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Central America and the Dominican Republic reopen their borders to tourism in a progressive and responsible manner

Safety protocols for tourists to avoid coronavirus

The countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic have begun to take their first steps towards a safe reopening of tourist activity. To this end, they have created a reactivation plan based on the recovery of air connectivity, as well as the establishment of protocols for biosecurity that contribute to good practices and offer updated information to all travelers on their next trips to the region.

Belize International Airport, Philip Goldson, is scheduled to open on August 15 as part of the reopening strategy for tourism in five phases of the country. To this end, Belize is implementing all sanitary measures to guide tourists who are planning to travel in the coming months.

In addition, Belize has launched operational protocols for hotels and restaurants with a view to reopening the country to welcome international travelers. In addition, the destination has made available the Belize Health application, which seeks to provide a quick 4-step guide to tourists who are planning a trip to Belizean territory, as well as an updated information site for travelers.

Guatemala plans to open its international airport for commercial travel during the first two weeks of September, which would also mean opening borders. In addition, the country has produced good practice guides for six tourist activities.

Hotels, restaurants, tourism operators, land tourist transport, tourist guides and travel agencies may implement these guides to guarantee COVID-19-free experiences for travelers.

Costa Rica began reopening international airports on August 1 for flights from European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Tourists must present a certified negative proof of the Covid-19 at least 48 hours before departure and have travel insurance to cover a possible quarantine.

The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) has established 14 protocols, which are already prepared to be put into operation during the first phase of reopening the sector.

Honduras plans to open its four airports during the first two weeks of August with local flights and, subsequently, start operations to receive international travel. The Honduran Civil Aeronautical Agency has reported that the entire air transport supply chain is ready with biosecurity, health, training and investment measures to start commercial activity.

The Honduran tourism sector has started training on biosafety protocols for small and medium-sized hotels. The Honduran Tourism Institute (IHT) has reported that the first reopening tests will be focused on a first stage with outdoor activities and social distancing.

The reopening of the Augusto Sandino International Airport in Nicaragua is scheduled for the first weeks of August. For this, a protocol has been adopted that the airlines must comply with, in addition to the measures already announced by the country’s Ministry of Health regarding passenger handling and requirements to enter the country.

El Salvador has reported that it will be on September 4 when the air terminal opens its skies to receive passengers and commercial flights with strict biosecurity protocols. Meanwhile, the country continues to service cargo, humanitarian and repatriation flights to Salvadorans.

Panama has opened the Tocumen International Airport as of August 1, for the operation of a ‘mini humanitarian hub’. The reopening of the International Airport is expected on August 21 to start commercial operations for tourists from countries with pandemic control.

At the moment, the country is receiving only humanitarian repatriation flights, transportation of medical equipment and supplies, of medicines, food, and other supplies necessary to confront the pandemic.

The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has presented a Post Covid-19 Strategic Plan, which includes three axes: financial support, training and demand stimulation. In addition, it has worked points to preserve hygiene and health before Covid-19 in the tourism sector, as well as a Travel Information Center with information on the pandemic.

Regarding the Dominican Republic, its airports were opened to international tourism on July 1, with 30% occupancy in hotels and other spaces dedicated to tourism. The island expects to expand the occupancy capacity to 50% in August.

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