Tourism officials in Belize are moving rapidly to expand COVID-19 testing, responding to the recent CDC requirement that international air travelers entering the United States produce a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel. The most notable, however, is the recent announcement of Maya Island Air as they announce their partnership with Caring Hands Clinic in Ambergris Caye to offer on-site COVID-19 testing for both locals and tourists in Belize. The not-for-profit initiative, spearheaded by Maya Island Air, includes their volunteered and renovated stand-alone Terminal 1 in San Pedro Town to facilitate antigen testing. Compliant with CDC requirements and boarding requirements for international air carriers, the Rapid COVID-19 tests at Caring Hands Clinic start at US$65 per person.
The Caring Hands Clinic Antigen Test Center To Launch Jan. 23
In essence, Maya Island Air took this unique opportunity to reach out to the Ministry of Health & Wellness and private medical facilities to provide this test to all US-bound passengers from Belize.
“We have sourced all FDA, CDC and Ministry of Heath & Wellness compliant tests”
– Dr. Shanna Pott
However, services are not exclusive to passengers of Maya Island Air only; the facility is a contribution to the benefit of the aviation & tourism industry, including all licensed air carriers, all hotels, and all resorts.
“It is better to have an appointment, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, I do believe there is the possibility for us to take walk-ins as well.”
– Cora Guillen, RN
The clinic will house three main areas. A general area for client information, a consultation room for access to a licensed doctor if need be, and a separating testing area retrofitted with a booth/curtain. Plus, a covered deck seating for queueing. The clinic also benefits from electrostatic cleaners, FDA approved chemicals, and UV cleaners to sterilize and maintain a safe environment.
To make an appointment via U.S. direct line, local phone lines, or even WhatsApp:
“The idea is to be open on Saturday [January 23] in San Pedro, and by next week, we intend to have two renovated mobile facilities to be placed on properties in Dangriga and Placencia for use of travelers and hotel partners.”
– Cris Sosa, Chief Executive Officer at Maya Island Air
The new CDC requirements goes into effect on January 26 and apply to all passengers two years and older, as well as U.S. citizens returning to America. For those that previously tested positive, they must show documentation of recovery, with airlines being responsible for verifying the negative test results and post-COVID paperwork.