As of July 15, 2022, Belize becomes the latest destination to drop all COVID-related entry requirements, which include testing, vaccinations, and health insurance. However, the Belize Tourism Board advises that international visitors are still required to stay at one of the thousands of Gold Standard approved accommodations—a recognition program for hotels in the country that have undergone enhanced health and safety measures. The requirements now removed applies to all of Belize’s points of entry, including its land and maritime borders.
“With the emergence of weaker variants of COVID-19 and with the global trend of restrictions being relaxed, the time has come to take the pressure off of our health systems,” says Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness for Belize. “We’ve reached a level where it’s now everyone’s personal responsibility to decide whether they want to be vaccinated or not.”
Paving A Pre-Pandemic Return
Throughout 2022, destinations have seen a gradual reopening scheme into a pre-pandemic normal. Earlier this year, Belize lifted its national mask mandate, capacity restrictions, and block on mass events. And with its new rules, Belize joins several other destinations around the world that have eliminated all COVID-19-related entry rules, like the Bahamas, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Croatia, and the United Kingdom.
“Tourism in Belize is outpacing the region. The region has rebounded at about 50%. We’re at 70 – 72% in terms of overnight arrivals and we’re moving towards a greater rebound for cruise as well and so both aspects of the industry are performing well, better than had been expected especially during this time.”
– Anthony Malher, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations
With ancient Maya sites, a vibrant blend of cultures, and the world’s second-largest barrier reef, Belize is prime for a promising return to pre-pandemic tourism levels. And now, as Belize removes of all COVID-related entry requirements, it seems the destinations will only expedite their path to rebounding.