Severity: Critical Alert
Exit/Entry: Belize continues gradual easing of coronavirus disease-related internal restrictions as of Sept. 24. Borders to remain closed until Oct. 1.
Alert Begins 24 Sep 2020 10:36 AM UTC
Alert Expires 01 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
Authorities in Belize are continuing the process of gradually easing restrictions related to curbing the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as of Sept. 24. Relaxed regulations for churches and restaurants went into effect Sept. 22; however, most other existing restrictions on businesses, movements, and gatherings will remain in place until further notice. The following new and existing measures are in effect as of Sept. 24:
- All persons over the age of five must wear protective face coverings at all times, except while in private residences, exercising or engaged in any sporting activity, driving alone or with only immediate family members, riding motorcycles or bicycles, or seated at restaurants.
- Gatherings of over 10 people are prohibited, and all persons are also required to adhere to social distancing directives.
- Outdoor exercise is permitted provided social distancing measures are maintained; however, competitive sporting events and recreational contact sports are still prohibited.
- Churches and other places of worship may resume services with no more than 10 people in attendance.
- Restaurants and similar licensed establishments may reopen for dine-in services by reservation only, and with no more than 10 customers at a time.
- All bars, rum shops, discotheques, nightclubs, casinos, gymnasiums, and gaming establishments are to remain closed.
- Spas, beauty salons, and barbershops are allowed to operate by appointment only, with only two customers allowed in the establishment at a time.
- Schools are to remain closed but may operate online.
All ports of entry in Belize remain closed except for cargo shipments and emergency transportation. Belizean citizens and permanent residents of Belize are permitted to return to the country; however, any returning residents may be subject to a period of mandatory quarantine at the discretion of the government.
Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) is scheduled to reopen to all international passenger traffic from Oct. 1. As part of the reopening plan, foreign nationals intending to visit Belize must apply to be permitted entry, and will be subject to enhanced health screenings and daily health monitoring. Any traveler testing positive for COVID-19 must complete a 14-day quarantine at a government-approved quarantine hotel. Despite the reopening of the airport, movement of foreign nationals within Belize will be restricted. The following entry requirements and internal movement restrictions will be enforced for foreign nationals:
- Business travelers: Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on entry, taken within 72 hours before boarding. Travelers may be randomly selected for a second test upon arrival at the airport. Business travelers must stay at an approved Gold Standard hotel or provide proof of owned property, and must adhere to an approved itinerary.
- Leisure travelers: Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test on entry, taken within 72 hours before boarding. Travelers may be randomly selected for a second test upon arrival at the airport. Leisure travelers will be transported to an approved Gold Standard hotel using approved transport, and will only be permitted to participate in approved Gold Standard tourism activities.
- Second homeowners, qualified retired persons, and long-stay travelers: Travelers will be subject to mandatory COVID-19 testing upon arrival at the airport. Persons who test negative are required to self-quarantine for 10 days.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks. Highly targeted localized measures could be enforced in villages and towns with higher disease activity.
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.