Ten More Belizeans Return Home by Cruise

by Carolee Chanona
repatriation-Belizeans aboard Carnival Glory

Ten more Belizean crew members return home by sea for repatriation via their cruise ship, Carnival Glory, on Sunday, May 31. For the first time in 72 days, the Belizean staff disembarked to touch land; Carnival Cruise’s Carnival Glory was docked offshore Jamaica awaiting clearance before their repatriation to Belize. Docking in Belize City, the returning crew of Carnival Glory joins 10 more Belizean cruise crew members under mandatory quarantine. Though a 14-day quarantine at the designated facility is at your own expense, cruise companies are financially covering all staff. Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line handled the paperwork and process to (successfully) return on behalf of their staff. The returning crew aboard Carnival Glory marks the second group of repatriated Belizeans via a cruise ship.

Carnival Glory

The 10 Belizean crew members of Carnival Glory, who did not report any COVID-19 cases onboard, return home.

Belizean repatriations so far

On May 23, Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas became the first cruise ship to drop anchor offshore Belize City in over a month. Onboard, 10 homesick Belizeans arrive in Belize’s territory after not touching land for approximately 72 days. From complete isolation at sea and a strict regimen onboard the Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship, who did not record any COVID-19 cases on board, the Belizeans headed straight into a 14-day mandatory quarantine. The 10 crew members of Rhapsody of the Seas effectively become Belize’s first group of repatriated citizens by sea.

No active COVID-19 cases in Belize

To date, Belize has gone 47 days without reporting a new COVID-19 case. Not to mention, no active cases in country for the buzzworthy classing of Belize being “COVID-19 free.” Additionally, a national State of Emergency enacted April 2 effectively closed all borders and seaports on April 5, including to Belizean nationals. On May 17, the Government of Belize informed the public that they are taking steps towards the legal return of Belizeans. Therefore, all Belizeans wishing to return home can apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Belize’s borders and international airport remains closed to all leisurely travel.

Feature photo courtesy Jamie Valle.

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