Honduras to reopen domestic and international flights in mid-August

TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - 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 pandemic.

The reopening of the airport terminals is part of the 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 labor 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 theaters, sports events, and schools and universities.

Reporting by Gustavo Palencia; writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Lisa Shumaker