In a session held on September 10, 2020, the national Emergency Committee (COE) [1] decided to issue guidelines that will be mandatory once the state of emergency ends.

The guidelines establish that agencies and institutions of the Central Government and Decentralized Autonomous Governments, as part of their duties, must develop and implement regulations and public policies that are in line with the ordinary regime to address the health crisis.

All public authorities, when issuing legal instruments for public policies, should consider, among others, the following guidelines:

Entry to Ecuador:

  • As a requirement for entry into the country, at any entry point (air, land, or sea), a negative RT-PCR test issued no more than 10 days prior to arrival in the country must be presented. This test is valid for those citizens who leave and return to Ecuador during this time.
  • Those who do not have an RT-PCR test must remain in mandatory preventive isolation (APO) for 10 days at the place indicated by the person upon entry into the country. If the person shows symptoms, they will be treated as a patient suspected of having COVID-19.

Education:

  • In-person classes remain suspended and classes will continue to be held virtually and remotely in accordance with the COVID-19 Education Plan.
  • The authorization of pilot plans continues. New institutions and new modes can be incorporated to this plan. The return to classes will be optional, virtual education modes will also be guaranteed.
  • The development and implementation of pilot plans for the progressive return to activities in higher education institutions will be allowed.

Work:

  • The highest authority of each public institution will decide on the return to in-person activities. Teleworking should be favored.
  • Progressive Return to Work in the Private Sector: once the state of emergency has ended, employers must adopt all measures available to them in terms of health, safety, and hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their workers. Workers must comply with all prevention rules and procedures established by employers.
  • People who should not return to work: Employers will be solely responsible for determining who can attend work in person according to their assessment and their risk of infection from activities they carry out. Regarding at-risk people or priority attention groups, the “Occupational Safety and Health Protocol for the Public and Private Sector” establishes that at-risk people and priority attention groups who should not attend the workplace must justify such condition to the institutional or occupational physician so that the latter can evaluate and authorize teleworking.

Traffic light system:

  • This remains in place as an emergency management tool based on epidemiological indicators and citizen behaviors that will make it possible to guide and issue recommendations for mayors, and municipal and metropolitan COE.

National Emergency Committee:

  • The national Emergency Committee and the health crisis management structure remain operational.
  • All protocols and instruments created by the national COE remain in force.
  • The biosecurity provisions issued in the protocols authorized by the national COE remain in effect.

Mobility and Transit:

  • Vehicle circulation will be unrestricted on the state road network, and the National Police and the Traffic Commission will be solely in charge of controlling it in their respective jurisdictions. Decentralized Autonomous Governments (GADs) are responsible for providing free movement on the roads of this network that pass through their jurisdictions.
  • Interprovincial transport remains operational at 75% capacity.
  • Licensed tourist land transport will not be subject to mobility restrictions as long as they carry the service provision agreement.
  • Private and commercial transport will be subject to the regulations established in the corresponding ordinance in GADs with this authority. In the remaining districts, free movement is guaranteed without plate number restrictions.
  • Safe conducts issued by the Ministry of Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and National Risk and Emergency Management Service will be valid in those districts where movement restrictions remain in place until October 31, 2020.
  • It is recommended that the Association of Municipalities of Ecuador coordinate the standardization of traffic restrictions.

Public shows, entertainment centers, bars and nightclubs:

  • Nationwide, no local administration will grant permits for these type of events until further notice.
  • Each GAD is responsible for deciding on the opening of bars, nightclubs, entertainment centers and brothels.

[1] https://www.gestionderiesgos.gob.ec/resoluciones-coe/


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