Written by the Belize Tourism Board.
As global economies gradually begin to open, what air travelers can expect are heightened levels of health screening at airports as questions multiply of how to safely restart air travel. The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (PGIA) which closed late March to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, reopens ahead of land borders and cruise tourism as Phase 3 of Belize’s Travel Reopening Plan. The PGIA handles more than 385,000 passengers annually; numerous changes have been done during its near 6-month closure: awareness signage, floor markings, and two-meter physical distancing precautions. As the travel industry rethinks design around pedestrian flow, here’s what to expect in Belize’s international airport the next time you travel.
WHAT’S NEW ON ARRIVAL
The Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitation measures, along with the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) for all employees. Travelers will find protective barriers and sneeze guards between them, passengers, and both immigration and customs officers. Inside, hand sanitizing stations throughout the terminal building will be easily accessible to assist with proper hand hygiene. On entry, floor decals and markers, placed approximately six feet apart, will promote social distancing and assist passengers in lining up without crowding. Additionally, passenger luggage will be sanitized with a multi-purpose approved disinfectant prior to transfer into the terminal building.
On arrival, self-service kiosks or an airport representative will be available to verify your registration on the Belize Health App; alongside with your negative COVID-19 test result, if available, to fast-track. Belize’s Ministry of Health has established a health surveillance unit at the airport for testing, located just outside of Terminal 2. The clinic will accommodate 16 passengers at a time, in addition to being air conditioned with restroom facilities.
WHAT’S NEW AT DEPARTURE
Residents and visitors departing from Belize will also see new enhanced health and safety measures implemented. Some of these new measures include limiting entry into the terminal building to ticketed passengers only. Inside, much like every public space in Belize, the use of face masks is mandatory while in the terminal building. Meanwhile, expect safety barriers at the Belize airport check-in counters and Immigration area, to separate staff and passenger. Belize will implement digital baggage carousels later, in addition to contactless loading at check-in. Here, the number of check-in counters will reduce, allowing faster passenger processing; allowing them to shop or eat in other areas of the terminal prior to boarding flights.