(TODAY NICARAGUA) Flying to Nicaragua in these times of pandemic is not as simple as buying a ticket, boarding the flight and landing in Managua.
Airlines are now required to send photocopies of the passports of passengers and flight crews 72 hours in advance for authorization to arrive in the country.
The Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) notified the airlines on July 18, indicating that the photocopies must be attached to “the technical documentation of the aircraft, for due process (authorization)”.
On Tuesday, July 14, the government of Daniel Ortega announced, with great fanfare, the reopening of the Aeropuerto Internacional Augusto Cesar Sandino (Managua international airport – MAG). However, hours and days later “they hardened requirements” to travel to the country.
One of the problems faced by the airlines to meet ” 72 hours in advance” requirement is the fact that the majority of travelers buy their tickets online.
But there’s more, more confusion.
The owner of a tour operator in Nicaragua, on the basis of anonymity, said that their understanding was that “only charter flights” were required to deliver photocopies: “The list is sent 72 hours in advance to the Foreign Ministry to notify Immigration, and those are the only passengers allowed to board”.
The tour operator warned that the cumbersome request for customers would bring losses to the business.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) and INAC approved a protocol for the arrival of national and foreign travelers. They will demand the results of Covid-19 exams, taken no more than 72 hours before traveling to Nicaragua.
The protocol also stipulates that foreign travelers arriving with respiratory symptoms may not enter the country. Nicaraguans who present these symptoms will be allowed in, but will be told to stay at home.
Meanwhile, leaving Nicaragua will be costly.
Minsa announced on July 17 that foreigners wanting to leave Nicaragua to a country that requests a negative COVID-19 test result, the test must be done in the Minsa central laboratory, the Complejo Nacional de Salud Dra. Concepción Palacios, and at a cost of US$150 dollars.
Nicaragua is the only country in Central America to charge for public COVID-19 testing.