Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Honduras extends nationwide movement restrictions until July 19 due to COVID-19 activity. Restrictions tightened in some areas from July 13.

  • Alert Begins: 13 Jul 2020 08:45 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 20 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Major transport and commercial disruptions, increased police presence

Summary
Authorities in Honduras have extended existing nationwide movement restrictions through July 19, as part of ongoing efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The degree of restrictions will continue to be implemented according to regions. The regions are divided according to COVID-19 activity levels and population density. Phase one of the recovery plan still applies: businesses may reopen at 60 percent capacity in Region 1, at 40 percent in Region 2, and at 20 percent in Region 3. The country's largest cities are included under Region 3, including the Central District, and San Pedro Sula.

Businesses previously reopened under capacity limits June 8 may continue to operate nationwide, except in certain areas in Region 3, where tighter measures are in place. Only essential businesses have been opened in the Central District and San Pedro Sula, since June 29. Effective July 13, only essential businesses will also only be permitted to open in Atlantida, Choluteca, Comayagua, Colon, Lempira, Olancho, and Santa Barbara. These include banks, financial service institutions, pharmacies, fuel stations, hardware stores, supermarkets, and authorized markets and restaurants. Individual movements for authorized tasks and activities nationwide will continue to be determined by the last digit of the individual's national identification card, legal residency card, or passport. Essential personnel are exempt. Tasks may be conducted 0700-1700 as follows:

 

  • July 13: The last digit is 1

 

  • July 14: The last digit is 2

 

  • July 15: The last digit is 3

 

  • July 16: The last digit is 4

 

  • July 17: The last digit is 5

 

  • July 18-19: No residents are allowed to leave their homes

 


Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities may enter authorized commercial establishments 0700-0900 and banks 0900-1000 according to the last digit of the individual's official identification. Authorized commercial establishments may only open 0700-1700 Mondays to Fridays; only pharmacies, supermarkets, and restaurant deliveries may operate on weekends. Officials have ordered all authorized businesses to ensure that 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 protective masks in public. National police will continue to enforce the movement restrictions.

Some establishments, facilities, and activities remain suspended or closed nationwide, including urban and interurban public transport, bars, discos, cinemas, gyms, theaters, sports events, convention centers, airports, and educational centers. There is also a ban on private gatherings of more than 10 people.

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 remain suspended since March 17; it is unclear when they will resume. The transport of cargo goods and supplies are exempt. All measures are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictions implemented by Honduran authorities are similar to actions taken by other governments globally in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic March 11. Honduras, like several other governments, has likely begun easing restrictions on businesses regionally due to the need to allow some economic recovery. Should the number of COVID-19 cases significantly increase, relaxed restrictions may be reapplied. Likewise, a continued low number of cases may result in further relaxation of restrictions.

Advice
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. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions.

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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