as the entire logistics and supply system . We have to work with Avianca, for that a work table has been called, “Wray reported in a virtual link.
The MAAE published an eight-page document with general guidelines for access to visiting sites in the Galapagos protected areas entitled ‘Response to covid-19’.
In the inland tourism operations and products such as daily tour and fishing vivencial it is recommended that every guide carry up to eight passengers for each visit in order to optimize the management of the group and ensure the physical distance.
The craft must have dispensers of alcohol gel to leave and return from each expedition . All passengers and crew must carry their mask to disembark and trays for shoe disinfection will be placed at the entrance and exit of the boat.
In the pangas (boats) that are six meters or less in length, up to eight seated passengers and up to three crew (standing or seated) may be transported , for each additional meter of length, two more passengers may be added.
The opening hours of the visiting sites close to the local community will be from Tuesday to Sunday from 06:00 to 17:00. You will not be able to consume food in these sites according to the protocols and the load of visitors will be reduced from all the visiting sites near the populated centers.
The Plenary of the Galápagos Government Council urged the Ministry of Tourism to analyze the possibility of implementing as a rule that all tourists who enter Galapagos through a navigable tour, spend at least two nights in a populated port to reactivate the local economy.
In its reactivation plan, it also requested the creation of incentives and mechanisms to ensure overnight stays by tourists on Isabela Island. In addition, the Tourism portfolio was called to implement a campaign to position the Galapagos Islands as a safe tourist destination.