July 28, 2021

Ecuador will suspend humanitarian flights while the quarantine of returnees lasts


Ecuadorian Government Minister María Paula Romo announced on Monday that humanitarian flights will be suspended for the duration of the quarantine of Ecuadorians who have already arrived in the country, about 700 according to the Foreign Ministry.

In a virtual press conference, the official commented that the return flights of Ecuadorians will be “suspended while we can end the isolation of those who have already arrived in the country.”

Although he clarified that “at no time have humanitarian flights and the possibility of repatriating Ecuadorians been closed or will be closed,” although the measure will be done “with a timetable and in a certain order.”

Romo pointed out that there have been breaches by the returnees and that a large number of personnel are required to control how the compulsory isolation processes are developed, so he advanced that there will be more space between flights.

The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry began a process last week to manage the return of Ecuadorians to the country, which has favored those in vulnerable situations such as minors, pregnant women, the elderly or people with disabilities.

For the time being, in the next few days, scheduled flights for the repatriation of Ecuadorians will continue to operate, such as those intended to remove foreigners from the Andean country, Romo said, without mentioning when new measures will be implemented to control the quarantines of those arriving in the country.

And is that according to the minister, there has been “good experience” in some cases, as there have been returnees who have refused to comply with the provisions of the Emergency Operations Committee (COE).

Among them is, for example, that of not leaving the city to which they arrive.

He recalled that eleven of the twelve passengers on a plane that recently arrived from Houston (USA) without authorization to transfer passengers, tested positive for COVID-19.

“The fact that many people do not abide by the rules makes it difficult for new flights to arrive, so as this period of quarantine or isolation passes, authorizations will be suspended and then resumed,” he stressed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, announced today that 691 people have returned so far and recalled that “every traveler, due to the responsibility of their health and that of everyone, must keep mandatory preventive isolation.”

Likewise, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pointed out that a group of 160 Brazilian citizens have met this Monday at a point in the center-north of Quito, to later go to the airport and take a flight to Sao Paulo (Brazil).

This Monday, a fourth humanitarian flight of the Iberia company is expected to leave Ecuador, with a capacity for 359 passengers, most of them Spanish.

The flight will follow the same scheme as another that left last Saturday for the Spanish capital, and is scheduled to leave Quito at 14:10 local time, to travel to Guayaquil, where it will take off at 17:05 local time with destination Madrid.

According to official data, sixty people have died from coronavirus and 1,962 are infected in Ecuador, where only one of the 24 province remains without COVID-19 reports.

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