With Belize postponing the reopening of its international airport within its 5-Phased Travel Reopening Plan, on-going repatriations continue for Belizeans abroad. Starting June, a number of repatriation flights via United Airlines have arrived in Belize after approval from the Repatriation Program; repatriation is being led by Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Health and National Security.
Upon arriving in country, all passengers are swabbed and transported to designated facilities to spend a 14-day mandatory quarantine, at their own expense. As of August 7, a total of 1,466 Belizeans applied for repatriation with 1,114 approved. Currently, 1,032 Belizean coordinated returns are in progress, with 453 successfully repatriated.
Some repatriations have arrived via cruise ships, where they had been employed, or via land borders of Guatemala and Mexico. However, the large majority have been arriving through the Philip Goldson International Airport.
Belize’s Controlled Repatriation Process during COVID-19
With the controlled repatriation process, some of the returning Belizeans have tested positive for COVID-19. However, Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero stresses that the risk for an increase in cases is minimal.
“Once we go through our repatriation process that allows you to go through the adequate mechanisms that have been established, following the new protocols, I don’t think that should be a concern,” Manzanero said.
The repatriation process began on May 18, when the online application to do so became available. The controlled repatriation will continue until the airport reopens to leisurely travel; no one should attempt traveling to Belize without prior approval.
Despite Belize’s airport reopening postponed and border closures, commercial airlines like United continue to bring Americans back stateside with a weekly repatriation flight on Fridays. With 40 more Americans departing Belize on August 7, more than 1,100 U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents have been repatriated thanks to the U.S. Embassy and Government of Belize. Тhе more than 1,100 U.Ѕ. сіtіzеnѕ rеturnеd оn 16 Unіtеd соmmеrсіаl rераtrіаtіоn flіghtѕ ѕіnсе Маrсh 23rd. СОVІD-19 соntіnuеѕ tо сrеаtе unіquе сhаllеngеѕ fоr trаvеl аrоund thе wоrld; the embassy is therefore grаtеful tо their раrtnеrѕ getting Аmеrісаnѕ hоmе safe.