Posted on: March 17, 2020
With now 12 confirmed cases of the Coronavirus, Honduras isn’t taking any chances. On Tuesday, March 17, it imposed a seven-day shutdown on nonessential business, and that includes cigar factories. The shutdown means a halt to production for the third-leading exporter of premium cigars to the United States, a nation that ships 60 to 70 million handmade cigars a year to the U.S.
Honduras also ordered all borders (air, land and sea) to be closed for a week.
“In Honduras, the government ordered all companies to close for seven days,” said Nestor Andrés Plasencia, who owns cigar factories in Honduras as well as in neighboring Nicaragua. “We hope that next Monday we can start again.”
Christian Eiroa, owner of C.L.E. Cigar Co., is also directly affected by the country’s lockdown. He grows tobacco and produces cigars in Honduras and echoes Plasencia’s statement.
“The government shut down all operations in all industries except for health and food,” said Eiroa. “It is being reviewed every seven days. We should have an update Friday or Monday.”
The shutdown could potentially have a heavy impact on companies like Altadis U.S.A., which produces cigars at its Flor de Copan factory; General Cigar Co., which produces Punch and Hoyo de Monterrey in Honduras; Alec Bradley, which has cigars made under contract at the Raices Cubanas factory; and Rocky Patel, who produces a large number of his cigars at one of Plasencia’s factories in El Paraiso, Honduras.