Authorities in Honduras have begun reopening the nation's international land border crossings as of Oct. 19; the borders had previously been closed to all passenger transit as part of the government's ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response plan. While the borders themselves are now officially open to passenger transit, only some crossing points were immediately opened; authorities plan to reopen all crossing points by the end of October. International public land transport services such as buses will resume Oct. 26. All travelers must present a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure for Honduras and a completed pre-arrival travel form. Travelers may be subjected to additional COVID-19 testing upon arrival. The use of a face coverings is required at all times while traveling.
In addition, the existing nationwide 2300-0500 curfew and other movement restrictions have been extended until Oct. 25. Residents will still only be allowed to leave their homes for permitted activities 0500-2300, depending on the last digit of the individual's national identification card, legal residency card, or passport, based on the following schedule:
- Oct. 19: The last digit is 6 and 7
- Oct. 20: The last digit is 8 and 9
- Oct. 21: The last digit is 0 and 1
- Oct. 22: The last digit is 2 and 3
- Oct. 23: The last digit is 4 and 5
- Oct. 24: The last digit is 6 and 7
- Oct. 25: The last digit is 8 and 9
Senior citizens, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities will have special access to authorized commercial establishments 0700-0900 and banks 0900-1000, depending on the last digit of the individual's official identification. Emergency personnel, as well as residents working in essential businesses, have greater freedom of movement.
Municipal capacity limits on businesses based on local COVID-19 activity and population density that went into effect Oct. 5 remain unchanged. As of Oct. 19, the following municipalities are under Phase 1 which permits businesses to operate at 20-percent capacity:
- Choluteca Department: Orocuina, Pespire, San Antonio de Flores
- Colon Department: Bonito Oriental, Saba, Tocoa, Trujillo
- Cortes Department: Pimienta, Potrerillos
- El Paraiso Department: Danli, Moroceli
- Francisco Morazan Department: Reitoca, San Buenaventura, Santa Lucia
- Gracias a Dios Department: Brus Laguna, Puerto Lempira
- Intibuca Department: Intibuca, La Esperanza
- La Paz Department: La Paz, San Jose, Santa Maria
- Ocotepeque Department: Ocotepeque, Sinuapa
- Olancho Department: Juticalpa
- Santa Barbara Department: Las Vegas, Trinidad
- Valle Department: Amapala, Langue, Nacaome, San Francisco de Coray, San Lorenzo
The rest of the country is under Phase 2 of reopening. Under this phase, businesses may operate at 40-, 60-, or 80-percent capacity, depending on the region in which they are located. Some of the country's major urban centers, such as Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, fall under the region that only permits businesses to operate at 40-percent capacity.
All persons are required to wear facemasks in public. Officials have ordered authorized businesses to ensure that customers have covered their mouths and noses, use hand sanitizer, practice social distancing, and do not have a fever. 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, and educational centers. There is also a ban on private gatherings of more than 10 people.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice, depending on local disease activity.
Background and Analysis
The COVID-19 response and recovery plans 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. 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. 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.