The authorities of Tulcán and El Carchi hope that the bridge will open in early 2021 with all biosafety measures.
The Tulcán Emergency Operations Committee (COE) suggested to the national COE and the Foreign Ministry that the Rumichaca international bridge should not be opened for the remainder of 2020. The viaduct is the main land connection between Colombia and Ecuador.
Cristian Benavides, mayor of Tulcán and president of the cantonal COE, thinks that it would not be wise to open the Rumichaca international bridge. The authorities’ decision is justified in that the country has a free and universal health system for foreigners and nationals, which could cause a collapse in the city’s hospitals.
The cantonal COE authorities estimate that the international bridge, the main land border with Colombia, will open progressively and with all the biosecurity measures during 2021. Until now, there is restriction for pedestrian passage and light vehicles across this border.
For his part, the Colombian President, Iván Duque, reported that he hopes to open the international bridge by early November. Another sector interested in opening this border crossing is the commercial sector that calls for the return of the cross-border commercial basket that lasts until June 2021 and benefits more than 6,000 people
The border basket is a list that includes televisions, washing machines, dryers, candies, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, tires for light vehicles and tractors, among other products that Ecuadorian citizens can enter the country without paying any tariff.
Benavides and the Carchi authorities will insist on their proposal to keep the Rumichaca bridge closed, because they also consider that the last quarter of the year is where the crime rates grow and the military and police personnel in the area would be scarce for control efficient.