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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on January 12, 2021 that it will require a negative COVID-19 test from all passengers arriving in the United States, as of January 26, 2021. Posed to have severe impacts on Belize’s tourism sector, The Ministry of Health and Wellness has announced that it will expand testing to now include all persons requiring a negative COVID-19 test to enter other countries.

The Ministry stressed that expanded testing remains their priority. As such, mass testing activities continue in all districts to ensure that cases are detected, isolated and managed early. Rapid testing can be done both at public health and some private health facilities countrywide.

Additionally, the Ministry is in the final phase of preparation to ensure that COVID-19 PCR testing is available to persons departing the country. At this time, persons requiring a PCR test to depart Belize must make a formal request by emailing the Acting Director of Health Services at [email protected].

To accommodate such requests, public testing sites will soon be available in the following districts:

Belize District - Belize City and San Pedro Town
Cayo District - San Ignacio Town
Stann Creek District - Placencia village

The Ministry is also finalizing discussions with several private health facilities to offer COVID-19 tests for persons exiting the country. A complete list with specific locations countrywide, phone numbers, and fees will be announced shortly. Further details, including cost and testing locations across the country, are being determined. All individuals who plan to visit Belize can therefore proceed with their travel plans.

The Belize Tourism Board says that it recognizes that US travelers account for approximately 70% of visitors to Belize. The Board will continue to be guided by health protocols to welcome all visitors and ensure a safe experience from arrival to departure.

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Dorian Nuñez

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