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09 Apr 2020 | 08:03 AM UTC

Honduras: Authorities extend COVID-19 curfew measures until April 19 /update 3

The government announces extension of nationwide curfew measures in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak until April 19; follow authority directives

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Event

On Wednesday, April 8, the Honduran government announced that the nationwide curfew in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be extended for a further week until 15:00 (local time) on Sunday, April 19. Under the curfew, residents are only permitted to leave their homes for food, medical supplies, gas, and administrative errands on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 09:00 to 15:00 (local time) based on their identity card, passport, or residency card number. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, driving and all outings are prohibited. Those who do not abide by the measures will remain in police custody for 24 hours.

Other restrictions apply, including maximum two people in one car, only one person per household is able to shop for groceries at a time, and those businesses that remain open must conduct daily temperature screenings for staff.

On Monday, March 16, the government of Honduras closed all land, air, and sea borders to travelers, followed by the closure of Tegucigalpa's Toncontin (TGU) and Golosón de La Ceiba (LCE) airports. There are some exceptions to the strict quarantine measures. Honduran citizens, permanent and temporary residents, and accredited diplomats will be allowed to enter the country but must enter mandatory self-quarantine upon entry. Hospitals, health care centers, and medical and veterinary laboratories will continue to operate, as well as other critical public sector employees related to emergency services, security, national defense, and customs. Banks, gas stations, freight operators, supermarkets, grocery stores, and other private sector business will also remain operational to provide necessary services across the country. As of April 8, there were 343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 nationwide, with 23 associated fatalities. Further international spread of COVID-19 is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.