Pandemic upends life on isolated, idyllic Galapagos Islands

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Pandemic upends life on isolated, idyllic Galapagos Islands

A sea lion sits outside a hotel that is closed because of the new coronavirus pandemic, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The majority of the island hotels are usually occupied throughout the year, but all reservations have been canceled through July.
The sun shines on a poster advertising island tours and shuttered businesses ordered closed by the government as a measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Ecuador is among Latin American nations hit hardest by COVID-19.
Because of the new coronavirus pandemic, shops are shuttered and streets are empty in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. At least 800 visitors usually arrive daily, and officials estimate the islands already have lost at least $50 million dollars of income due to the pandemic.
Fishermen work in their boat in the bay of San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Locals like to joke that, “In the Galapagos, it is prohibited to get sick.” But COVID-19 has upended any sense of island immunity. The islands’ first cases of the new coronavirus were diagnosed in late March.
A pick-up point for tourists sits empty amid the new coronavirus pandemic, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. How soon the Galapagos Islands might be able to reopen is unclear. Ecuador’s government is allowing for a gradual opening in three stages. But the final stage is not a full return to normal and does not call for resuming national or international flights.

Pandemic upends life on isolated, idyllic Galapagos Islands

A sea lion sits outside a hotel that is closed because of the new coronavirus pandemic, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The majority of the island hotels are usually occupied throughout the year, but all reservations have been canceled through July.
The sun shines on a poster advertising island tours and shuttered businesses ordered closed by the government as a measure to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Ecuador is among Latin American nations hit hardest by COVID-19.
Because of the new coronavirus pandemic, shops are shuttered and streets are empty in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. At least 800 visitors usually arrive daily, and officials estimate the islands already have lost at least $50 million dollars of income due to the pandemic.
Fishermen work in their boat in the bay of San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Locals like to joke that, “In the Galapagos, it is prohibited to get sick.” But COVID-19 has upended any sense of island immunity. The islands’ first cases of the new coronavirus were diagnosed in late March.
A pick-up point for tourists sits empty amid the new coronavirus pandemic, in San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. How soon the Galapagos Islands might be able to reopen is unclear. Ecuador’s government is allowing for a gradual opening in three stages. But the final stage is not a full return to normal and does not call for resuming national or international flights.
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