The world faces one of the most important challenges in modern history. The uncertainty generated by the impact of COVID-19 represents an opportunity to reinvent tourism globally. That is why the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic are ready for the implementation of biosafety protocols in the face of the gradual reopening of the industry, which is expected to be carried out during the first three months of the second semester of 2020.
Belize has launched operational protocols for hotels and restaurants in order to reopen the country to welcome international travelers. The health and safety protocols are available here. In addition, the Central American destination has made available the Belize Health application, which seeks to provide a quick four-step guide for tourists planning a trip to Belizean territory, as well as an updated information site for travelers.
Guatemala is working quickly to achieve a gradual and orderly reopening to begin the recovery phase of tourism. In this context, it has produced guides with good practices 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. This is an effort made between the Guatemalan Tourism Institute (INGUAT) and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MINSAL). You can access the documents by clicking here.
El Salvador proposes a five-phase reopening process. The Ministry of Tourism of El Salvador (MITUR) has stated that the five sectors that make up tourism, namely food, accommodation, recreation, transportation, and information, have all the biosafety protocols ready to apply when their operations are reestablished. Furthermore, the country has made an information center for tourists available here.
For its part, the Honduras tourism sector has started training on biosafety protocols for small and medium-sized hotels. The Honduran Tourism Institute (IHT) has reported that the first stage reopening tests will be focused on outdoor activities and social distancing.
Through the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (INTUR), Nicaragua, the land of lakes and volcanoes, has reported that guidelines for prevention have been created with general and specific recommendations depending on the tourism activity, adapted to the guidelines and measures issued by the Ministry of Health (MINSA). The Central American country has started training the tourism sector on biosecurity protocols for reviving the industry. Click here to download the protocols.
Costa Rica has prepared a roadmap to progressively reactivate tourism. The initiative is divided into three phases and will be implemented once sanitary prevention and restriction measures, focused on protecting the population, allow it. For this, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) has prepared 14 protocols ready to be put into operation during the first phase of reopening the sector.
Panama plans to open domestic tourism as the first phase of reactivation, taking into account the necessary sanitary measures. The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has presented a Post COVID-19 Strategic Plan which includes three areas: financial support, training, and demand stimulation. In addition, it has created guidelines to preserve hygiene and health before COVID-19 in the tourism sector, available here. There is also a travel information center with information on the pandemic.
The Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic (MITUR) has reported that the country has begun the reestablishment of operations in the tourism industry. As a result, it is implementing all security and protection protocols involving all sectors of the industry. Hotels, restaurants, bars, excursions, and tourism operations top the list. Additionally, the island has published a travel information center, available here.