Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Authorities in Honduras extend nationwide movement and business restrictions through May 24 due to ongoing COVID-19 activity.

This alert affects Honduras

This alert began 18 May 2020 12:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 24 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Major transport and commercial disruptions, increased police presence

Authorities in Honduras have extended existing movement and business restrictions across most of the country through 2300 May 24, as part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents may only leave their homes at certain times on a designated day of the week to procure food, fuel, and medical and hardware supplies, or to avail themselves of banking services. The particular day on which a resident may leave home to perform such tasks is dictated by the last digit of the individual's national identification card, legal residency card, or passport. These tasks may be conducted between 0900-1700 as follows:

  • May 18: Last digit is 1
  • May 19: Last digit is 2
  • May 20: Last digit is 3
  • May 21: Last digit is 4
  • May 22: Last digit is 5
  • May 23-24: No residents are allowed to leave their homes

Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities may enter supermarkets and pharmacies 0700-0900 and banks 0900-1000 in accordance with the last digit of the individual's official identification. Businesses are ordered to ensure that all customers cover their mouths and noses with masks, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing, and do not have fevers. All persons are required to wear face masks in public. Gatherings of 50 or more people, including within businesses allowed to operate, remain banned. National police will continue to enforce the curfew.

These measures are in addition to the previously announced closure of land, air, and sea borders, as well as the suspension of public transportation, and ban on large gatherings. International flight operations have been suspended since March 17, and it is unclear when they will resume. The transportation of cargo goods and supplies has not been restricted. The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Honduran authorities are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic March 11.

Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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