Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport in San Salvador will reopen to international passenger flights on September 19, after a six-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced Monday.
El Salvador, which on March 17 became the first country in Central America to shut down flights, will allow the “exit and entrance” of passengers through the application of a sanitary protocol.
“We do not doubt that the reopening of the airport will allow us to contribute to the recovery of the economy,” said the president of the Autonomous Port Executive Commission (CEPA), Federico Anliker.
El Salvador plans to resume other economic activities starting August 24.
The biosecurity protocol that will be implemented and that was “harmonized” with the rest of the airports in the Central American region includes the installation of thermographic cameras to measure body temperature.
Boarding halls will be capped at 50% capacity, and passengers will be required to wear masks at all times.
CEPA says the airport reopening will be “gradual,” but it has not yet announced requirements for tourists. Costa Rica, which on August 1 became the first Central American country to welcome foreign guests, requires that they purchase insurance and obtain a PCR-RT coronavirus test.
According to the U.S. Embassy, El Salvador has prohibited foreigners from entering the country since March 11, with exceptions for diplomats and permanent residents.
El Salvador — population 6.6 million — has reported 23,193 coronavirus cases as of Sunday, with 618 deaths and 10,977 recoveries. But new infections have recently begun a downward trend in the Central American country.