COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATE

As a past or potential guest of The Beach House, we appreciate your loyalty and the trust you place in us as a travel partner. Recognizing the ongoing and increased uncertainty that coronavirus is causing around the world, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our guests and team. With that in mind, we have created this page to keep you updated on the current status on Roatán and the actions we have taken in response to the outbreak.

HEALTHCARE WORKERS: If you are a healthcare worker that would like to come to the Bay Islands to volunteer please fill out this form and the authorities will be in touch with you.

The Zolitur dashboard of Bay Island cases is here.

If you are coming to Roatán from the United States, you can use this website to look up a testing facility that will satisfy the entry requirements imposed by Honduras.

 

CURRENT TOTAL PCR CONFIRMED CASES IN THE BAY ISLANDS

Active Cases

Recovered

Deaths

PCR Tests Pending

September 20, 2020 8:20 a.m. (CST)

Notes from today’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • 24 COVID patients are in the hospital, 42 COVID patients are in the COVID center
  • 64 health workers are coming in today to support the hospital and COVID center and to set up a new triage center (centers? unclear)
  • many of the private labs on the island will now do PCR tests

September 20, 2020 8:50 p.m. (CST)

The new circulation rules for the following week were released tonight.  This version goes until October 4, and allows two digits per day to circulate, beginning with 0 and 1 tomorrow (Monday September 21) and running straight through to October 4, including weekends.  Curfew remains in effect from 8pm until 6am daily.

September 18, 2020 8:30 a.m. (CST)

Yesterday, the national police and DPI began checking IDs at various retail locations (groceries, banks, etc) to ensure that people trying to enter were authorized to travel on that day.  This apparently is the result of the local authorities convincing the central government not to shut down the island once again, which was being (and continues to be) discussed as a result of the number of new cases in the Bay Islands.  There is a lot of irony here, but no need to detail it here. The mayor of Utila tried to keep ferries from arriving unrestricted, and the authorities essentially took over the dock from the municipality to ensure that people can arrive from the mainland without testing. So, here’s to hoping we are not shut down again!

September 14, 2020 7:00 a.m. (CST)

The authorities have extended the digit system for circulation for another week, through September 20 (except that there appears to be no circulation allowed on September 15–Independence Day (or no digit is required so everyone can circulate, it’s hard to tell what they mean)).  There have been a lot of new cases confirmed in the Bay Islands over the weekend. There are likely many more that remain unreported. This sharp increase in cases predictably follows the unrestricted opening of the islands to travel from the mainland.

September 12, 2020 9:01 p.m. (CST)

Huge numbers from SINAGER tonight; we will parse them out tomorrow when we have more clarity. But this is no surprise. As we have been saying, be safe and smart.

September 8, 2020 8:33 p.m. (CST)

We have had a lot of questions about what it is “really” like right now on Roatán.  Hopefully, you will have gleaned a lot of that information from our semi-daily posts, but a few quick items:

  • tourists are not subject to the number/digit circulation system
  • masks are required and highly encouraged, but nothing (legally speaking) will happen to anyone that doesn’t wear one
  • there is an 8pm curfew; this does not mean that as a tourist you need to be in bed, but it does mean that most businesses will be closed by that time
  • if you arrive with a rapid test (as opposed to a PCR test), you are required to self-quarantine; practically speaking no one will have any idea whether you arrived with a PCR test, a rapid test, or via the mainland, in which case no test is required
  • even if you subscribe to the “plandemic” theory, there are a lot of people on the island that are sick with something, so use your common sense

At The Beach House, we are being extremely careful with our guests and our staff. We are testing our staff regularly, and we require all of our staff to wear masks at all times while on-premises. The Beach House has an extensive biosecurity protocol that we won’t get into detail on here, but suffice it to say that we are putting your safety–and ours–above all else.

September 7, 2020 9:17 a.m. (CST)

Last night, the authorities continued the digit system for circulation until at least September 13 (today is 7).

Notes from today’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • There are currently 20 patients at the COVID center and 19 at the hospital
  • “community spread is here”; our focus should. be on containing that and not closing our borders
  • Both the Utila Dream and the Galaxy Wave are running now
  • For COVID tests, remember that the time of your departure must be within 72 hours of the time your test is administered (see more detailed notes on our experience with flying from the U.S. to Roatan below, August 23) (also note that this requirement applies to ANY international flight arriving to anywhere in Honduras, regardless of your origin–if you are flying from Canada, you need a test)

September 5, 2020 7:59 a.m. (CST)

We understand that United has cancelled scheduled flights from Houston IAH to Roatán RTB on October 3 and October 10 (and maybe the 17th–it looks like that route now begins on October 24).  American flights remain scheduled out of Miami MIA.

September 4, 2020 8:48 a.m. (CST)

Notes from today’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • there are currently 17 COVID patients in the hospital and 16 in the COVID center; there are a “lot of people with COVID at home”
  • the “trial” run for the Galaxy Wave (ferry between Roatán and La Ceiba) is today; semi-regular service should resume next week (check their webpage for schedule)
  • the authorities are still working out the details for the Utila Dream
  • cruisers/boaters can now come on to the island for purposes of completing customs and other entry requirements (Plaza Mar)

September 2, 2020 9:35 p.m. (CST)

Nana dumped nearly 3.5 inches on us today in West End, but wind gusts never exceeded 50mph and the island is very accustomed to dealing with storms like this.  Nothing to report!

September 1, 2020 11:33 a.m. (CST)

The cluster of storms in the central Caribbean has organized into Tropical Storm Nana, and is now projected to be a category 1 hurricane by the time it reaches the northern coast of Honduras.  The current track shows it moving west just south of the Bay Islands early morning on September 3.

August 31, 2020 9:00 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER’s report this evening indicates another 68 positive cases for the Bay Islands.  We will add this data to the dashboard as soon as we know the details (number recovered, duplicates, etc).

August 31, 2020 10:53 a.m. (CST)

Notes from today’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • Roatán remains on the number system for circulation until September 6; unclear if this will continue after September 6 (note: does not apply to tourists)
  • there are 11 patients in the COVID center and 15 in the public hospital
  • despite reports to the contrary, the doctors are being paid
  • there is progress being made on the new hospital, maybe

Updates on airlines flying to RTB:

  • AA has filed changes to the MIA-RTB route from twice weekly in October to once weekly; November remains twice weekly
  • Delta has filed cancellation of its ATL-RTB route (supposed to resume in June 2021); TGU is suspended indefinitely

Updates on the ferries:

  • We understand that the ferries to and from the mainland (and Utila) will resume service on September 3.  We do not yet know of any protocols established for their operation; presumably, it is similar to that of domestic flights (no testing required)

August 23, 2020 11:55 a.m. (CST)

A little recap of our experience flying from Miami to Roatán on yesterday’s American Airlines flight:

  • you need to have results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of the flight (you CAN use a rapid test that meets the requirements of 85% specificity and 98% sensitivity, but you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days); obviously in any case the test must be negative
  • they are VERY STRICT on the 72 hours requirement–do not expect to talk your way on to the flight with a sob story about how your test is just hours too old and it was the best you could do etc (also, Adobe Acrobat, folks)
  • you must have completed the Honduran pre-check (note that (i) you must wait until you are inside of 72 hours to your scheduled departure prior to filling out the form and (ii) this website is pretty easy to navigate using Chrome ON YOUR COMPUTER–it does not work well on mobile devices)
  • you must have paper copies of both your test results AND the pre-check (the latter will be emailed in PDF form to you–print it out)
  • you will be asked to show both at multiple points prior to boarding the flight and after arriving in Roatán
  • we suggest arriving at the airport in the U.S. at least three hours in advance of your scheduled flight
  • be sure to check in with the gate agent EVEN IF you have your boarding pass–they will want to see your test results and the pre-check, don’t wait until you are trying to board
  • you will of course be required to wear a mask throughout the flight and at both airports, and you will be asked to maintain social distancing outside of the airplane
  • please note that all of your bags (carry-on and checked) will be sprayed with a bleach solution upon arrival in Roatán; keep this in mind when selecting what you bring (you could put a bag inside another bag if you want to protect it–they only spray the outside)
  • you will not be tested again upon arrival in Roatán
  • let us know if you have any questions!

August 22, 2020 6:55 a.m. (CST)

Today the authorities released a notice regarding the first phase of reactivation of the tourism industry in Roatán.  In sum, tourists will be able utilize their hotel reservation, ticket for air, land or sea travel, or other related travel documentation as their “salvo conducto”, which is required to be shown by a tourist to the police and other authorities when moving around the island.  In other words, you will need to keep those documents with you.  If you are staying with us at The Beach House, we will provide you with the necessary documentation and explain the process to you. Of course,  no one should be traveling if they have any symptoms of illness.

On another note, we are checked in at MIA for the AA flight to Roatán.  So far, the process has been relatively smooth, albeit slow.  In order to obtain a boarding pass, you will be required to affirm that you have completed the Honduran pre-check and show the results of a COVID-19 PCR test from within the last 72 hours (we used this service in Miami, it was $99 and they returned results in 48 hours). Note that these requirements mean that you cannot check in online and you cannot use a kiosk–you must visit an assistant at the check in desk.

August 21, 2020 3:21 p.m. (CST)

Today a new circulation regime was announced, which essentially extends the previous curfew and number system into the weekends.  Still only a single digit per day, but at least we have some movement on the weekends.

It looks like Tropical Depression 14 is going to sail a little east of Roatán, and hopefully the Bay Islands entirely.

August 20, 2020 8:41 p.m. (CST)

Well it’s 2020 so of course there are two possible hurricane-strength storms forming in the Caribbean.  It looks like #13 will head mostly northwest, towards Florida, while #14 is expected to track more closely to the Bay Islands.  We are expecting a lot of rain and hoping for not much more, especially as Roatán is expected to welcome its first international flight on Saturday, August 22.  There have been a lot of domestic visitors to Roatán over the past week, and so far everything seems to have gone pretty well.

Do note that the Bay Islands have developed specific procedures for businesses and that your visit to Roatán might be different than your last one.  There are curfews, there are limitations on when one can “circulate”, there are requirements to obtain PCR testing before you arrive, there are a lot of biosecurity protocols–and not all of it makes sense.  But through it all, please remember that Honduras generally, and the Bay Islands specifically, lacks the resources to mount an effective fight against a major COVID-19 outbreak. We encourage you to do your part while you are here to help with that effort, even if it is inconvenient.

August 17, 2020 4:04 p.m. (CST)

Not much has changed since last week, Roatán remains on the number system for circulation and with the same 8pm curfew.  However–today did mark the first day of international flights!!  Do note that if you plan to visit Roatán, you will be subject to whatever rules of circulation and/or curfew is in place during your visit.  In some areas of the island, this won’t matter too much, as you’ll be able to walk around and generally see whatever you want.

We have taken the first international charter flight out of Roatán (today) for the purpose of returning on the first commercial flight from the US (the AA flight from MIA on Saturday, August 22) so that we can give you a first-hand account of what you should expect.

August 13, 2020 4:35 p.m. (CST)

If you plan to fly to Roatán (or anywhere in Honduras) from abroad, please note that:

  1. You must complete the information on this pre-check form, which includes:
    • immigration form
    • health surveillance form
    • sworn statement relating to the country’s health regulations
    • customs form
  2. You must present a negative result of a PCR test, or a rapid test with a minimum specificity of 85% and a minimum sensitivity of 98% for COVID-19, in either case from not more than 72 hours before entering Honduras
  3. You must comply with the protocols established in the International Health Regulations at the time of entry into Honduras (clinical evaluation and, if deemed necessary, mandatory quarantine)
  4. You must be at the airport at least 3 hours prior to any flight originating in Honduras

More details are here in the (translated) release.

August 10, 2020 10:45 a.m. (CST)

Last night, the central government extended the national curfew until 11pm on Sunday, August 23.  The digit system for circulation during the week has been extended for those two weeks as well (beginning today with the number 1).  The hours of the weekday curfew have been reduced somewhat, the curfew is now 8pm until 6am (meaning that circulation is allowed on weekdays from 6am until 8pm, subject to the number system). This obviously creates a bit of confusion with the re-opening of the country and weekend flights, but that’s what we know.

Roatán suffered an earthquake this morning, magnitude 5.7.  We are not aware of any injuries or significant damage.

Domestic flights to Roatán this week still require approval from the authorities (this will require proof of a negative test, rapid or otherwise). The domestic airlines are apparently familiar with this procedure. International opening is still scheduled for August 17.

August 9, 2020 11:11 a.m. (CST)

Update (9:22 a.m. Aug 9): Information from AA network planning is that the August 22 flight to RTB remains on schedule with no changes.

Update (2:05 p.m.): We don’t know yet whether the flight is cancelled or not–we are getting conflicting reports.  If you are booked on the flight, you may want to check with AA.

We have unconfirmed reports that the AA flight to RTB scheduled for August 22 has been cancelled.  We are investigating and will let you know if we are able to confirm.

August 8, 2020 8:30 p.m. (CST)

Minor curveball tonight–the internal re-opening of Honduras will only include the airports in San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and La Ceiba.  Roatán remains with the entry restrictions that it has had for some time–no change.  We shall see what happens with the international reopening scheduled for August 17. For now, we understand that American Airlines is scheduled to arrive at RTB on August 22, but there are a lot of days between now and then!

August 7, 2020 8:19 a.m. (CST)

Circulation is still restricted by the number system, with no circulation allowed on the weekends.  The first international flight (American Airlines) is scheduled for August 22, so something will have to change by then. However, it sounds like there will be some restrictions on movement of tourists and other visitors to the island, so pick your destination with care!  A place like West End, which has many restaurants and bars and is entirely walkable, is great for this situation.

Local officials are hoping to require rapid tests for people entering Roatán via domestic flights (which begin on August 10).  TBD on this, they are awaiting authorization from the central government.

August 4, 2020 9:30 p.m. (CST)

CONFIRMED!!  Honduras will be opening domestically on August 10 and internationally on August 17.  The flight tables below (see July 28) appear to be accurate to and from the U.S. and Canada.

August 4, 2020 9:15 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER released results of testing tonight; no new cases in the Bay Islands.

Rumors are that the first international flights will be August 17 and the first U.S. flight will be August 22 (this lines up with the flight schedule that we published below on July 28).  More as we know it.

August 4, 2020 6:07 p.m. (CST)

Still no news on the reopening (we were supposed to hear something yesterday or today).

Regarding the virus: “we do not have a reduction in the number of cases, only a reduction in the number of tests.”

August 3, 2020 8:05 p.m. (CST)

The numbers got a little more confusing tonight; SINAGER released a notice with no new cases in the Bay Islands, but the local health authorities confirmed six new cases from the “laboratorio regional”, which may mean the PCR machine on island (not sure).  In any event, we now have 134 active cases in the Bay Islands.  As you know by now, testing is so far behind, these numbers are more like a trailing index than a gauge of current activity, but they’re all we have to go on.

We still have no news on reopening, but rumors continue to point to August 10 for an internal date.

August 2, 2020 11:43 a.m. (CST)

SINAGER issued a comunicado today (copy in Spanish, here) relating to the opening of public institutions.  This appears to be mostly relevant to the mainland, but it does indicate that the number system will continue to be in force for circulation. There is no mention of public transportation.

August 1, 2020 4:33 p.m. (CST)

A few random items:

  • Of 220 PCR tests that were pending recently, 93 have been processed; these resulted in 11 positive cases.  There are 127 tests pending.  To date, there have been 980 PCR tests administered in the Bay Islands, 199 have been positive.  69 of those have been confirmed recovered (by additional PCR tests).  There have been three deaths in the Bay Islands.
  • Roatán now has its own PCR testing machine, but it sounds like it will only be used in “emergency” cases.
  • There should be an announcement on Monday or Tuesday from the central government regarding internal opening of the country, but for now we remain on the digit system.
  • Honduran citizens no longer need advance permission of the central government to leave the country.

July 31, 2020 6:33 p.m. (CST)

There is not much news to report.  It’s the weekend, so (in theory) the entire island is on “lockdown” / under curfew until Monday.  We hear rumors that this will be lifted in the next week or so.

Also note that the Zolitur dashboard was down for a while today–it should be back up now.

We are updating numbers on our dashboard when we get them.

July 28, 2020 8:06 p.m. (CST)

A somewhat confusing comunicado was issued by the central government tonight.  The gist of it is that the country is again being divided into four regions for purposes of gradual reopening. Roatán is in Region 2.  This means that certain businesses can be sort of open, but that the curfew and number system for circulation still apply (and everything must remain closed on the weekends).  The most interesting part of the comunicado is that on August 1, pilots will begin for the reopening of public transportation.

July 28, 2020 12:00 p.m. (CST)

The latest information from our airline consultant is that the airlines are booking flights with the following tentative scheduling, subject of course to changes based on the borders being open and the COVID situation more generally:

US Carriers

American

  • MIA-RTB
    • Saturday only from August 22 until October 3
    • Saturday and Wednesday from October 3 until December 16
    • Daily from December 16 until February 11
    • Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from February 13, 2021
  • DFW-RTB
    • Saturday only from November 28

Avianca

  • Tuesday, Friday and Saturday beginning October 1

Delta

  • Saturday only beginning October 3

Sun Country

  • Friday only from December 18 until March 26

United

  • Saturday only from September 12 until September 30
  • Wednesday flight on September 30
  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from October 4 until November 1
  • Monday and Saturday from November 2 until December 14
  • Daily from December 17 until May 3, 2021

Canadian Carriers

Air Transat

  • YYZ-RTB
    • Monday November 23 until April 19, 2021
    • Thursday December 24 until April 1, 2021
  • YUL-RTB
    • Monday November 2 until August 30
    • Thursday from December 24 until April 8, 2021

Sun Wing

  • YYZ-RTB
    • Monday from December 14 until April 5, 2021
  • YUL-RTB
    • Monday from December 14 until April 5, 2021

WestJet

  • Sunday only from December 13 until April 18, 2021

July 27, 2020 3:27 p.m. (CST)

Tropical storm Gonzalo has dissipated over the Atlantic/east Caribbean, so that’s great news!

Notes from today’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • there will be limited updates this week due to limited information from the local and national government;
  • generally speaking–and paraphrasing here–the numbers of active cases and outstanding tests are wildly inaccurate due to the lack of tests and lengthy delays in processing
  • still on the number system for circulation for at least another two weeks
  • there was an inspection of the Roatán airport (necessary before it can re-open) that went well; there will be more updates in the coming week (we will post with great fanfare the minute we hear anything about the airport reopening in any capacity)
  • there is a tentative plan to do another trip to the mainland for anyone on-island that wants to return; anyone interested should send their name and ID number to the Governor

July 25, 2020 8:40 a.m. (CST)

Three new cases have been confirmed via PCR test, and eight additional recoveries have been confirmed via PCR test.

It is a gorgeous weekend on the island! There is a tropical storm (Gonzalo) headed in the general direction of the island, though the cone of uncertainty remains quite wide.  Fingers crossed that it misses us.

Have a great weekend everyone!

July 23, 2020 12:26 p.m. (CST)

The health authorities today have confirmed nine additional recovered individuals, leaving a total of 117 active cases.  Again, while we report the results of rapid tests when we hear of them (and we are careful to say as much), the “official” numbers on this page are all the results of PCR tests.  As we have mentioned previously, Honduras is far behind on testing samples, and has a limited supply of tests to begin with.

July 22, 2020 8:22 p.m. (CST)

Tonight, SINAGER confirmed one new case in the Bay Islands.

July 22, 2020 4:18 p.m. (CST)

News today is that of the 24 new cases announced last night, three were re-tests (to check recovery), so there are actually 21 new positive cases.  There are 193 tests pending.

July 21, 2020 9:25 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER released today’s numbers, and the Bay Islands has an additional 24 confirmed cases. The good news is that there are nine additional confirmed recovered people, for a net gain of 15 additional active cases.

July 21, 2020 12:12 p.m. (CST)

A single case in the Bay Islands was confirmed today — this one in Santos Guardiola.

July 20, 2020 9:11 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • the number system for circulation continues, this week (Monday thru Friday) is 6 through 0
  • there remains no date for reopening of the airports; there are some inspectors coming to RTB this week
  • there are rumors indicating that the airport will open mid-August for domestic flights and a week after for international flights, but no official comment on this one way or the other
  • there are three new fiscals (essentially, judges) that have come to the island — they are in quarantine but will begin duties soon
  • more on the “major donation” to be released soon
  • there are currently five people hospitalized in Roatán with COVID symptoms: one is suspected of COVID (stable); four others are confirmed COVID positive (two stable, two critical)

July 20, 2020 6:52 a.m. (CST)

Last night, SINAGER released the latest results, showing 11 new cases in the Bay Islands.  Ten are on Roatán and one is on Guanaja.

July 19, 2020 11:52 a.m. (CST)

This morning, a patient at the public hospital who was suspected of having COVID-19 (test results pending) passed away. She was 58 and had significant comorbidities.

July 18, 2020 9:15 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that no new cases have been confirmed in the Bay Islands. We understand that the national laboratory is running about 28 days behind in processing PCR tests, so we won’t know what’s happening today for another month.

July 17, 2020 8:57 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that no new cases have been confirmed in the Bay Islands. An additional 878 cases were confirmed in Honduras.

July 17, 2020 6:30 a.m. (CST)

The case that SINAGER released last night has been confirmed as a new case and not a “control”.  News from Utila is that they have no confirmed cases yet, but that they have conducted 50 rapid tests to date, eight of which were positive and followed up by more accurate PCR tests; they await results on six of them.

July 16, 2020 9:01 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that one new case has been confirmed in the Bay Islands.  As is typical, we do not know how many tests were processed for the Bay Islands. There is the possibility that this single new case is actually “control” test, which we have come to understand is actually a test of someone that previously tested positive and is being re-tested to see if they are “recovered” (the positive test thus indicating that they have not).  We should know more tomorrow when the comunicado is released.  There were 831 new cases confirmed in Honduras, for a country-wide total of 30,867.

July 16, 2020 2:53 p.m. (CST)

Zolitur has created a pretty decent dashboard for viewing COVID-19 information in the Bay Islands.  It seems to use a key that may be time-limited (and you can’t access the page without the key, we tried).  If you try to access the dashboard and it does not work, please let us know.  Once we figure out how the key works, we’ll put a permanent link to it above.

July 16, 2020 8:39 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • a large donation has been made to …. someone, presumably the municipality or the Bay Islands; customs was mentioned, so this might be a donation of equipment or similar rather than cash
  • no date yet for the opening of the airport or for travel to the mainland

July 15, 2020 5:44 p.m. (CST)

The medical authorities on the island have announced that an additional six people have been confirmed as recovered, leaving a total of 100 active cases.  There are 263 tests pending.

July 15, 2020 11:11 a.m. (CST)

To our knowledge, SINAGER did not provide a report last night, and today’s call with the Governor has been postponed until tomorrow.  So….there is not much new to report.  Things on Roatán continue as they were, which is to say that people are mostly out and about doing their business, but of course without any tourists (so no one has any money). It’s a strange, weird place to be, but in some ways it is refreshingly calm.  If only the world around us weren’t collapsing!

July 13, 2020 8:44 p.m. (CST)

No new cases were reported for the Bay Islands this evening.

July 13, 2020 9:02 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • circulation rules have been extended by one week (people are allowed to go out one day per two weeks based on the last digit their ID)
  • curfew remains from 5pm to 7am
  • businesses can be open with appropriate biosecurity measures (but of course only people with the right ID number can go on any given day…)
  • some “full PPE” has been or will be donated to the medical authorities on the island

July 12, 2020 10:20 a.m. (CST)

Last night’s confirmed case was apparently a control test, so there is not an additional case on the island.  Of the outstanding 163 tests, 11 were processed, leaving 152.  An additional 115 were sent in (including six that were sent to a private laboratory).  The additional suspected death that we mentioned earlier remains among the pending tests.

July 11, 2020 9:21 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that one new case has been confirmed in the Bay Islands.  As is typical, we do not know how many tests were processed for the Bay Islands.  There were 530 new cases confirmed in Honduras, for a country-wide total of 27,583.

July 11, 2020 9:20 a.m. (CST)

Notes from today’s call (surprise—on a Saturday!) with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • There are possible (but unconfirmed) cases on Utila and Guanaja
  • The operator of the Honduran airports has submitted its biosecurity protocol to the authorities (one of the requirements of SINAGER in order to re-open); hopefully this will eventually lead to their re-opening but no timeline is in place for this
  • Rumors that the island will go on a “lock-down” are supposedly not true; however, the number system for circulation — which expires tomorrow — is expected to be extended for another 14 days
  • It does not sound like cruise ships will be returning before 2021

July 10, 2020 8:45 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that no new cases have been confirmed in the Bay Islands.  As is typical, we do not know if this means that no tests were processed or if some were processed but were returned negative.

July 9, 2020 8:55 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that no new cases have been confirmed in the Bay Islands.  As is typical, we do not know if this means that no tests were processed or if some were processed but were returned negative.

The news is indicating that Honduras has run out of PCR tests (and that the laboratory is running far behind in processing tests, but that we already knew).   We have also heard that the PCR machine may be undergoing maintenance. Some combination of these things is probably true.

July 8, 2020 9:19 a.m. (CST)

Notes from today’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • no new confirmed cases in the Bay Islands since Sunday
  • Utila has four potential cases that are being confirmed by PCR (any positive confirmation would be its first)
  • of the 21 recovered cases that were reported yesterday, 19 are healthcare workers
  • there is a super-secret potential date for the reopening of the airport (RTB)–unclear if this date is just domestic or also international

July 7, 2020 9:19 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released tonight’s report, indicating that no new cases have been confirmed in the Bay Islands.  As is typical, we do not know if this means that no tests were processed or if some were processed but were returned negative.

July 7, 2020 1:14 p.m. (CST)

The health authorities on the island today announced that there are now 25 recovered individuals, and that a total of 541 tests have been processed.  There is another “suspected” death, and there are three people in the hospital: two “suspected” stable, one “suspected” serious, and one confirmed stable.  We don’t know exactly what “suspected” means in the context of the hospitalized cases, we presume that they suspect that the subjects have COVID-19 but that it has not yet been confirmed.

July 7, 2020 8:06 a.m. (CST)

SINAGER announced no new cases for the Bay Islands last night, leaving our current active total at 127.

Our airline consultant has advised the following changes to the start dates for scheduled air service to RTB (this has changed many times in the past and reflects only their plans, the government still needs to open things up before they can fly):

  • American: first MIA-RTB flight scheduled August 22
  • Delta: first ATL-RTB flight scheduled October 3
  • United: first IAH-RTB flight scheduled September 12

July 6, 2020 9:13 a.m. (CST)

Apparently, the number reported last night was incorrect; there are four new cases in the Bay Islands (plus an additional positive test that was a control sample), bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 132.  Taking out the four confirmed recovered and the one death, there are 127 active cases. There are currently two people hospitalized and in stable condition.

The medical authorities are saying that the third week of July will be the peak of the virus in the Bay Islands, but of course. who knows.

There is a plan for reopening (this likely Roatán internally, but unclear) but no one can see it and it has not been approved by the central government.

July 5, 2020 9:39 p.m. (CST)

One additional case was confirmed on the Bay Islands this evening, bringing the active total to 124.

July 4, 2020 8:48 p.m. (CST)

Authorities are saying that there is only one additional confirmed case in the Bay Islands, but they only processed four of the outstanding tests. There are 117 new tests pending, for a total of 203. That batch of 90 from which these four were processed has been outstanding for an oddly long time.

July 4, 2020 3:36 p.m. (CST)

The official word is that the one death in the Bay Islands reported as attributable to COVID-19 was in fact not the result of the virus (apparently she tested negative post-mortem).  Who knows; we’ll keep it in our statistics for now.

 

COVID-19 1 COVID-19There hasn’t been much news, but it is Saturday, so tonight could be the night that we hear about the ~90 tests that have been pending for a long time.

 

A West End fisherman caught an enormous yellowfin tuna!   It weighed in at ~194 pounds and was donated to the local population.

 

Oh, the dump fire has resurrected itself; some people are claiming arson.

 

Happy Fourth of July to our friends in the U.S.!

 

July 3, 2020 9:20 p.m. (CST)

Once again, there were no additional cases confirmed in the Bay Islands in tonight’s report.

July 2, 2020 9:33 p.m. (CST)

There were no additional cases confirmed in the Bay Islands in tonight’s report.

July 1, 2020 8:30 p.m. (CST)

Tonight the authorities have confirmed 2 additional cases in the Bay Islands.

July 1, 2020 8:39 a.m. (CST)

Happy Canada Day to our friends (way) up north!

There is a rumor on the coconut telegraph that the island will be shut down beginning this Friday, July 3 until July 15.

A number of tests remain pending but we do not know how many at this point.

Notes from today’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

All of the Bay Islands, except Utila, have confirmed cases

  • The municipality of Roatán has approved 10 million lempiras (approximately $400,000) to finish (or at least get closer to completion of) the new public hospital
  • There are three people currently hospitalized with COVID-19, all in stable condition

June 30, 2020 9:40 p.m. (CST)

Tonight the authorities confirmed 16 additional cases in the Bay Islands.

June 30, 2020 3:45 p.m. (CST)

There is a rumor going around that RTB is going to open to domestic flights in the near future.

June 29, 2020 9:28 p.m. (CST)

One additional case was confirmed by the national authorities this evening.  106 active cases now on Roatán.

June 29, 2020 9:18 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

the Bay Islands has its first three recovered individuals (confirmed by PCR test), so the number of active cases goes down by three from 108 to 105

  • if there is a lockdown approved, there will be ample notice provided; at this moment, no lockdown is “in the works”

June 28, 2020 8:49 p.m. (CST)

COVID-19 2 COVID-19

 

Tonight, the authorities announced a rather complex set of rules for the country.  In Roatán, it looks like not much will change; we will continue to be in “Phase 1” and on the number system for circulation through Sunday, July 12.  The internal re-opening of the country that had been planned for July 15 looks to be in jeopardy (there are five phases to the reopening plan, and we have never passed the first phase).

 

Also tonight the authorities confirmed eight more cases in the Bay Islands.

 

June 28, 2020 12:53 p.m. (CST)

The latest airline updates for Roatán routes (all of this is subject to, and likely will, change):

  • American: restart of MIA-RTB route pushed to August 8
  • Delta: restart of RTB route maintained at September 12
  • United: restart of IAH-RTB route maintained at August 3

June 27, 2020 9:00 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER released today’s results, and the island has no new confirmed cases.  Honduras, on the other hand, saw its largest one-day total so far, with over 1,000 new cases.  The country now has just over 17,000 confirmed cases.  The island remains at 100.

Also–at least on the west side of the island, we got some rain today, which seems to have really gotten rid of the remaining dust in the air.

June 27, 2020 9:11 a.m. (CST)

The results of last night’s release has been confirmed via comunicado (nothing in Honduras is officially official unless there is a comunicado with lots of “official” rubber stamps on it; if you ever need to make an “official” rubber stamp, let us know, we can show you where they’re made).  Anyway, we digress.  The new case was apparently the result of only one of the outstanding 110 tests being processed, leaving 109.  To that, an additional 88 tests have been sent for processing, so there are a total of 197 tests pending.  Saturday evenings tend to be the evening that the central government reveals the most cases, so stay tuned.

The French Harbor health center remains closed due to the high number of healthcare workers at the facility who became infected.

June 26, 2020 9:37 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER has released today’s update; there is one additional case confirmed in the Bay Islands, bringing the total to 100.

On a positive note, Godzilla (the Saharan dust storm) relaxed a bit today; it was much less hazy and colors were more or less back to normal.

June 26, 2020 10:18 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • the islanders who were repatriated from the mainland and elsewhere have not been staying in self-quarantine, despite a legal requirement to do so
  • 110 PCR tests remain outstanding
  • Guanaja has announced that they have 19 potentially positive cases that they are confirming with PCR
  • The 4000 rapid response tests have arrived on the island and will be given to the health department today
  • to questions relating to when the (i) island will reopen for international travel, (ii) ferries will restart, (iii) curfew and circulation requirements will be lifted–no idea.

June 25. 2020 9:09 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER released the latest update on the Honduras COVID situation this evening; there are no new confirmed cases on the island for the second consecutive day. As before, we do not know if this means that tests were returned negative or if they just have not yet been processed. Have a great night!

June 25, 2020 9:16 a.m. (CST)

Not much to report this morning.  So…some photos to show you how “Godzilla” (the dust storm) has been treating us here on Roatán:

COVID-19 3 COVID-19 COVID-19 4 COVID-19The picture on the left is of Parrot Tree, from our friend Robert Herb of Subway Watersports

 

The picture on the right is taken on the south shore of West Bay

 

No Caribbean colors here! You can always check out our webcam for live views.

 

For some relief and a reminder of what awaits you when you are able to return, check out Stephanie Doniger’s fantastic underwater photos on Instagram.  She is a regular visitor to the island and has captured some stunning shots.

June 24, 2020 9:30 p.m. (CST)

SINAGER released new cases in Honduras today, and none were in the Bay Islands, so there are no new cases on Roatán.  We do not know yet if this means that none of the pending tests were processed, or if they were returned negative.

June 24, 2020 9:27 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • there are no “recovered” cases in the Bay Islands because there are not enough PCR tests to re-test confirmed cases
  • any foreign healthcare worker that would like to come to the Bay Islands to volunteer can contact the authorities (or us, we can put you in touch) to obtain authorization

June 23, 2020 9:00 p.m. (CST)

This evening, SINAGER confirmed that there are 28 new cases in the Bay Islands, for a total of 99.

June 23, 2020 8:30 a.m. (CST)

The sub-Saharan dust storm has arrived to Roatán!  It’s quite overcast/hazy as a result, but supposedly the sunrises and sunsets will be spectacular.

Notes from this morning’s call with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • the municipality has (for now) “not approved” the lockdown; supposedly, if it is approved, sufficient notice will be provided for people to prepare
  •  Utila and Guanaja have no confirmed cases
  • over 300 PCR tests were performed over the weekend (278 remain outstanding, as indicated below)
  • of the 51 cases confirmed (prior to the 20 confirmed yesterday), only one person has required hospitalization [note that this is different than what is being reported on the coconut telegraph]
  • there is no date known yet for reopening to international travelers; Honduran citizens and residents abroad can fly a commercial flight to Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula and then apply to re-enter Roatán

June 23, 2020 7:07 a.m. (CST)

SINAGER has confirmed the cases reported last night–20 additional on the island, for a total of 71.  There are 278 tests pending.

June 22, 2020 8:30 pm. (CST)

20 new cases were reported tonight, bringing the total to 71.  This may of course be changed in the morning if it is determined that an error has been made.

June 22, 2020 10:44 a.m. (CST)

We don’t have any official news to report.  The Central District of the Francisco Morazán Department (i.e, the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa) has been placed on “total lockdown” for two weeks, meaning that Phase 1 of the “smart reopening” plan has been suspended in that District. Rumors are that Roatán may be placed on a similar lockdown but for just one week.  Supposedly, if this is done, it will be “well thought out.”

June 21, 2020 12:58 p.m. (CST)

Confirmed that the authorities are now saying that there are no new confirmed cases on Roatán.  The island has 51 confirmed cases.  There are unconfirmed reports of additional cases; we suspect that the virus is spreading like wildfire in many areas of the island. But, officially, 51 cases.

For the Spanish speakers out there, we have located a resource, here, which has all of the official Honduran government releases relating to COVID-19.

June 21, 2020 8:24 a.m. (CST)

Apparently, local health authorities are stating that last night’s results from the central government are wrong, and that there are no new confirmed cases on Roatán.  More to come….

June 20, 2020 8:24 p.m. (CST)

Another Saturday Night special!  Tonight it was announced that Roatán has 33 more confirmed cases.  Presumably this is from the outstanding set of 40 tests, so there remain 91 outstanding, but that has not yet been confirmed.  As of now the island has 84 confirmed cases.

June 20, 2020 9:04 a.m. (CST)

All of the interesting stuff on Roatán happens on the weekends.  So, the ferry that arrived yesterday with the extra police brought 70 people–35 police and the rest airport security and personnel.  Of the 70, 32 tested positive with rapid tests and have been placed into quarantine.  One wonders what the thinking was behind the decision to send this particular group to the island.

The single additional case that was confirmed last night was the only one of the 41 pending tests that was completed.  This means that 40 tests remain pending from that batch of 41, plus another 91 new tests, for a total of 137 PCR tests pending. As  has become usual for Saturday nights, we expect that the authorities will announce another big set of positive results this evening.

June 19, 2020 10:00 p.m. (CST)

One additional case was confirmed this evening, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the island to 51. At this time we do no know how many tests remain outstanding.

June 19, 2020 12:44 p.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • additional police are arriving on the island from the mainland–we normally have 220 but have been operating at about 50%
  • the 14-day shutdown has not been approved by central government and it does not sound like it will be (however, the mayor of Guanaja has apparently imposed a shutdown on that island)
  • we remain with 50 confirmed tests with 41 tests outstanding
  • given the number of cases on the island, there is no longer a concern about bringing people in from the mainland
  • this may have been the last COVID update from Dino

June 17, 2020 8:51 a.m. (CST)

Notes from this morning’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • 41 tests remain pending;  of the 32 positive results yesterday, 26 are health professionals (to be clear, this part was not from the Governor)
  • the Governor is not in favor of the total lockdown; as of now, there is no further word on this–it remains a petition but the central government has not acted on it
  • immigration is apparently charging people for overstaying their tourist visa, the Governor is trying to get clarity on this
  • a medical “brigade” from the U.S. is being organized by an unnamed person

June 16, 2020 9:47 p.m. (CST)

Tonight it is being reported that Juan Orlando Hernández, the president of Honduras, has tested positive for COVID-19.

It has also been reported that the Bay Islands have 32 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 50.

June 16, 2020 3:35 p.m. (CST)

We are hearing via the coconut telegraph that another 30 or so cases have been confirmed on the island–no official announcement yet.

The health department on the island has asked the central government to impose a 14-day total lockdown on the island (no circulation at all, etc).

We shall see.

June 16, 2020 12:15 p.m. (CST); KMC DAY!!!!

Happy birthday Karyn!

June 15, 2020 10:39 a.m. (CST); T-1 day until KMC DAY!

A few key points from today’s update with Governor Dino Silvestri:

  • there are 18 confirmed cases in the Bay Islands; 72 tests remain pending (some of which are exhibiting symptoms)
  • the second operation to bring islanders home from the mainland will occur tomorrow (or maybe later in the week–unclear); most will be required to self-quarantine
  • everyone must wear a mask at all times outside of the home
  • the central government is targeting July 15 for re-opening internally; if things get worse, that timeline will be delayed
  • there is a meeting among the authorities today at 1pm to discuss various things, apparently including the possibility that the island is “shut down”

June 14, 2020 8:49 p.m. (CST); T-2 days until KMC Day!

Tonight the authorities announced another two weeks of “lockdown”, where the only people allowed to circulate on any given weekday are those with an ID ending in the number designated for that day (starting tomorrow with 1, and ending with 0 on Friday the 20th).  The Bay Islands department does not seem likely to be granted any additional exceptions from the central governments, so we expect that this will continue until July 15.

June 14, 2020 8:13 a.m. (CST); T-2 days until KMC Day!

More information on the new cases:

  • on Friday (?), 50 samples were sent to the national laboratory for testing; yesterday, 13 were completed, and of those 13, six were returned positive;
  • of the original 50 samples, 37 remain pending, and another 40 have been sent in from Roatán, meaning that a total of 77 tests are pending with the national laboratory (or may have been sent to a private laboratory in hopes of obtaining faster results–the comunicado isn’t clear on what went where); and
  • of the six newly-confirmed cases, five are in Roatán and one is in Santos Guardiola.

The Soto Cano military base appears to be conducting training in or around Roatán today; there have been four (apparently U.S.) military helicopters in the area this morning.

June 13, 2020 9:38 p.m. (CST); T-3 days until KMC Day!

Tonight six more cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the Bay Islands–presumably Roatán/SG, but to be determined.  Interesting that the last set of tests was only sent in yesterday, whereas previously tests have been pending for weeks.

June 13, 2020 9:33 a.m. (CST); T-3 days until KMC Day!

Late yesterday, as was widely expected, the authorities announced that the weekend would be another of “total curfew”, meaning that no one can circulate and businesses cannot be open (except for those that can).

There isn’t much news to report today.  Unless something unusual happens, the next set of official announcements will occur tomorrow (Sunday) evening, unless of course it doesn’t.  Until then…have a great weekend everyone!

June 12, 2020 9:01 a.m. (CST); T-4 days until KMC Day!

  • Tuesday (which is also KMC Day) the authorities will bring back approximately 200 residents to the island; they will be tested with rapid tests and anyone that does not test positive will be allowed to go home to self-quarantine; anyone that tests positive will be placed into official quarantine.
  • Today the island expects to receive 4,000 rapid tests that will be used for random testing throughout the island.
  • Residents and citizens that are currently outside of Honduras may return to the island beginning June 16, via charter, Monday-Friday.
  • There are 50 PCR tests pending.

June 10, 2020 8:39 a.m. (CST); T-6 days until KMC Day!

  • We still have 12 confirmed cases in the Bay Islands.  All of them remain in quarantine.
  • Today the first group of 163 people that came back to the island are being released from quarantine.  Of that group, 3 tested positive on the rapid test, but all were negative on the PCR test.
  • The next repatriation trip will bring back everyone left on the mainland who has a primary residence in the Bay Islands (or at least all that have signed up), and will occur next Tuesday or Thursday.
  • 4000 tests are arriving on the island Friday (unclear whether these will be rapid tests or PCR tests).
  • Details of a plan will be announced on Friday for people with a primary residence in the Bay Islands and who are currently stuck in the U.S.
  • There is now an online system in place for people who have overstayed their visa to pay the fine before leaving. It sounds like this is for those who overstayed previous to the COVID-19 crisis.

June 9, 2020 11:38 a.m. (CST); T-7 days until KMC Day!

This is not really an update, but for any Honduran citizens or residents that are in the U.S., if you would like to return to Roatán, there is a charter flight being arranged from south Florida to Roatán.  Each seat is roughly $2,800.  If you are interested, let us know as soon as possible; this will probably occur by June 12.

June 8, 2020 8:24 a.m. (CST); T-8 days until KMC Day!

The Governor provided another update this morning. He indicated that the authorities “were already aware” of the new cases (this isn’t surprising news, we presumed that it had something to do with the constantly shifting messaging). It is not clear for how long. They had “over” 30 rapid tests that were positive, but only 12 positive PCR tests.  There are no pending PCR tests remaining outstanding.  All of the positive cases have been quarantined “somewhere” for the last ten days (which would point to the illegal boat arriving on May 29, but there was no mention of that incident).

Otherwise, the plan remains in effect.  This is the first week of the “smart re-opening” where business (other than those that are still not able to open, such as bars) are able to have a certain percentage of their workforce at the business. Circulation is still limited to one day per every two weeks, depending on the last digit of your ID.

The Governor also mentioned that the “people with the means” should buy a treatment called “maiz”, which translates to “corn” and which is in some way based on corn.  There is also a treatment called “catracho”, which is apparently a less-watered-down version of maiz.  We don’t know anything about either of these treatments, but he made clear that they are each a “treatment” and not “medicine”.

UPDATE: we understand that “maiz” refers to a combination of Microdacyn, Azitromicina (zithromax), Ivermectina and Zinc; and that “catracho” refers to a combination of Colchicine, Anti-Inflammatory, Tocilizumab, iveRmectice, Anticoagulant, hdC0, Hfo2, and prOnation.

June 7, 2020 10:41 p.m. (CST); T-9 days until KMC Day!

Tonight, seven additional positive cases of coronavirus / COVID-19 were announced.  This means that there are now 12 confirmed cases on the island.  Apparently medical personnel have been affected, though we do not have confirmation on this or know exactly what that means yet.  We have assumed that the virus has been on the island for quite some time, there were just insufficient means to either test it or report it (or both); presumably, more cases will come to light in the future.  For context, by official count anyway, there have now been 94 PCR tests conducted on the island for which results are available; 12 have been positive and 82 have been negative.

As previously mentioned, it now appears that Honduras is aiming for July 15 for internal re-opening; “a plan is being formulated” to open internationally (airports and ports). We have no date for international re-opening at this time, but we have heard from the airlines that the earliest they will begin routes to Roatan is August 1 (again, subject to change).

June 6, 2020 8:05 p.m. (CST); T-10 days until KMC Day!

Tonight, four more positive cases of coronavirus / COVID-19 were announced.  This means that there are now five confirmed cases on the island.  According to the Governor, the previously-known positive case has never exhibited any symptoms and has remained in isolation.  We hope that these people have remained in isolation as well, but at this point we do not know.

June 6, 2020 11:39 a.m. (CST); T-10 days until KMC Day!

The Governor’s update yesterday ended up being pushed to this morning.

This morning, the Governor indicated that the rules imposed over the past month or so — the number system (for when an individual could circulate), the curfew, etc — were set by local authorities.  Now, we are following the guidelines established by the national government.  As a result, the curfew on Roatán has been shortened from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and while businesses are allowed to be open, we are still on the numerical circulation system where only 10% of the population can run errands or be out (depending on the day and number).

In respect of the international re-opening of Honduras, the Governor clarified that what has been interpreted as being the date of  international reopening on July 15 is intended instead to refer to the internal re-opening (in other words, when the staged system of returning to work reaches 100% of each business’s employees). It appears that international flights will still be required to obtain special authorization from SINAGER even after July 15. However, the details continue to change, and we continue to hope that Roatán will be open for tourists soon. The Governor did mention that they are trying to coordinate with the reopening of other Caribbean destinations, and. as others continue to open, perhaps that will push things along for Roatán.

We will let you know if we learn anything more!

June 5, 2020 8:29 a.m. (CST)

So it turns out that the convoluted plan for reopening the country that was provided by the national government earlier this month has been made even less clear by the policies that have come out since then.  It is not much less clear that the country will open its borders to international travelers on July 15.  It is also not clear when businesses will be able to re-open and/or when people will be able to circulate normally.  The Governor is planning a call later today during which some clarity may be provided; we will update this page with anything that we learn.  We fully expect that this will proceed in fits and starts, one step forward and two steps backwards, for quite some time.

June 4, 2020 8:43 a.m. (CST)

Yesterday’s update consisted mostly of details relating to the donation from Michael McCarry of $150,000 worth of medical supplies, the details of which are well covered on the Governor’s website.  There is a press conference set for today at 11 a.m. CST to cover it in more detail.

There was a miscommunication at the airport yesterday which resulted in some unauthorized people from La Ceiba arriving on Roatán.  They are being held in quarantine until they can be returned to the mainland.

Again, the good news: Roatán will be open for international visitors beginning on July 15!

June 2, 2020 9:03 a.m. (CST)

Some great news to share this morning, especially for our friends in the north-central U.S. and south-central Canada!  Sun Country Airlines has announced a new seasonal route, running weekly between Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (MSP) and Roatán (RTB) on Fridays from December to April.  This year, it will begin December 18 and end April 2.  Prices look fantastic right now–$553 round-trip for the first week. Come visit!

June 1, 2020 8:41 a.m. (CST)

Governor Silvestri provided the 50th update (!) this morning.  Among the highlights:

  • the number of islanders brought back to Roatán on May 27 was around 165, up from the 145 previously reported
  • coronavirus is here, the number of “possible cases is staggering” and the virus is starting to move; the authorities are trying to contain it as best as they can
  • the re-opening plan (unofficial English translation) is quite convoluted (as we mentioned last night) but essentially calls for the country to re-open by July 15–this apparently means that the boarders will be open to travelers as well–it appears that this will happen irrespective of the number of cases that happen
  • businesses on the island can be re-opened as of June 8, but this week of June 1 continues to limit circulation according to the last number of a person’s ID, as it has been
  • someone donated 200 “medical devices” (100 for the Bay Islands and 100 for San Pedro Sula); the nature of these devices was not provided

May 31, 2020 9:09 p.m. (CST)

Following up on the earlier post, it appears to be official now that the country will open up (internally only, maybe?). It is an “only-in-Honduras” needlessly complex and convoluted plan which divides up the country into zones.  Each zone has it’s own five-week plan for how it can re-open depending on a bunch of factors.  Roatán seems to be in the first group that can begin tomorrow with the first stage, which is “preparation” and appears to only include the government.  We may know more tomorrow if Governor Dino is able to provide an update.  As far as we know, Roatán still only has one confirmed case of coronavirus / COVID-19.  In any event, there appears to be some progress!  To be clear, this is a path for internal opening, we do not yet know about the boarders or international flights or cruise ships or any of that.

May 31, 2020 8:50 a.m. (CST)

We are hearing rumors that the island may open (internally) as early as tomorrow, Monday June 1.

May 30, 2020 1:14 p.m. (CST)

The authorities released a “comunicado” (press release) earlier today, in which they said the following:

  • the results of the seven pending samples were confirmed to be negative by the National Virology Laboratory (these were PRC tests, not rapid tests); there are another 22 samples still outstanding
  • the Bay Islands still has only one confirmed case of COVID-19, that individual is in isolation and undergoing medical treatment
  • there are 30 individuals that have had contact with COVID-19 and who are in isolation and undergoing “prophylactic” treatment
  • there remain more than 170 people in quarantine (we believe that these consist of the 145 people that were brought back by the authorities and the people who attempted to enter illegally, but that was not made clear)

We do not know when the island will be re-opened to outsiders or people from other countries, but our best guess at this time is August.

May 29, 2020 8:34 a.m. (CST)

Another day, another illegal boat, this one with eight people arriving in Santos Guardiola from an as-yet unknown spot on the mainland (yes, we’ve seen this movie before, it doesn’t end well).  Supposedly, the identity of the person behind this and perhaps other illegal operations bringing people in to the island is known to the authorities (and has been published in social media).

Meanwhile, the national government has issued a mandate that masks be worn by everyone at any time they are out in the public.

More to come….

May 28, 2020 8:33 a.m. (CST)

The Governor provided an update this morning.  He provided information on a few topics:

  • the group brought back yesterday was 145 people, they have been split into two groups; one group is being held for 14 days quarantine at a hotel, and another group is being housed in a private facility “donated” for this purpose by a citizen
  • all of them have been tested with rapid response tests (which he acknowledged is not 100% accurate, and pick up malaria, dengue and other diseases); none tested positive; some of them have been given medicine (the type was not disclosed)
  • there are plans to return another group from the mainland, and are working on bringing back people from the U.S.
  • the Governor put out a plea for people on the island to stop encouraging people on the mainland to come to the island illegally and outside of official channels
  • the bleach/water spraying projects have been set up and funded by the Mayor’s offices (unclear whether this meant Roatán, Santos Guardiola or both)
  • according to the Governor, as of today, there is one confirmed case on the island, and there are seven PCR tests pending; confusingly, he also mentioned that he could not say how many tests have shown positive on the island (we think that this means that there have been other rapid response tests that were positive but which have not yet been tested with PCR tests)
  • the people that came in illegally on May 16 (other than the ones that have not been found) remain in quarantine together, one person continues to test positive on a rapid response test and the rest test negative; another PCR test is going to be conducted on all of them prior to their release

May 27, 2020 4:26 p.m. (CST)

A boat (this one authorized) from La Ceiba arrived to Roatán earlier today with a group of islanders that had been stuck on the mainland since the lockdown started.  They are apparently going to be quarantined for 14 days.  It is not clear how many people were on the boat (we have heard around 175 from unofficial sources), but we do know that there are more to come.

May 27, 2020 1:32 p.m. (CST)

There are some sources out there (Bing, for example) that are reporting additional cases in the Bay Islands.  As far as we know, there remains only one confirmed case in the Bay Islands and on Roatán. The official Honduran website still only lists one and the authorities here have not mentioned any others, though there have of course been many rumors.

That said, there has not been any new news from the authorities in the last day or so.  We did hear that they may begin spraying the streets and other highly trafficked areas with a mixture of water and bleach.  We will keep you updated as we hear anything interesting.

May 26, 2020 2:06 p.m. (CST)

We have received a lot of questions about when flights will resume to Roatán.  The short answer is that it depends on when the Honduran government opens its boarders more broadly; currently, all flights require special approval from the government.  However, earlier today we did receive updates on route changes from the major airlines:

  • Air Transat: all operations currently suspended, we expect an update in July
  • American: first flight remains scheduled for July 11
  • Delta: removed all scheduled July flights, first flight now scheduled August 1
  • Sunwing: plans to resume in December
  • United: first flight remains scheduled for July 6
  • WestJet: plans to resume in December

As a reminder, we encourage you to check this official website for updates on the COVID-19 situation in Honduras, including confirmed cases (though we do find their numbers somewhat suspect) and news concerning potential travel restrictions.  There is also a page focused on Roatán — we highly recommend this page for daily live video updates from Governor Dino Silvestri as well as more frequent text updates on various information on the situation on Roatán.

May 25, 2020 8:37 a.m. (CST)

With the first positive case of coronavirus having been confirmed on the island, Roatán and the rest of the Bay Islands are back to square one.  Roatán is once again following the national protocols for coronavirus, meaning that people may only leave their house on one day every two weeks (according to the last digit of their ID), and even then only for limited purposes.  There is now a fine of 200 lempiras for failure to wear a mask, and a number of other mandatory biosecurity measures are being enforced at the essential businesses that can remain operational.  Depending on whom you believe, the police have “total authority” in this time of crisis–or at least a heightened level of authority–and they have been confiscating licenses and in some cases vehicles from those who have been out in violation of the rules.

Notwithstanding all of that, some things are the same.  People are out and about, and we heard a report from someone that went to La Colonia yesterday that there were hundreds of people out in big groups and that all of the stores were open.  We understand that flights out of Roatán to mainland Honduras remain possible (though not regular), but many are wary of taking a flight to the mainland without assurance that they can get a connecting flight to the country of their destination.  Those flights have been cancelled with regularity.

The person that tested positive is apparently being re-tested in order to verify that the first test was not a false positive, and he is apparently being held in quarantine.  This morning, the Governor indicated that they now have the identity of the captain that brought in the people to Santos Guardiola illegally, and they have a picture of the boat.  That is “under investigation.”  The authorities are still trying to find the rest of the people that were aboard that boat (there are 16 unaccounted for) so that they can test them and conduct contact tracing.  Many locals are indignant about the length of time it has taken to repatriate islander residents that have been stuck on the mainland and elsewhere, and claiming that they should be able to come back whenever and however they want.  Another concern is that as things on the mainland get worse, people there are going to continue viewing the Bay Islands as a place of relative safety, and more and more of them will be arriving illegally as well.

Another cruise ship arrived early this morning to drop off additional islanders who had been working in the cruise industry.

May 23, 2020 9:35 p.m. (CST)

It has just been confirmed that the island has its first known case of the virus. Apparently, one of the people that came in on the boat to Santos Guardiola mentioned previously here has tested positive. Since the authorities do not know who was (or how many people were) on that boat, all bets are off. We have no official word yet but it would appear likely that the island will be on total lockdown, like the mainland, for an extended period.

May 23, 2020 9:39 a.m. (CST)

This morning, a cruise ship came to the Port of Roatán with an unconfirmed number of local residents, returning them home for the first time since the “total lockdown” went into effect.  They are supposedly going to be put into quarantine for 14 days.  There is also a secret ferry that will be returning people from the mainland to Roatán, but the date and time are strictly “confidential.”  It’s good to see people getting back home; our fear is that between the illegal boat, the police/navy and all of these returning people, the re-opening of the island internally is coming at the worst possible time. If any of those people that have legally or illegally entered the island has the virus, we will be in for a long and painful struggle (and we’ll never know where it came from, which may be the point, who knows).

Happy Memorial Day weekend to our friends from the U.S.!

May 21, 2020 7:16 p.m. (CST)

There hasn’t been much concrete to report in the last couple of days.  The Beach House Restaurant will be opening again this Saturday, May 23, and we have some new things on the menu–and a new weekend brunch special that we think people are going to really enjoy.  The Beach House will be complying with the rules for “biosecurity” established in Roatán, but will also be ensuring that the premises are disinfected to North American standards on a regular basis.

The island is continuing to repatriate people.  The next group expected in is approximately 100 people that will be coming from La Ceiba (on the mainland).  They are supposedly going to be quarantined somewhere on Roatán for 14 days, but with all of the recent incidents (which the Governor has acknowledged), it probably doesn’t matter one way or the other.  Hopefully the sun and salt air will help us all.

Otherwise, things are more or less normal on the island.  We are hearing that tourism will probably not be possible until August, but that could obviously change and will depend on where you are located.  There are flights available to be booked online, but those are being cancelled with some regularity and as of now, all flights require a special permit from SINAGER, which as far as we can tell is functionally the Honduran CDC.  Many flights — even domestically — are not able to fly because they lack that permit.  If you do book a flight for say July, we recommend that you check with your carrier to see if they have that permit.

P.S. our generator is working in tip-top condition 🙂

 

May 19, 2020 8:27 p.m. (CST)

Some things are returning to normalcy on the island, including that our near and dear neighbor, Sundowners, is open again (yay!).  We plan to open our restaurant on a limited basis this coming Saturday.

The protests at RECO continued today.  There are conflicting reports as to whether there were police or other personnel brought in from the mainland to handle the situation.  Our understanding is that things have quieted down, but these are second- and third-hand reports on the coconut telegraph, so who really knows.  We will likely not make it out to French Harbor until later this week.  The governor did host his semi-daily briefing today, but not much new was shared (and for those of you who haven’t checked, all of his briefings are available on the Roatán COVID19 page referenced below).

Otherwise, the island remains without a confirmed positive case of the virus, and after a brief outage due to a storm on Sunday night / Monday morning, electricity and other infrastructure continues to operate normally.  We made a trip to Eldon’s today (the one on the hill behind Petrosun just outside of Coxen Hole) and found it very well stocked.

At The Beach House, we have taken this time to do maintenance and service on much of the property so that when you are able to return, our generator and other services will continue to work as you have come to expect regardless of the weather or other issues with the electricity on the island more generally.

May 18, 2020 7:17 pm. (CST)

So much has happened in the last 24 hours, it is hard to know where to begin.  At the same time, nothing has happened.

The power was out to much of the island for most of the night and much of the morning.

There was a protest at Roatan Electric Company (commonly known as “RECO”) this morning, mostly because people have been receiving bills far in excess of what they are used to seeing.

The closure between Santos Guardiola (see below) and Roatán was lifted.

The island had its first day of being “open” internally, with various biosecurity measures mandated and/or being used.  Generally speaking, there was not much different today that we saw than we have witnessed over the past several weeks, but other parts of the island may have had a different experience.

To our knowledge, there was no official news from the authorities today.

May 17, 2020 8:30 p.m. (CST)

From the authorities: [crickets]

May 16, 2020 4:20 p.m. (CST)

Well another #Honduran kinda day.  Overnight, a boat of nine people managed to get to the east side of the island, which you may know is actually a separately governed entity (Santos Guardiola) than the west side of the island, which is Roatán. The details are a bit murky as to whether they called the authorities in advance, but it is generally accepted fact that they came from the mainland and got off on the island.  The boat and its captain and crew have not been found and there is a reward out for any information on their identity.  The nine individuals may be in quarantine–that is unclear.  The authorities of the other governments of the Bay Islands are now prohibiting travel to or from Santos Guardiola for the next 14 days, and if they turn out to have brought the virus to the island…well we will be back to square one.

It is not clear how this development will impact the guidelines that are supposed to be provided tomorrow, Sunday, relating to the general opening of the island (well, Roatán) internally.  Hopefully there are not a bunch of copycats, but the general sentiment among islanders that have not been allowed to return is that they should be able to do so, immediately. There have probably been others that we don’t know about, and will probably be more.

May 13, 2020 4:02 p.m. (CST)

Success!  Maybe.  Sort of.  This afternoon, the authorities announced that the Bay Islands will re-open, internally, beginning on Monday, May 18.  Except that maybe businesses can be open starting on Thursday, May 14, but subject to the old circulation rules for the people.  But everything will still be closed on the weekend.  Or not.  And everyone must of course “abide by the provisions issued in local regulations.”  And there will be “biosecurity measures” and randomly-administered COVID-19 tests (the authorities said “random tests of COVID-19” but they must mean that people will be screened at random).

While not much is clear from today’s release, it does look as if the island will be reopening for business on May 18!  Internally, at least.  Great news for all of us here and one step towards a broader reopening of the country and the world at large.

Stay safe everyone!

May 12, 2020 8:50 a.m. (CST)

There is not much new to report.  The island remains on lockdown, and the total curfew continues until Sunday, May 17 (as previously mentioned here).  We expect that the nationwide curfew will be extended on that day.  We continue to hope for a relaxation of the restrictions on the island itself, but as of now, people are only supposed to be out on one day per every two week period, based on the last digit of their identification (and no circulation at all on the weekends).  On the island, the police sporadically enforce these restrictions, and there are generally people out and about. But it is definitely not the bustling island that you may know and remember.

 

West Bay RoatanGrocery stores continue to be relatively well-stocked (particularly Eldons and Ramirez), and the bodegas and pulperias remain open and full of products.  Restaurants remain take-out only, except that if you happen to sit down, most of them won’t run you out.

 

We have been informed that there will be 74 Honduran citizens (and probably residents) returned to Roatán on May 21and 22.  They will be quarantined for 14 days, probably at one or more hotels (we have heard HM but that may not be true).

 

The island has gotten some much-needed rain over the past few days.

 

That’s about it!

West Bay on Sunday, May 10.

May 10, 2020 1:20 p.m. (CST)

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there!

We should know more about the status of the island later today or tomorrow morning.  Rumors are that it is going to open internally, but we’ve been hearing this rumor for several weeks now so who knows when it will actually happen.  Meanwhile, do you recall the story about a month ago about the police officers that came to Roatán from the mainland (and which included the former sub-commissioner of Roatán)?  Turns out that the sub-commissioner has been diagnosed with COVID-19.  He’s on the mainland and it has been over a month since they were here.  We wish him a speedy recovery.

Dogs keeping watchThe island remains without any confirmed cases.

 

By the way, Team Beach House is keeping constant surveillance on Half Moon Bay as we prepare The Beach House for your future visits 🙂

 

 

 

 

May 6, 2020 7:54 a.m. (CST)

There are rumors, at least, that the island may re-open (internally) in some fashion, potentially as early as this week.  The Honduran President made a statement yesterday acknowledging that different areas of Honduras may need to be treated differently, which may have been a test balloon to gauge reaction prior to allowing Roatán to relax the nationwide restrictions.  The facts (as of May 5):

-35 tests have been administered on the island; 33 have been negative, 2 are pending
-5,724 tests have been administered in Honduras; there have been 1,270 confirmed cases on mainland Honduras and there are 626 tests pending
-the authorities on the island have been loaned a powerful radar system with a 48-mile radius for the purpose of monitoring boats around the Bay Islands
-a boat was captured on May 4 attempting to enter Roatán; the person(s) aboard have been quarantined

May 4, 2020 7:07 a.m. (CST)

Yesterday, the central government extended the total curfew for two more weeks (as opposed to the typical one), through 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. They also changed the method for allowing people out to get essentials (groceries, medication, etc); it used to be the last digit of your ID, with two digits per day, so everyone could go out once a week.  Without warning, it was changed to one digit a day over a two-week period.  So, for example, if your number is a nine, you could have gone out last Friday (May 1), but now can’t go out for any purpose again until Friday, May 15.  Sometimes the lack of foresight here is astoundingly frustrating.

There is a protest occurring this morning in Coxen Hole relating to the inability of islanders to return home (since access to the Bay Islands has effectively been non-existent for nearly two months now).  Given that there is not a single confirmed case of COVID-19 on Roatán, it is expected that protests are only going to become more frequent as the rules of a government that–even in the best of times–is largely disconnected from the Bay Islands continue to negatively impact its residents.

April 26, 2020 5:30 p.m. (CST)

In our own version of Groundhog Day, today the authorities extended the curfew for another week, until 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 3.  There remain no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Roatán.  We had been hoping that the island itself might be able to return to some level of normalcy this week of April 27, but we will have to wait at least another week….

April 21, 2020 5:30 p.m. (CST)

Nothing definitive yet, but it looks very much like the lockdown of the island will be extended until late May.

April 20, 2020 4:10 p.m. (CST)

In what can really only be described as #Honduras, the last ~20 hours have been somewhat bizarre.

A tanker showed up on the east side of the island and refused to leave, despite the pleas of the mayors and the police.  Why?  “They don’t want to.”

Today, the taxi drivers staged a massive protest, blocking transit in French Harbor and at Dale Jackson Road and generally causing mayhem.  Of course, this was not the “stay in your car” type protest that is being seen in some places in North America; this was more the “block the road with your taxi and then get out and congregate in decidedly not social distancing groups” type protest.

Otherwise…all is calm.  The “total curfew” continues until at least next Sunday, April 26.

April 19, 2020 1:12 p.m. (CST)

Not surprisingly, today the nationwide “total curfew” has been extended another week, until Sunday, April 26.

April 16, 2020 8:48 p.m. (CST)

Today marks the first day of the second month of “total lockdown” on Roatán.  There had been some movement towards relaxing the restrictions on the island, but the mainland quickly put a stop to that.  Roatán continues to have no confirmed cases of COVID-19, but is also subject to the emergency rules of the country, which essentially require that no one go anywhere and that only a select few businesses be allowed to operate.  Otherwise, things are very much the same here on the island.  It is incredibly tranquil and beautiful, and the marine life is thriving.  We think you’ll come back to a Roatán that is better than we’ve seen in our lifetimes.

April 15, 2020 10:45 a.m. (CST)

There is not much new to report on the island; all that has been said below continues to be true–no known cases on the island, the possibility that the virus has been introduced by trespassers from the mainland, etc.

We did receive updated information about the return of American Airlines flights to the island, though.  They are now planning to begin Saturday-only service from MIA to RTB on July 4 (not June 6 as indicated below), through the first half of December, at which point they plan to switch to daily service between MIA and RTB, and Saturday and Sunday service between DFW and RTB.

April 13, 2020 9:25 a.m. (CST)

We have received an update from our consultants at Campbell Hill Aviation Group on when international service is expected to resume to Roatan (RTB).  This is of course subject to change.  The first scheduled flights are now set as follows:

American: June 6, one flight weekly (MIA only; DFW expected to begin November 21)
Delta: June 6, one flight weekly
United: May 21 (no details on frequency available)

April 11, 2020, 8:08 a.m. (CST)

You will notice a change to this page.  Instead of modifying the text of a single update, we are going to start leaving them all here in “blog” fashion, with the most recent entry at the top.

There have been some interesting developments since our last update. On Thursday night, April 9, a boat carrying 12 police officers and three crew arrived to Roatán from the mainland (exactly where is unclear, but probably La Ceiba).  None of these officers had been tested for COVID-19.  It was reported that they refused to be quarantined.  Ultimately, they were in contact with an untold number of people on the island before leaving the next morning, April 10. Reports are that La Ceiba refused them entry there upon their return to the mainland, but as of now that is not confirmed.  What is clear is that if any of these people had COVID-19, it is now loose on the island and all of our sacrifices over the past month will have been for naught.  Time will tell.

Yesterday, April 10, three people were allowed to leave Roatán via boat. They were apparently heading to Utila.

We do not yet know if the total curfew (which has been sporadically enforced, at best) will be lifted on Sunday, April 19.  As of now, people are allowed to circulate for the purpose of obtaining groceries, gas, pharmaceuticals, etc on the basis of a particular day of the week associated with their ID number.  Nonetheless, large gatherings of people are evident nearly everywhere, especially on the beaches and in the water.

Let’s hope and pray that the island remains free of confirmed cases.  As of now, that remains the case.  Stay safe!

April 7, 2020, 2:37 p.m. (CST) 

On the evening of March 15, Honduras announced the closure of its borders (air, land, sea).  The closure began on the evening of Sunday, March 15 at 11:55 p.m. and, as of now, is effective until Sunday, April 19.  The Bay Islands (of which Roatán is a part) has instituted its own policies, which include a prohibition on travel into our out of the Bay Islands.  The last scheduled commercial flights to return U.S. and Canadian citizens to their respective homelands left on March 31.  There are currently no scheduled commercial flights into or out of Roatán.  The situation remains very fluid.  We are keeping track of all the information globally as well as on the mainland and in the Bay Islands and will keep you updated.

On the evening of March 20, Honduran authorities imposed a “total lock down”, effectively requiring everyone to stay at home 24/7 until 3pm on Sunday, March 29 (there are a few limited exceptions, including to obtain food and medication).  On March 29, the Honduran authorities extended the curfew through April 12, 2020 (expectations are that this will be extended–stay tuned).  As of now, most businesses are closed; restaurants (take-away only), hotels and pharmacies are among the excepted businesses.  Despite reports to the contrary, the island is NOT under Martial Law.  Please see the official website linked below for more information.
 
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Roatán or in the Bay Islands.  There have been a number of suspected cases, but to date (April 7 2:37 p.m.) all have proven negative–there have been 23 negative tests and two tests are pending results.  Of course, this does not prove that no one on the island has COVID-19.
 
We encourage you to check this official website for updates on the COVID-19 situation in Honduras, including confirmed cases (though we do find their numbers somewhat suspect) and news concerning potential travel restrictions.  There is also a page focused on Roatán — we highly recommend this page for daily live video updates from Governor Dino Silvestri as well as more frequent text updates on various information on the situation on Roatán.

At The Beach House, as it always has been, the safety of our guests and our team is of paramount concern.  We take great pride in maintaining the highest levels of cleanliness and hygiene, and we have taken additional measures developed in consultation with global and local public health authorities to make our protocols even more rigorous:

  • Team Beach House is receiving ongoing briefings and enhanced operating protocols;
  • The Beach House has increased the frequency of cleaning our public areas;
  • The Beach House will continue to adjust food and beverage service in accordance with current food safety recommendations; and
  • The Beach House has increased the deployment of antibacterial hand sanitizers.

Reservation Cancellations 

In respect of cancelling your travel plans, The Beach House policy provides a complete refund, less a $100 fee, for cancellations made prior to 30 days before the first day of the reservation.  If you are inside the 30-day window, please contact us. Recognizing the unprecedented nature of this global event, we will make every effort to provide flexibility to our guests. 

Think Island Thoughts!

We are taking this time to make The Beach House better than ever.  We are refinishing railings, painting, replacing worn decking, touching up rooms, cleaning and generally doing all of the things that are difficult or impossible when fully occupied.  Similarly, the coral reefs surrounding the island are getting a much-deserved (and probably unprecedented) break from the constant wear that we divers put on them.  In Half Moon Bay, we already see an enormous increase in both the number and diversity of marine life.  We have no doubt that some good will come of this pandemic!

Unlike many businesses on the island, The Beach House has not laid off a single employee.  We are a family here, and we intend to keep it that way.  We hope that you will think of us when travel again becomes possible.  The Beach House, The Beach House family, the coral reefs, the marine environment, the island—we will all be here to welcome you back.  We will emerge from this better than ever. 

 

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