The virus was reported to have spread to Ecuador on 29 February 2020. Through a Ministerial Agreement issued on the 11 March by the Minister of Health, a State of Health Emergency was declared in the National Health System. On the 13 March the National EOC was activated for the coordination of the emergency and the country closed its borders on the 18th March.
In April the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified Ecuador as one of the worst affected countries in the region both for rate of infection and fatality rate.
As of 18 August, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has temporarily closed the physical premises of the New Zealand Embassies in Brazil and Colombia (also accredited to Ecuador). The Ministry will be reviewing the temporary closure of these Embassies at regular intervals. The diplomatic staff will continue to perform their roles remotely.
Guayaquil was described as the "epicentre" of the pandemic in Latin America, however the recent rate of infection in the country has been decreasing.
The pandemic, which led to a fall in oil prices, had severe economic repercussions for the country.
The Government has responded with a series of quarantine measures to protect the population and support the economy. These include closing schools and universities, public spaces and non-critical commercial activities, halting public transport, and imposing a curfew. Quarantine started on 12 March and from 12 April a traffic light system was implemented by provinces, defining the restrictions that apply in each province. During the months of May and June, some provinces have been changing to yellow and green states, with less restrictions being applied.
International flights started operating again on 9 June. However, some airlines like Air Canada and Air France have postponed their return to Ecuador.
It has been difficult for many Ecuadorians to follow the quarantine measures. It is estimated that 400,000 Ecuadorian families derive their income through selling goods on a day-to-day basis. One of the measures to alleviate the economic losses is the introduction of US$120 contingency bonus for these families and the delivery of food rations and necessities.