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Belize City, Belize, Monday, January 11, 2021 - The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to announce that Belize has achieved the Safe Travels Stamp, granted by the World Travel &Tourism Council (WTTC). The Safe Travels Stamp, the first global safety and hygiene stamp, was awarded to Belize in late December 2020 in recognition of the country’s enhanced health and safety protocols.

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Monday, January 11, 2021 - The San Pedro Town Council and the Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public that a new board has been appointed effective January 2021. The Board hears and determines applications for the issue, renewal, or transfer of licenses and all matters connected therewith or the forfeiture, cancellation, or suspension of licenses within its jurisdiction. The new Board members are as follows:

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Yesterday, the United Democratic Party officially announced their mayoral candidate for San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye 2021-2024, as being Ruben "Rux" Gonzalez. The release stated: 'With an Associate’s Degree in Business Management and over 25 years of experience in accounting and administration, Ruben is the perfect candidate to serve as the future Mayor of the Town of San Pedro. Not only his administrative skills are an asset, but his commitment to San Pedro can be reflected in his 6 years of dedicated community work as a Councilor.

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The new Miss Universe Belize 2020/2021 is 24 year old Iris Salguero from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Iris Salguero grew up in Ambergris Caye in Belize. As one of twelve siblings, Iris learned the importance of being patient and how to be a team player at a very young age. In High School, she had to finance her own education and was proud to graduate as Salutatorian.

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Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries, Hon. Kareem Musa has posted a list of Belize’s Public and Bank Holidays for 2021 that include a new Holiday on January 15 (George Price Day) and August 1 (Freedom Day). Pan American Day (October 12) has been removed from the list of holidays.

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The Office of the Prime Minister announces the death of Dame Elmira Minita Gordon, GCMG, GCVO. She died yesterday, January 1, 2021, in Inglewood, California. Dame Minita Gordon served as Belize’s first Governor General from 1981 to 1993, the first woman in the Commonwealth to assume the role. The Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño and the Government of Belize express condolences to the family and friends of Dame Minita Gordon. Details of her burial will be shared at a later date.

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Ready Call Center BPO will be opening in Ambergris Caye in January 2021. This is an initiative from Hon. Andre Perez and the PUP BRS Executive and RCCBPO to create jobs for the people on the island as it is greatly needed. They will be working to open 200+ call center jobs. Applications are now open: https://cutt.ly/rccbpo_applynow Skills Required:

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On Monday, December 28, 2020, the Forest Department with support from the Belize Zoo and the Ya’axche Conservation Trust responded to a report of a young male jaguar which was captured in Pine Hills, Toledo District. The jaguar was successfully relocated to the Belize Zoo.

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Caye International Bank’s Chairman, Joel Nagel, Together With Pastor Ian Zaldivar Spread Cheer at Living Word Church's 10th Annual Holiday Toy Drive -  The holiday season is a time of giving, of celebrating life, and spending time with those who matter the most. Through its annual Holiday Toy Drive, Living Word Church wishes to spread as much positivity and love to the people of San Pedro, bringing families together and putting the biggest smiles on children’s faces. On December 18, 2020, 1,000 toys were distributed at the Hon.

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On December 22, U.S. Embassy Belmopan delivered personal protective equipment (PPE) to Central Medical Lab (CML) staff in Belize City. The PPE, valued at over $47,500 USD, was donated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was initiated by the CDC Central America Regional Team based at U.S. Embassy Guatemala. The PPE was purchased and sourced through a Belizean vendor, Belmopan Medical Laboratory Supplies.

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ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- Zee Edgell, Belize’s foremost author of fiction, has died at the age of 80. She passed away on December 20, in her home after a battle with cancer. Born in Belize City, British Honduras in 1940, Mrs. Edgell was the daughter of the late Clive Tucker and Veronica Tucker (nee Walker). She was married to the late Alvin Edgell for 52 years. Together they raised two children: journalist Holly Edgell, 51, and physician Randall Edgell, 45.

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Belmopan. December 15, 2020. 11:00 a.m. - At its meeting on December 8, 2020, Cabinet approved the constitution of an Economic Recovery Advisory Team. The group will make recommendations to engineer sustainable economic activity, protect and create jobs and successfully emerge from the current economic crisis stemming from the 2019 UDP administration recession, the COVID-19 pandemic, weather-related shocks, and the resulting collapse of the tourism and other sectors of the economy.

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- Belmopan. December 15, 2020. 12:00 p.m. - The Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, in partnership with the National Bank of Belize Limited, Digi, and Belize Social Investment Fund, is launching a cash-transfer program to provide support to vulnerable households affected by COVID-19.

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Shocking and tragic deaths due to COVID-19 in the medical community, government officials, has sent shockwaves of concerns across the country of Belize. Staggering numbers of new COVID-19 cases has placed Belize on the top list of active cases in the Caribbean and 39th in the world in deaths per capita. While some Belizeans are asking for another strict lockdown, island residents, at most, are concerned that a second lockdown will cripple the island economy, severely disrupt the tourism industry even further and send more residents in despair, destress and devastating hardships.

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Impact of COVID-19 on Belize Labor Force - According to statistics from the Government of Belize, the country lost 38,909 jobs due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. Statistics show that as of September 2020, that was the number of persons not working who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. The statistics released indicate that 33% of jobs lost due to COVID-19 were in the Tourism industry, 15% were lost in Wholesale and Retail Trade and Repairs; and 12% were lost in the Community, Social and Personal Service. Below are more statistics provided:

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BELMOPAN, Belize, CMC – Prime Minister John Briceño says he has made a full recovery from the coronavirus [COVID-19], even as other members of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP) were reported to have contracted the virus that has killed 148 and infected 5, 854. Briceño said that his last PCR test results were positive but doctors have declared him clinically recovered.

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Senior Dive Instructor at Ramon’s Village, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Adolfo Ayuso has just recently completed Fragments of Hope’s Reef Replenishment course. This makes him qualified to establish new coral formations in Belize’s waters. Adolfo joined the program under his own initiative and is now our island’s coral gardener or reef builder, you might say.

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The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) celebrated its 35th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2020, via Zoom. The AGM began with outgoing President Melanie Paz presenting the highlights of the targeted accomplishments for 2019/20 to members and guests.

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November marked the toughest month in Belize in the fight against COVID-19. During the month Belize experienced 2397 new cases and a staggering 89 deaths. A majority of these deaths are elderly citizens and those with underlying/preexisting conditions. A total of of 339 PCR tests were done yesterday, Monday, November 30, 2020, with 111 samples positive for SARS CoV2. There were 20 recovered cases and one death to report; this is a female in her 80’s from the Corozal District.

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Seven new COVID-19 cases were confirmed this week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, as Belize starts showing a sharp increase in cases countrywide. There have been close to 100 new cases daily as reported by the Ministry of Health and the death toll has reached to 125 nationwide.

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