The Foreign Office (FCO) is advising against all but essential travel to Ecuador following weeks of protests over government austerity measures.
Mass protests have, in recent days, shut down parts of capital Quito and caused nationwide disruption, with further demonstrations likely according to the FCO.
The action in Ecuador, the BBC reports, stems from a government decision to end fuel subsidies as part of spending cuts agreed with the International Monetary Fund in return for a loan.
It has, however, been reported on Monday morning (14 October) that the Ecuadorian government has agreed to reinstate the subsidies in an effort to end the mass protests.
The FCO’s advice though remained active on Monday morning, which it said was “in light of nationwide disruption and ongoing demonstrations since 3 October”.
It is warning against all travel to a 20km exclusion zone on Ecuador’s border with Colombia, and all but essential travel elsewhere – with the exception of the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos are exempt from the change in FCO advice, which does not apply to transit through Quito or Guayaquil airports. The FCO said the islands were “currently not significantly affected” by the unrest.
A state of emergency remains in place across Ecuador, with demonstrations, protests and road blockages likely in many provinces, the FCO has said, as well as government imposed curfews.
“Travellers should consider carefully the practicalities and security implications of their travel plan,” said the FCO. “You should avoid inter-city travel by land where possible. Allow extra time to reach your destination and check travel plans regularly - you may need to change your plans.
“If your travel is affected by roadblocks, remain where you are until you have identified a safe route and means to travel. National supply chains are also being affected. You should ensure you have adequate essential supplies (food, water, fuel and medicine).
“Monitor official sources via the ECU 911 emergency services - be wary of unverified, unofficial information. Updates on transport disruption are available on the ECU 911 website, from the Municipal Transport Agency for Quito and the Municipal Transport Agency for Guayaquil. If you need urgent consular assistance, contact the British Embassy Quito on +593 (0)2 397 2200.”
Access to Quito airport was limited on Saturday (12 October) with some international and domestic flights cancelled. Travellers should check the status of their flight with their airline before travelling to the airport.