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22 mai 2020 | 16h21 UTC

Honduras: Face mask use compulsory in public from May 21 /update 6

Honduras Alerte de sécurité

Honduran authorities announce face mask use compulsory in public as of May 21 amid COVID-19; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 21/5/2020, 12h00 until 29/5/2020, 11h59 (America/Tegucigalpa). COUNTRY/REGION Honduras

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Event

Honduran authorities announced on Thursday, May 21, that the use of face masks in public was made compulsory in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The new regulations also require all individuals to follow and implement social distancing and hygiene measures in both public and private meetings exceeding five people. Penalties, including fines, community service, and/or jail time will be levied for failure to comply with the measures.

An ongoing nationwide curfew remains in place until 23:00 (local time) on Sunday, May 24. Under the measures, individuals may only leave their homes from 07:00 to 17:00 to access essential goods and services. No one is permitted to leave their homes on Saturdays or Sundays. Over this period, individuals may leave only one day in the 10-day period, determined by the last number of their identity card:

  • Monday, May 18: those ending in 1
  • Tuesday, May 19: those ending in 2
  • Wednesday, May 20: those ending in 3
  • Thursday, May 21: those ending in 4
  • Friday, May 22: those ending in 5

Other restrictions apply, including a maximum of two people in one car, only one person per household is able to shop for groceries at a time, and those businesses that remain open must conduct daily temperature screenings for staff.

On Monday, March 16, the government of Honduras closed all land, air, and sea borders to travelers, followed by the closure of Tegucigalpa's Toncontin (TGU) and Golosón de La Ceiba (LCE) airports. There are some exceptions to the strict quarantine measures. Honduran citizens, permanent and temporary residents, and accredited diplomats will be allowed to enter the country but must enter mandatory self-quarantine upon arrival. Hospitals, health care centers, and medical and veterinary laboratories will continue to operate, as well as other critical public sector employees related to emergency services, security, national defense, and customs. Banks, gas stations, freight operators, supermarkets, grocery stores, and other private sector business will also remain operational to provide necessary services across the country.

As of Friday, May 22, health authorities have confirmed 3204 COVID-19 cases and 156 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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