Travel Alert Issued By the U.S. Embassy in Honduras
The U.S. Embassy located in the Republic of Honduras issued a Security Alert regarding potential demonstrations along CA-5 from Tegucigalpa to San Pedro Sula, and along the CA-11.
On October 18, 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, instructed U.S. government employees and family members to minimize unnecessary travel throughout mainland Honduras and to avoid demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can turn violent with little or no notice.
Furthermore, on October 19th, the Armed Forces of Honduras’ Anniversary Parade is expected to depart from UNAH and then take Boulevard Suyapa before arriving at the national stadium.
Past parades in Tegucigalpa have been largely peaceful, but traffic is expected to be extremely heavy, especially in proximity to the parade route. And, there will be heavy police and military presence to maintain order during this event.
And just recently, on October 16th, U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said the State Department informed the U.S. Congress of his intent to resume targeted U.S. foreign assistance funding for Honduras.
Previously, the U.S. Department of State had elevated its Travel Advisory to Level 3 status on June 24, 2019, saying ‘some areas in Honduras have increased risk, such as the Gracias a Dios Department.’
The U.S. government says ‘it has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Gracias a Dios as U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to this area.’
Gracias a Dios is an isolated area located in the eastern section of Honduras.
Separately, Canada’s travel advisory, last updated on September 30, 2019, says visitors to Honduras should ‘avoid all travel to Chamelecón, Choloma, and Cofradía in the department of Cortés.’
Furthermore, the UK Foreign Travel Advice for Honduras, last updated on September 27, 2019, says ‘the “El Florido” border and the road to the town of Copan are only open from 6 am to 9 pm.’
If you decide to visit Honduras, these governments suggest the following preventive actions:
- Do not physically resist any robbery attempt, nor display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
- Please monitor the situation with the local authorities (COPECO) and the National Institute of Migration.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, such as this Traveler’s Checklist.
- The U.S. Embassy in Honduras is located at Avenida La Paz, Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras, Telephone +(504) 2236-9320.
Honduras is a Central American country with a population of about 9 million residents, with Caribbean Sea coastlines to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. According to the Honduran Institute of Tourism, over 2 million international travelers visited Honduras in 2016.
From a health warning perspective, both the Public Health Agency of Canada and the UK have issued advice for travelers on the Zika virus, recommending that pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to Honduras.
And, the UK says ‘Honduras is seeing a sharp increase in cases of dengue fever, especially in children. Dengue fever disease is endemic in Honduras, with previous outbreaks reported in 2015 and 2013, in the Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula departments.’
‘As a result, the Honduran Government has declared a state of emergency.’
‘The most affected departments are Cortés, Yoro, Olancho, and Santa Bárbara, and the San Pedro Sula metropolitan area.’
Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said a dengue outbreak in Honduras has been declared by local health authorities.
Dengue is caused by a virus that has four different but closely-related serotypes: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4, all of which circulate in the Americas. Dengue Serotype 2 is one of the deadliest and is the one currently affecting children and adolescents, says the CDC.
When a person recovers from the infection, he acquires lifelong immunity against that particular serotype. However, subsequent infections caused by other serotypes increase the risk of acquiring more severe forms of dengue.
Furthermore, the CDC suggests visitors to Honduras consider preventive vaccines, including Routine Vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
The Dengvaxia dengue vaccine was recently authorized by the CDC for children ages 9-16 but is pending distribution in the USA.
Most importantly, the CDC says travelers to Honduras should prevent mosquito bites.
Pre-departure vaccination services, related travel medications, and counseling appointments can be scheduled at a US pharmacy by visiting Vax-Before-Travel.
International Travel Alerts published by Vax-Before-Travel