Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Honduras extends nationwide movement restrictions until July 26 due to COVID-19 activity. Restrictions tightened in some major cities.
- Alert Begins: 20 Jul 2020 09:56 AM UTC
- Alert Expires: 27 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
Authorities in Honduras have extended existing nationwide movement restrictions through 2300 July 26, 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. Some urban centers under Region 3 are assessed to be at a higher risk of disease transmission, and tighter restrictions will remain in place through at least July 26.
Businesses previously reopened under capacity limits June 8 may continue to operate nationwide, except in Region 3 cities, where tighter measures are in place. Only essential businesses are permitted to open in Atlantida, Central District, Choluteca, Comayagua, Colon, Lempira, Olancho, San Pedro Sula, 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 20: The last digit is 6
- July 21: The last digit is 7
- July 22: The last digit is 8
- July 23: The last digit is 9
- July 24: The last digit is 0
- July 25-26: 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.
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.