Belize enforcing entry requirements and restrictions on traveler movements with reopening of Philip Goldson International Airport Oct. 1.
Alert Begins 01 Oct 2020 10:40 AM UTC
Alert Expires 29 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide
- Time Frame: Indefinite
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions
As of Oct. 1, authorities have reopened Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) to all international passenger traffic; however, officials are enforcing strict entry requirements and will place restrictions on the internal movements of some visitors to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As part of the reopening plan, foreign nationals intending to visit Belize must apply to be permitted entry, must download the Belize health app, 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. The following entry requirements and internal movement restrictions will be enforced for the categories of arriving passengers:
- Belizean nationals and residents: 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.
- 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.
Officials have not made any announcements specifically on the reopening on the country's sea and land ports of entry and exit, which were also previously closed as part of the pandemic response.
The following restrictions on businesses, gatherings, and activities are also in place as of Oct. 1:
- All persons over the age of five must wear protective facemasks 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.
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.