The strategic position of the region has turned it over the years into a world-class logistics platform for the transportation of cargo and passengers. Its 29 airports have guaranteed a more connected and competitive region. However, since March 2020, its activity was interrupted due to the global emergency caused by the Coronavirus.
The post-COVID-19 recovery phase has cautiously begun to take some decisive steps toward reopening commercial air activity in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The Flight Reactivation Plan will focus mainly on the particular conditions of the countries, as well as gradualness, order, harmonization, and operational and health safety.
Dean Barrow, Belize’s Prime Minister, recently reported that Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen on October 1, 2020, as part of the country’s five-phase reopening strategy for tourism. As part of the process, Belize is implementing all the sanitary measures to guide tourists who are planning to travel in the coming months.
Guatemala has started a gradual reopening of the economy under an alert board system similar to the colors of a traffic light. In this regard, work is underway to implement all the health protocols to restart air traffic. According to the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics (DGAC), La Aurora International Airport will restart operations for commercial travel on September 18; this would also mean the opening of borders. Click here for more information.
El Salvador has set new dates for the reopening of its economy. The Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA) has informed that it will restart operations for passengers of international commercial flights departing and arriving starting September 19; and it is expected that in October the air activities will be operating at 100%. The air terminal will open its skies to receive passengers and commercial flights with strict biosecurity protocols. Meanwhile, the country continues to serve cargo, humanitarian, and repatriation flights for Salvadorans, as well as domestic flights within the territory.
Honduras began operations at its four airports on August 17 to receive international travel. The Honduran Civil Aviation Agency has reported that the entire air transportation supply chain is ready with biosecurity, health, training, and investment measures to start commercial activity. For more information click here.
For its part, the Nicaraguan Civil Aviation Institute (INAC) has announced the reopening of the Augusto Sandino International Airport, scheduled for September 5. For this purpose, a protocol that the airlines must comply with has been adopted. In addition, the Ministry of Health has already announced measures regarding passenger handling and requirements to enter the country.
Costa Rica opened its international airports on August 1st for flights from European Union countries, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Tourists must present a certified negative COVID-19 test at least 48 hours before the trip and must have travel insurance that covers a possible quarantine. To guarantee the safety of travelers, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation will be applying a very strict health protocol endorsed by the country’s Ministry of Public Health.
As of September 1st, private flights from the United States were allowed to enter the country, given that due to their size and nature they have a much lower epidemiological risk. On September 15 the entry of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Colorado residents will also be allowed.
The Cabinet Council of Panama approved the reopening of various economic activities as of September 7, including the opening of domestic flights on September 28 and international flights on October 12. It is expected that commercial operations will start to receive tourists from countries with pandemic control. At the moment, the Panamanian Civil Aviation Authority has reported that the country is only allowing humanitarian repatriation flights, transportation of medical equipment and supplies, medicines, food, and other supplies necessary to face the pandemic.
The Dominican Republic opened its airports to international tourism on July 1st with a 30% occupancy in hotels and other spaces dedicated to tourism. The island expects to expand the occupancy capacity to 50% in August. According to the Dominican Institute of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Tourism, the reopening has been carried out following the recommendations established by the High-Level Commission for the Prevention and Control of Coronavirus in the country with strict sanitary protocols to avoid the risk of contagion.