Belize Won’t Accept Your At-Home COVID Test

by Carolee Chanona
home covid test entry requirement

All travelers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, entering Belize through the Philip Goldson International Airport from other countries, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 test. At no port of entry does Belize accept at-home COVID tests; if no test is presented—or at-home results are presented—then you’ll be given a COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport, for US$50 per passenger at your expense. Children under the age of 5 years will not be required to present a negative test. Why? Rapid COVID tests are less sensitive than PCR COVID tests that are done in a lab, and there’s a larger margin of error for administering it yourself. The self-test companies themselves recommend if your first at-home rapid test gives you a negative result, you are encouraged to take another test about two days later to confirm that you are indeed negative.

David Weber, a professor of medicine, pediatrics, and epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill also shares another perspective, “Nothing prevents you from just opening the kit, picking the swab out and putting it in (your nose) without touching your body surface and then saying ‘See, I have a negative test’ and taking a picture on your phone.”

Yes, Rapid Tests Are Accepted for Entry to Belize

maya covid test 2

Testing for COVID-19. Photo via Caring Hands Clinic

Vaccinated or not, you’ll need to either present a negative Rapid test (taken within 48 hours of travel) or a negative PCR test (taken within 96 hours of travel) on arrival to Belize. While the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) offers the option for both pre-flight and on-arrival testing, foreign visitors won’t have access to those options on arrival to Belize’s land borders. Instead, a mandatory Rapid test will be administered at Belize’s land and sea border points of entry for US$50 at the expense of the traveler; no other pre-arrival test will be accepted.

PGIA airport belize

The Philip Goldson International Airport is Belize’s one and only international air entry point. Image via Unsplash

Besides testing negative for COVID-19 and a booking at a Gold Standard certified resort, tourists will also need to purchase Belize’s mandatory US$18 travel health insurance starting February 15, 2022. Learn everything we know about Belize’s mandatory health travel insurance here.

Header image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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