Disclaimer: The travel rules and official government instructions are changing rapidly during the pandemic times and this article might NOT be up to date within a matter of hours. Therefore, you should always double-check the information with local authorities or your embassy in a given destination. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel during pandemic.
Having coastlines on both the Caribbean and the Pacific, Honduras is a wonderful Central American destination for tourists.
In addition to its beautiful beaches, there are lush rainforests, ancient Mayan sites, and wonderful diving along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. At over 1,000 km, this is the world’s second-largest barrier reef.
Honduras Reopening – Newest Update
As of 19th of September, Honduras is still not having COVID situation under control and a the moment is getting 500-1000 daily cases.
In total, there are 70,611 positive cases and 2,146 deaths caused by the virus in Honduras.
Honduras Re-opened for tourists on August 17th
Domestic flights resumed on August 10th and international flights will be resumed on August 17th.
While most municipalities will be allowed to re-open with up to 60% of their labor force, the 35 municipalities that were hardest hit will remain closed.
Even in the areas of the country that are being re-opened, there will remain an overnight curfew. Bars, restaurants, movie theaters, sports events, schools, and public transport will remain closed in the immediate future.
Might be Better to wait to travel to Honduras
Due to the continued rise in infections, it might be best to wait to travel to Honduras.
If you do go and get Covid-19, it may be hard to find medical care and the government will require you to remain in the country and under quarantine for at least 14 days. If you do go, make sure to get travel insurance that will cover you in case you get the coronavirus.
The impact of the Coronavirus on Honduras
Since March 11th, when Honduras saw its first 2 Covid-19 cases, the number of people struck by the disease has increased steadily. Currently, the country has seen over 49,000 cases and more than 1,500 deaths.
While the government imposed a strict lockdown on March 15th, the number of new infections has not dropped off.
One reason is that the medical system here is overwhelmed. It was defunded prior to the pandemic, and is characterized by fragmentation, corruption, and lack of coordination.
What makes the situation worse is the possibility of famine. The lockdowns have put people out of work, yet the government has not provided aid to its most needy citizens. Since 48% of the residents live in poverty and over 16% suffer from extreme poverty, many suffer as the economy contracts by up to 8%.
International Organizations stepping in to help
Since the government of Honduras has not had an adequate response to help its citizens, international organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) are stepping in to help.
The WFP is providing food baskets, hygiene kits, and cash.
The government’s response to Covid-19
On March 15th, the Honduran government closed all borders. It also instituted a national curfew. Most businesses were closed, but some groceries, banks, pharmacies, gas stations and other essential services were allowed to open for a few hours per day and to maintain delivery options.
Citizens were paired up with a day of the week based on the last digit of their identity cards.
They are only allowed to leave their homes on this day. Those at risk – the elderly, pregnant women, and those who are disabled or immune-compromised – were given the hours from 7am to 10am to take care of essential business.
If a vehicle is driven, it may only have 2 people and only one of those is allowed to go into a place of business, subject to confiscation of the vehicle. Pharmacies and supermarkets can make deliveries from 7am to 5pm during the week, but no business is allowed to be conducted on the weekend.
Why visit Honduras?
Once it is safe to do so, Honduras would be a great place for a vacation. The people are friendly, many speak English, and outside of the major cities it is quite safe. The public transportation system is also easy to navigate, so you can see more of this beautiful country, and perhaps get your feet wet in both the Caribbean and the Pacific.
With its proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier reef, Honduras is a great place to scuba dive. If you don’t have your PADI certification, you can head to the island of Utila to get it for a bargain price.
Not only scuba diving lessons but also many other things are quite cheap here, including the excellent beer and delicious local cuisine. There are Mayan ruins to explore in Copan as well as other parts of the country.
The landscape is also stunning.
There are rugged mountains, deep river valleys, and tons of wildlife. You will also find an abundance of white sand beaches. You can pick a coconut from a palm tree and drink fresh coconut milk, then go snorkeling or diving among schools of fishes and corals.
Best of all – it is not nearly as touristy as some other Caribbean destinations.
If you’d prefer a more well-traveled destination, however, you can try Roatan, which has some of the best nightlife in the country as well as more activities that cater to tourists. These include glass-bottom boat and canopy tours. And of course, there is superb diving here as well as other water sports.
Honduras is off the beaten-track but definitely worth a visit once the pandemic is under control.
The country is as beautiful as its neighbors in the region, yet is much more of a bargain.
You’ll enjoy the lush scenery of the mountains as well as the gorgeous beaches. The diving and snorkeling here are some of the best in the world, and the people are among the friendliest.