Belize Ranked Lowest for COVID-19 Risk by CDC; Now “Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19”

by Carolee Chanona

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories, including Belize. Countries ranked lowest for COVID-19 risks now include Belize, Singapore, Israel, South Korea, Iceland, and Albania. The CDC’s new ratings were first reported by Reuters and posted on a CDC website on Monday, include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest “Level 4” rating that discouraged all travel to recommending travel for fully vaccinated individuals, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. Additionally, another 50 countries and territories have been lowered to “Level 2” or “Level 1,” a CDC spokeswoman said.

Vaccinated & Ready to Travel? Here’s What To Know About Belize

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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.

1. Pre-Visit Requirements

Visitors must book their stays at state-approved Gold Standard accommodation. Those without immunization (un-vaccinated travelers) must take a RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken within 96 hours of travel or Rapid COVID-19 test (approved by Belize’s Ministry of Health) taken within 48 hours of travel.

2. Arrival Requirements

On arrival, travelers without a negative pre-entry COVID-19 test can take one inside the airport’s testing clinic for US$50 per person. Those arriving with a negative pre-entry COVID test or proof of immunization can immediately proceed to customs & immigrations.

3. Enjoying Belize
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Relax on the beach in Placencia. Image courtesy Itz’ana Resort & Residencies

Belize still enforces face masks in public spaces, social distancing and increased hand sanitation. Additionally, the country remains under a national curfew, stretching into midnight on Thursdays – Saturdays. Learn more about all of Belize’s newly relaxed measures here.

The U.S. State Department’s Rating on Belize

The U.S. State Department has mirrored the CDC changes by lowering 85 of its own travel advisories for countries including Japan ahead of the Olympics, but told Reuters it did not lower all 110 advisories after taking into consideration “commercial flight availability, restrictions on U.S. citizen entry, and impediments to obtaining COVID test results within three calendar days.” (Returning to the United States still requires a COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours in advance.)

Header image: a San Pedro sunrise seen from the grounds of Victoria House Resort & Spa in Belize. Image courtesy Victoria House.

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