Any Airlines wishing to land in Nicaragua must send photocopies of the passports of passengers and flight crew 72 hours in advance.
By Nayira Valenzuela (Confidencial)
HAVANA TIMES – The Nicaraguan Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC) will require all airlines to send photocopies of the passports of passengers and flight crews 72 hours in advance to authorize their arrival in the country.
In a notification sent to the airlines on July 18, INAC indicated that the photocopies must be attached to “the technical documentation of the aircraft, for due process (authorization)”.
Sources from the travel industry told CONFIDENTIAL that the Government announced with great fanfare on Tuesday, July 14, the reopening of Managua’s Sandino international airport; however, hours and days later “they hardened all requirements” to travel to the country.
The sources warned that it will be difficult to obtain photocopies of all the passports of the passengers 72 hours in advance, since the majority of travelers “buy their tickets online”.
The activities of the international airport have been enabled since July 14, although tentatively the resumption of international flights is scheduled for August. The decision will depend on the behavior of the pandemic.
Only for charter flights?
The owner of a tour operator in Nicaragua, who requested anonymity, told Confidencial that it was her understanding that “only charter flights” were required to deliver photocopies of the passports of the passengers and crew, 72 hours before.
“The list is sent 72 hours in advance to the Foreign Ministry to notify Immigration, and those are the only passengers allowed to board,” she said.
She warned that with the new measure would bring losses for her business, since traveling would become cumbersome for customers.
The Ministry of Health (Minsa) and Civil Aeronautics 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 their homes.
Meanwhile, leaving Nicaragua will have a new cost. Minsa announced on July 17 that if a Nicaraguan or foreigner wishes to travel to another country that requests a negative test of Covid-19 to enter, it must be carried out in its central laboratory at a cost of US $150.
Such a charge by the State has been denounced as an abusive “tax”, since in all the other Central America countries the governments carry out the Covid-19 tests free of charge.