Since March 16 2020, when we went into lock-down due to COVID-19, so many of the things we thought to be infallible have proven anything but. The steady annual ebb and flow of the Roatan tourism economy: high-season, low-season, mid-season, disappeared overnight. Things we took for granted disappeared in a split second and we had to adjust to a new normal in which the only constant is change and the future is difficult to predict.
The current mood on the island is one of cautious optimism. After 7 long months of lockdown, our economy at a literal stand-still, in October we re-opened our foreign and domestic borders inviting tourism back in. It’s been a slow start. At times felt like we were taking one step forward and two steps back. But now we seem to have found our rhythm. The tourists are bravely returning to our beautiful island, for which we are so grateful.
So, as it stands in December 2020, here are the deets.
All travelers entering Honduras must have a negative COVID test result, date and time stamped within 72 hours of their flight arrival time. The test may. be either PCR or rapid test (with minimum specificity of 85% sensitivity and 98% to COVID19). There is no quarantine requirement upon entry.
An online pre-check form must be completed for each passenger prior to traveling and a printed copy presented at check-in for the first leg of the travel itinerary. The form can be found here: https://prechequeo.inm.gob.hn/
The wearing of masks is mandatory on the island. Businesses may require you to undertake additional biosecurity protocol before entering, such as disinfecting your hands and feet and passing a temperature check.
After a slow ramp-up many of our international carriers have resumed their direct flight operations into Roatan. This is great news. Accessibility is key to recovering our tourism economy.
International airlines flying directly into Roatan include AA from DFW and Miami, United from Houston, Sun Country out of Minneapolis and Avianca from San Salvador. The flight schedule has been getting steadily more regular since October and as of Christmas we have at least one internal flight a day landing and departing from Roatan Airport.
Canadian carriers (Air Transat, Sun Wing, and West Jet) are on stand-by for now and expected to resume operations some time in the 2021/2022 season.
San Pedro Sula airport remains closed due to flood damage following Hurricane Eta and Iota. We hope that it will re-open before the Christmas travel season.
La Ceiba Airport (on the mainland) has been newly approved for international flights including a Cayman Airlines and a code-share between CM Airways and Air Europa will add a weekly direct service to Madrid.
COVID on Island
COVID arrived in Roatan quite late comparatively. We had our first confirmed case in June 2020. Following the expected curve of exponential transmission we peaked in terms of active cases in September-October 2020. Since then we have seen a decline in new cases and hospitalizations are down. At the beginning of December, we had 12 Covid patients in the hospital. We are remaining vigilant and hopeful that our adherence to quarantine, bio-security and the outdoor lifestyle are helping us to keep COVID at bay.