With vaccinations becoming more readily available across the world and in Belize’s main market—the United States—more people are also becoming confident to travel once fully vaccinated. With an uptick in travel predicted for the second half of 2021 as President Joe Biden secures 600 million doses, immunized travelers have the most to gain for a return to international travel. Not to mention, the one-shot vaccine Johnson & Johnson could be approved in the next few weeks, further boosting U.S. supply. Besides being the first in the Caribbean to waive an entry COVID-19 test, Belize also becomes one of the first in the world to accept fully-vaccinated tourists. If you’ve been fully (or will soon be) vaccinated, here are some travel changes to know about visiting Belize.
Your body must develop antibodies after receiving the recommended coronavirus vaccine dosage before you are “fully vaccinated.” The waiting period is 14 days after receiving your final dose; this begins after receiving your second dose if you receive the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine only requires one dose.
If you want to travel to Belize after getting your vaccine, your travel dates should start 14 days after receiving the second dose. As always, you should stay home if you’re showing potential signs and symptoms. Don’t forget: people can still contract the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated.
Being fully vaccinated can have the most upfront benefits for international travel to waive travel restrictions, like in Belize. Belize is one of the first countries to accept fully-vaccinated tourists. Traveling at least 14 days after the second dose lets visitors waive the pre-travel or on-arrival diagnostic test. International tourists will still need to stay at a Gold Standard hotel for their vacation.
Belize continues to be proactive in its efforts to contain COVID-19. The Caribbean nation rolled out its national vaccination programme in the fight against the virus, as March 1, 2021. Being one of the first independent Caribbean nations to do so, Belize announced its 5-phase vaccination roll-out programme, including the process of vaccinating its frontline workers to be followed by the most vulnerable persons across the population. Belize first secured 1,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (COVISHIELD) through a donation from the people and Government of Barbados, then another 25,000 doses directly from the people and Government of India. Belize expects to receive another 100,800 doses this month through the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.
The availability of more individuals vaccinated in Belize signals a new era of hope for Belizean travel especially as a sector hardest hit. Although, the vaccination of the tourism sector, in conjunction with the ongoing implementation of the Gold Standard Certification Program and the receipt of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) SafeTravels stamp will convey to the world that Belize is indeed a safe and viable tourism destination.
What Can The “Fully Vaccinated” Do?
According to the CDC, the fully vaccinated can visit these people without masks or social distancing:
- Other fully vaccinated persons (in small groups only)
- Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household if they are “low-risk”
However, the fully vaccinated will still need to wear masks and practice social distancing measures in public. Despite whether everyone is vaccinated, those that choose to travel to Belize should avoid medium and large-sized groups. The public gathering and social distancing guidelines may ease as more of the general population receives the vaccine. Approximately 10% of the U.S. population is currently fully vaccinated.