Flying from Managua to Miami during the COVID Pandemic on AVIANCA

So…I am in my house in San Juan el Sur and realize some legal documents in the U.S. were expired. The only way to push through the pending process was to travel to Miami. ‘Just my luck’ I think, as this process can only be done in person…in Florida. I tried online, via phone and nothing… There was no way around it. So it became a rush to travel. So I bought my ticket on Wednesday and jumped on the plane on Saturday. My husband reserved my tickets for one week because why not visit loved ones and shop while I was there?

I arrived at the airport in Managua 4 hours before my flights just in case. Please note: if you aren’t a passenger you aren’t allowed in the airport anymore. So I decided to go check in for my flight and come back out to grab something to eat because I heard there is no water or food service on the plane. It’s true… confirmed… No water or food!

During my travel in October of 2020, no COVID Test is required when traveling from Managua Nicaragua to Miami Florida.

Arriving in Miami

My nerves started to go wild when I landed in Miami on Oct 03, 2020. The nerves were mostly caused by the dreaded return flight in a week. I had been so busy tidying up loose ends before my flight I didn’t think about some pretty important wrenches that could be thrown into my return flight plans and my mind was racing Will my flight be cancelled? Will I get bumped to fly another day? Will my COVID Test be negative? Will I get the results in time? Will I be able to get back home??? My mind whirled as I approached the immigration officer in the Miami Airport.

He asked many more questions than normal: How long will you be here? Why are you here? What are you doing? Where are you staying?? Then repeating the same question with different words. No smile…he didn’t seem happy…‘oh well,’ I thought, ‘it’s his choice to be grumpy about the job he still has.’ I finished our interaction with ‘have a great day’ and walked off.

All closed Stores in the MIA Airport. Not one was open!

As I walk through the airport I realized that we are probably the only flight in the whole wing of the airport. It was an eerie experience. Half the airport was closed down. Escalators turned off and all stores closed. Walk out of the airport into the Miami heat and realize, there are no cars on the street. No taxis, no police officers, no buses… Just the random private cars coming to pick people up. I spot my sister and am relieved I am not going to be standing there alone in a deserted airport waiting for my ride.

We start driving to her home, our usual conversation complaining about Miami traffic is not an issue as there isn’t much traffic. I am relieved but I wonder what else does “COVID Miami” have in store for me. I begin to see family, they all suggest eating out. I am surprised cause I thought everyone was in pandemic mode. They confirm they are but Florida was just ordered to open back up. Almost everyone I encounter says ‘I haven’t been out to a restaurant in months!’ Masks are worn, alcohol gel is readily available at the doors of basically every store. The restaurants have new outdoor seating areas. You must wear a mask everywhere in the restaurants except at your table.

Pandemic in Miami VS Nicaragua

Based on my personal experience, the main difference between the pandemic in Nicaragua and in Miami is all seen as you enter the stores and offices in each place. In Miami, each place has a stand with alcohol (self serve) and signs that say, please where a mask. In Nicaragua there is a uniformed person (guard or employee) standing at the door who states that you can only come in with a mask and here is some alcohol and let me take your temperature before coming in. I think the latter is much more effective and everyone is thankful (while they mumble stuff under their breath jajaja).

For more info on Traveling from Miami back to Nicaragua, click here!

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