A negative COVID-19 test result presented upon arrival to Belize or determined following a rapid test at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) will now free visitors and returning Belizeans from having to quarantine for a 10-day period. Prime Minister Barrow said that the government has realized that the mounting number of persons affected by the disease locally is disproportionate to the number of persons arriving with negative results that are still required to self-isolate. This is the latest decision by the government of Belize in order to boost the tourism industry.
A new Statutory Instrument (SI) comes into effect today, Monday, October 19, 2020, that won’t confine tourists to Gold Standard hotels and Belizean/permanent residents will not be required to undergo a 10-day quarantine as previously required. Many agreed that most international travelers were discouraged from travel to Belize due to the number of restrictions implemented by Government. Tourists were not allowed to leave their properties and even threatened with stiff penalties for breaking these laws.
Other amendments to the SI include:
- Restaurants countrywide are now allowed to cater to more than 10 customers, based on the establishment’s square footage. Seating arrangements must guarantee social distancing and no more than 10 people are allowed per table.
- Belizeans and legal residents no longer need to write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) to get approval before traveling to Belize.
- All persons arriving (including tourists) need to download the Belize Health App , bring a negative PCR test result taken within 72-hours of departure, or pay $50 US for a rapid test at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) when arriving in Belize.
- Mandatory wearing of masks and the practice of social distancing is still in effect.
- Gyms are still not allowed to open as they are potentially extremely dangerous in the spread of the virus