Currently, Belize reports no active COVID-19 coronavirus cases, and is the only country in the Caribbean and Americas to do so. In an effort to mitigate a resurgence, the Government of Belize has extended the current State of Emergency for 60 days beginning April 30, 2020. Indeed, effectively keeping its borders closed and limiting domestic travel. Before you decide to take a trip to Belize, here are a few travel cues to keep in mind during COVID-19.
In an abundance of caution, the Belize government has temporarily suspended all of the operations at the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City. The closure is effective starting March 23, 2020, and will remain until further notice. If you have an upcoming scheduled international flight to Belize City, check with your airlines. United, Southwest, American, Avianca, WestJet, and Air Canada airlines have temporarily suspended all flights but plan to take reservations for future travels. All domestic flights on Tropic Air to Belmopan, San Ignacio, Orange Walk, or to the outer cayes have resumed service.
The Belize Prime Minister has announced a tentative reopening date of July 1, 2020. However, this is contingent upon many factors, including no new positive tests, the continued availability of tests, and the willingness to self-quarantine if needed. You will not be able to enter Belize by car, bus, or boat, except for cargo and freight. However, repatriation flights from Belize to North America and the UK have been ongoing with the collaboration of the Government.
Some Popular Visitor Destinations Are Closed
The Belize Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) had ordered all archeological reserves to close, but announced May 20, NICH announced the re-opening of archeological sites. The government has also reopened swimming (in pools, rivers, and the sea), beauty salons, and barbershops. All restaurants, bars, and diners may accept reservations for outdoor dining only, with take-out meals available. In addition, gyms, casinos, bars, and night clubs are all temporarily closed. Notably, some hotels have reopened for domestic tourism during the COVID crisis, while citizens are allowed to travel across district borders now.
Limit any Socialising
With the exception of public transportation, no more than 10 people can gather at any time. This includes outdoor gatherings, weddings, funerals, etc. Not to mention, any movement done between 5:00 am and 8:00 pm must be essential, like buying groceries. Outside these hours, a strict curfew is active. Not to mention, face masks are required by law for any public outing. Businesses may operate after the curfew hours but customers must adhere to physical distancing markers within and outside of the business. This means keeping at least 3 feet between yourself and the people around you.
Current Information Is Available
To get the most recent information regarding travel to Belize, contact the Belize Ministry of Health. You can also check the Ministry of Health Belize’s Facebook, at www.covid19.bz, or the Belize Government Press Office.
Before you decide to cancel your trip to Belize because of the COVID-19 pandemic, consider rescheduling your travels for a later date. Many travel agencies, online booking sites, and hotels are offering flexibility without change fees or penalties. Likely, you’ll need to self-quarantine on arrival. The Belize government asks that you make the best decision for you, your family, and those around you.