Honduras announced Tuesday it will reopen its airports to domestic and international flights in mid-August, after a nearly five-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, news agency Reuters reports.

Domestic flights will resume 10 Aug. and international flights will start 17 Aug.

Cayman Airways operated several repatriation flights to Honduras in May in partnership with the Honduran and Cayman Islands governments.

“As long as Cayman’s borders remain closed, repatriation flights to Honduras (or elsewhere) will continue to be based on demand,” according to a CAL spokesperson. “As such, Cayman Airways expects to operate another flight to La Ceiba, Honduras, in the next two weeks, but the details are still being finalized.”

The Cayman Compass Wednesday morning reached out to government’s Travel Time for clarity on whether any repatriation flights are being organised to the country. No immediate reply was received.

There were 1,088 Honduran citizens on work permits in 2018, according to the Cayman Islands Statistics Office Compendium of Statistics. That ranked the country sixth in terms of work permit by nationality, trailing Jamaica, Philippines, UK, India and the US.

The reopening of the airport terminals is part of the Honduran government’s efforts to reactivate the economy, which is expected to contract between 7% and 8%, according to the Central Bank of Honduras.

“Under strict biosecurity measures, domestic flights will resume on Aug. 10 and international flights will resume on Aug. 17,” said Maria Antonia Rivera, minister of economic development, in a virtual presentation.

The novel coronavirus has infected 43,794 people in Honduras and killed 1,384 more.

The reopening plan involves 263 municipalities and between 20% and 60% of the labour force, depending on the local impact of coronavirus. Thirty-five municipalities that are considered hardest hit by the pandemic are excluded, and in these areas, residents are only permitted to leave the house to visit banks, pharmacies and supermarkets.

Despite the reactivation of some sectors, the country still has an overnight curfew, and the government has not moved to reactivate public transportation, bars, restaurants, movie theatres, sports events, and schools and universities.

Bahamas goes into total lockdown

Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis has announced a lockdown for the entire Bahamas in the ongoing fight against COVID-19, the Bahamas Tribune reports.

A National Address by the Prime Minister The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.

A National Address by the Prime Minister The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Monday August 3, 2020.

Posted by Bahamas Information Services on Monday, August 3, 2020

An assessment will be made on Friday to determine if an extension to Grand Bahama’s lockdown is necessary.

The Bahamas has reported 679 COVID-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization, including 297 over the last week.

The upcoming period has more restrictions than previous lockdowns, as most of the commercial sector has been ordered shut, according to the Tribune.

During the lockdown, food stores, water depots, pharmacies and gas stations, banks and other essential businesses will be open, offering limited services on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

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