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Covid-19 Group Activity Protocols

1: Preamble

2020-10-23

 

This guide is based on our current knowledge of the published protocols. We cannot predict how strictly they will be applied, or how they may change in response to current circumstances.

We urge you to obtain travel interruption and cancellation insurance that includes disruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic. You may also be required to carry comprehensive health insurance with coverage for air-evacuation to the continent.
 

2: Liveaboard Cruises

 

Cruises undoubtedly face the biggest challenge when operating during the recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. Operators are going to considerable lengths, enforced by strict protocols and the requirements for entry to Galapagos are a major contributor to the overall level of security.

Protocols for Entry to Galapagos

Cruise operators and their agencies should have the relevant protocols in prominent display on their website and we fully expect them to issue them to all their clients. Unfortunately, the language of the official protocols is imprecise and so we see various interpretations among the operators and agencies.
The most critical protocols are those for getting to Galapagos, so we suggest you review our own understanding of the requirements to enter Galapagos and adopt the safer route.

Sanitation and Safe Conduct Protocols

Other key protocols relate to sanitation and operating procedures which, in many cases, includes operation at reduced capacity. The operator will put these into effect and advise of the components that require guest cooperation (distancing, hand-washing, mask-wearing etc.).

In Case of Suspect Infection

Finally, there are the protocols which are activated in the event of a Suspect Case* of Covid-19 infection. These are of critical concern, not only for the Suspect Case but also for accompanying passengers and, possibly, passengers who are booked on the next scheduled voyage.

We are still trying to obtain clarification on these protocols, in particular:

  • Evacuation of the Suspect Case* to the continent for further evaluation followed by hospitalization, if needed, or mandatory isolation in local accommodation.
  • Isolation of Contacts* for 14 days in the boat. (This one conflicts with some other protocols and we are seeking clarification)
  • * Please refer to the Key Definitions and protocol links at the foot of this page.
     

3: Daily Tour and Vivencial Fishing Boats

 

The Daily Tour and Vivencial Fishing boats vary from 30 to 40 feet in length and carry from 12 to 16 passengers, plus captain, marinero, and naturalist guide. There is not a lot of space for social distancing, but most are designed for fishing, snorkeling, and diving with semi-open cabins and ample rear-deck space, so guests can spread out in the fresh air. Health authorities may also set lower limits on guest capacity.

Passengers and crew are temperature-screened on boarding and anyone who displays a temperature above 37.8ºC will not be permitted to board, whether that be a guest, crew, or guide (which could result in cancellation of the trip).

The Suspect Case* will be evaluated by local health authorities and if the criteria are met, they will conveyed to a local health facility for testing, followed by mandatory isolation, or hospitalization, depending on severity.

Contacts* may also have to isolate.

* Please refer to the Key Definitions and protocol links at the foot of this page.
 

4: Key Definitions

 

While all tourists and tourism operators are obliged to report possible Covid-19 symptoms, local health authorities will determine whether a person meets the following criteria.

Suspect Case: Someone who exhibits Covid-19 systems, together with a history of travel or occupation that already places them in a risk category.

Contact: Anyone who has cared for or travelled with the Suspect Case, has been within 2 metres of a  Suspect Case while they were showing symptoms, and personnel from the tourist service chain who had direct and extended contact with the Suspect Case.
 

5: Key Links (Spanish only)

 

The following links are from the webpage of the National Risk Management & Emergencies Service (RSG), which lists over 100 protocols affecting various industries, sports, personal protection, etc. We have identified the following key protocols related to Daily Tour and Cruise activities and the procedures for testing and isolation in the event of suspected infections.

 

 

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