QUITO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Starting in May, foreign visitors entering Ecuador are required to "have public or private health insurance for the duration of their stay," said the country's Tourism Ministry Thursday.
Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno signed an executive decree Wednesday to make the coverage obligatory and the law will take effect 90 days after Jan. 31.
According to the law, only the foreigners who stay in the border area of the country are exempt from purchasing the insurance.
Hernan Gonzalez, manager of travel insurance service Assist Card in Ecuador, told the daily El Comercio that Ecuador is the first Latin American country to adopt the measure, which is common in Europe, where "the service is included in travel packages."
Over the next few months, the government is set to put in place the administrative procedures needed to apply the law.