The Government of Honduras is very efficient in putting out notices that are notoriously vague. Recently, they issued a decree that says that Honduran citizens can now leave the country without a special permit. Upon reading it, most of us thought that the Honduras Covid-19 lockdown easing up is finally here.
One would assume by reading this decree that the airports are to open immediately. However, after a few calls, it turns out that the only change is that you do not need a safe passage to leave the country. They are referring only to humanitarian flights, that have been randomly operating for several months.
Domestic Flights Renew Operations!
As proof that the Honduras Covid-19 lockdown is easing up, this week the four main airports in Honduras will be opening for local flights. The official date for this is Monday, August 7. This means that Lanhsa, Sosa and CM Airlines will commence service once again. Although the schedules are not yet officially available, I understand that you will now be able to fly to Guanaja, Roatan and Utila from La Ceiba, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula and vice versa. However, there is a catch. The islands are genuinely concerned about visitors from the mainland who may be sick with Covid-19. As such, it appears that travelers will need to have proof of a negative e PCR Covid-19 test to enter the island. I also understand that flights into Roatan and Guanaja will be individually approved by the municipal governments during this first week.
All airport taxi services have also been certified with bio security protocols. As such, when landing at one of the airports in the mainland, you will be able to get a cab to take you to your destination. Obviously, this does not apply to Guanaja, where there are no taxis. I assume that Utila will have the tuk tuk taxi’s available, as it is a long walk from the airport to town. The Ferry service to the islands is not yet authorized, and my guess is that it will be a while before they are. Thus, the only way to get to the Bay Islands is via air. One thing that calls our attention is the airfares.
From what I hear, a round trip flight between La Ceiba and Guanaja will now be worth $300 US per person. It was 108 before the Covid-19 pandemic. I do not expect to see many travelers at those prices. I assume that airlines have to accept fewer passengers to ensure social distancing and that this has an impact in fares.
International Flights to Renew Next Week!
International flights will soon follow the domestic ones. These are scheduled to be allowed as of August 17. However, it depends on when the different hubs reopen. For Example, El Salvador will not open until September. Thus, Avianca will not be offering flights in and out of Honduras before then. Even then, their flights will be few. Currently, they have a schedule for a flight from San Salvador to Roatan three times a week starting in September. I understand that the first airlines to fly to Honduras will be United, American, Spirit, Air Europa. Delta and Aeromexico will follow suit in September. Airlines will offer flights will a limited schedule. Where they had two or three flights a day, they will probably only offer one. One daily operation before Covid-19 will probably mean three or four flights a week. Air Europa will probably start service soon also.
Last week, Nicole Marrder, the minister of Tourism reportedly said that you will need a PCR test upon arrival. From what I have been able to find out, it is up to each passenger to get his Covid-19 test before traveling to Honduras. Honduran requests a PCR test taken less that 72 hours before you arrive in Honduras. Of course, the test must be negative to gain entrance to Honduras. If for any reason you arrive without a test you will need to get a test upon arrival. The cost of the test is of course, the responsibility of each traveler.
So, as you see, slowly, but surely, the Honduras Covi9-19 lockdown is easing up. The good news is that with the PCR test you will not need to go to quarantine in the local shelters. Believe, me having been through one of those shelters, I can assure you that you do not want to go there! Check out my homeward bound post to learn about that experience!