In a recent poll conducted by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), 96 percent of their responding membership support the implementation of sanitation protocols and guidelines for all tourism service providers (Hotels, Restaurants, Tour operators, etc.). The poll was conducted among their members regarding the reopening of the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA). Although the responding membership polled an exact split vote on the reopening date of PGIA, 88 percent would like to see a comprehensive reopening plan; this includes adequate medical safeguards in place before the actual reopening.
Additionally, the survey asked members for their opinions on the medical safeguards that should be in place once PGIA is reopened; this would be to minimize the importation and spread of COVID-19 from international arrivals. In the poll, BTIA members felt the following protocols should be instituted within a PGIA reopening plan:
- 60% of respondents wanted a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Test conducted by a certified facility within 48-72 hours before boarding.
- 57% stated that they also wanted a certified rapid test (protein sensitive) in Belize upon arrival.
- 52% of BTIA members poll respondents stated that they also wanted to see a contact tracing app in place (as a part of sanitation safety)
In a virtual press conference held on May 29, Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated that Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport’s tentative date of July 1 could not be confirmed; this decision comes after advice from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Additionally, Belize raised a principal condition; travelers would need to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken in the last 72 hours before arrival. While there wаѕ nо оbјесtіоn frоm аіrlіnеѕ ѕеrvіng РGІА, ІАТА recommended reopening untіl а rаріd tеѕt is available for рrе-bоаrdіng. For this reason, Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport remains closed. Furthermore, Belize’s land borders also remain closed.