The Governing Council of the Special Regime of Galapagos established three new requirements for the entry of foreign tourists to the islands. One of them is having medical insurance. Lorena Tapia, head of that entity, maintains that the measure is specific to the Organic Law of Special Regime of the islands, established in 2015 and that, to date, has already been socialized.
What other conditions must foreign tourists meet?
The Plenary Council approved that foreigners must present the reservation of their tourist accommodation (hotel, boat or a camp). If the tourist arrives at a house, it is necessary to have an invitation letter signed by a permanent or temporary resident in the province. With this document you can stay for a period no longer than what is determined by law (60 days per year). The letter must be extended in the format established by the Technical Secretariat of the Council. Added to this are the conditions that were already known: round trip ticket and the transit control card.
What will be the mechanism for acquiring health insurance? What specifications must be met?
It is a private health and emergency insurance. The Council built certain guidelines for the contracting of these insurance, whose economic return will serve for subsequent and possible financing of emergencies of the Galapagos.
We seek to ensure the attention of emergencies and accidents that tourists may suffer. In accordance with the provision that will govern in Galapagos from August 1, the insurance must contain medical expenses for hospitalization, accident expenses, ambulance, accidental death, loss of limbs or total and permanent disability.
In terms of infrastructure and medical supplies, is the archipelago equipped to handle emergencies?
The medical insurance that tourists can acquire through the Internet or upon arrival in the country will complement the infrastructure of the public health system of the islands. There are conditions, not the perfect ones, but the ones that are needed. The board that heads also approved certain restrictions, such as the entry of yogurt.
What is the purpose of this prohibition?
The measure is normative, therefore it must be applied and seeks to generate alternatives to the livestock sector, encourage local production, boost the domestic economy and strengthen the agricultural sector of the islands.
We also want to reactivate the productive sector in the islands and generate quality products that come from the province. This action also has a preservation tinge, since many invasive species arrive at the archipelago through the cargo that arrives from the continental Ecuador.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock indicate that the average monthly demand for yogurt of the local and floating population of Galápagos is 53 439.70 liters.
Is the archipelago ready to meet the demand?
First you have to know that Galápagos cattle have quality standards. The livestock are free of foot-and-mouth disease. Without vaccines. At present, of the monthly average of consumption, 51.9% is covered by the production that enters from the continent and 48.1% is supplied by the local production plants.
A commission will monitor this measure to guarantee consumption. In the case of a drought that complicates local production, the measure will be temporarily lifted.
From what date will that measure be applied?
The ordinance will become effective 90 days after being published in the Official Registry. For its implementation, an inter-institutional roundtable composed of competent bodies and representatives of the productive sector will be formed. We are also socializing the measure in the islands. Garbage, among them plastic products, is an environmental problem of the oceans.
How is this problem being fought in the Galapagos?
From May 22, 2018, sorbets, t-shirt sleeves and polyethylene containers and non-returnable bottles cannot be used throughout the archipelago. To avoid the entry of this type of items, controls will be made in ports and airports on the islands. (I)