Although Belize plans to reopen its international airport on August 15 as Phase 3 of its Travel Reopening Plan, Belize’s land borders will remain closed until further notice. Land-based border tourism, which was closed late March due to COVID-19, is approximately 14 per cent of Belize’s tourism market. Moreover, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has simultaneously launched their reopening plans for hotels, restaurants and tour operators. The new guidelines outline the enhanced health and safety protocols which are being introduced as part of the Government of Belize, the Belize Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, and the BTB’s commitment to keep Belizeans, tourism dependent communities, and visitors safe from the risks related to coronavirus.
“Only 1% of tourists come from Mexico, and 13% from Europe via Guatemala. With high COVID-19 cases, that’s a risk Belize is not willing to take.”
PHASE 3 – August 2020
The reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport marks a phased reopening for leisurely travel, beginning August 15. Arriving travellers can either present a negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of travel; or, pay for a rapid test within the airport at the traveler’s expense. Belizean citizens and residents on arrival will be not be given the option of a rapid test within the airport, but rather a PCR Test instead. Additionally, travellers to Belize will be put through a number of precautionary measures. That includes mandatory temperature checks at the airport; numerous sanitising procedures; and agreement to adhere to a track and trace system.
PHASE 4 – TBD
A full reopening of Belize’s overnight tourism sector is listed as phase 4, with no date confirmed. Given the current high case numbers of neighbouring countries in Mexico and Guatemala, Belize’s land borders remain closed; this also includes smaller ports of entry.
PHASE 5 – TBD
Although the CDC has issued a no-sail order for cruise ships operating in U.S. waters that will expire July 24, that is expected to be extended. However, cruise tourism is listed as the last phase in Belize’s reopening plan for travel.