Where To Get Tested For COVID-19 in Belize Before Departing? 

by Larry Waight

Travel during the pandemic has been a challenge. Fortunately, Belize has taken many measures to keep both residents and visitors safe, including careful cleanliness standards, providing training, and other safety measures. One facet of this is making sure travelers test negative to leave the country. All air travelers going to the United States need to show a negative COVID-19 viral test within a day prior to boarding their flight. This rule has been in effect since December 6, 2021, and applies to everyone, regardless of their vaccination status or citizenship. 

In fact, all travelers are required to test before they get to their next destination after leaving Belize. For those going to America, even if they are just transiting through a U.S. airport on route to their final destination, they are required by the CDC to have a medically certified negative test before they can board their flight. If you are not traveling to the United States, but are instead going to Canada, Europe, or some Caribbean countries, the requirement is a PCR test within 72 hours of departure.

Where Can I Get a COVID Test in Belize?

caring hands clinic lodge jaguar reef belize

Get tested on the beach at Caring Hands Clinic’s branch at The Lodge at Jaguar Reef.

Ultimately, there are testing sites available throughout Belize, but one of the best is the Caring Hands Clinic Antigen Test Center. Tests are performed by trained and compassionate medical professionals who provide the highest standards of care. With branches in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye,  Placencia, Hopkins, Dangriga, San Ignacio, and Belize City, they’re also conveniently accessible to hotels and resorts in these popular destinations. However, the clinic offers mobile testing if you can’t make it in either. 

Both rapid and PCR tests are offered, and all products comply with both CDC and FDA regulations as well as MOHW requirements. These tests are safe and the staff at the clinics meet the high standards of the Belize Ministry of Health & Wellness.

All clinics include three main areas: a comfortable reception area, a private consultation area where visitors can receive attention from a licensed doctor if necessary, and a testing area with a booth, a privacy curtain, and a lab. Electrostatic cleaners, FDA-approved chemicals, and UV sterilizers are all used to make sure that safety is a priority during testing and that the clinic provides a safe, clean, and comfortable environment. 

Are they open every day?

caring hands clinic Belize City tza Maya island air covid test laboratory

The Caring Hands Clinics open from 9 am to 5 pm daily. Call-outs as early as 6:30 am are accommodated if needed. 

What’s the cost of a test in Belize?

maya covid test 2

Testing for COVID-19. Photo via Caring Hands Clinic

The rapid antigen test costs just US$75 while the PCR test is US$200. Both types of tests meet the requirements for a viral test by the CDC. Since the rapid antigen test is quite a bit less expensive, it tends to be more popular. Also, it suits the needs of American travelers better since the test results are provided within about 15 minutes while a PCR test can take up to 24 hours to provide a result.

Since there is no additional charge to schedule your test at a clinic close to your vacation spot, it makes sense to take care of it there and avoid the lines and delays at, say, the airport.  

Can eMed self-test kits be used in Belize? 

Unfortunately, these self-test kits are not considered a legal option according to Belize’s Public Health Act, so the customs department would confiscate the self-test kits at the airport. You could be denied boarding if you have self-test kits from eMed or a similar service.  

Do I need to take the test the day I board my flight to leave Belize? 

It’s better to take your test the day before your departure. That will give you peace of mind and avoid any delays.  

Will insurance cover my test?  

It’s important to check directly with your insurance provider. Many travelers do get reimbursement thanks to their coverage, but all claims are not built the same.

How do I pay and make an appointment? 

There are many ways to make an appointment. You can go online at this link or use your phone to call or text, live chat, or email. Additionally, your test can be paid for via either cash or a credit card. Please note that even if you are vaccinated, a valid COVID test is still required. 

What if I test positive for COVID in Belize? 


Photo courtesy Maya Island Air

Hopefully, you will not test positive for COVID. Belize has stringent safety measures to ensure both residents and visitors are kept safe and has a very good track record. Nevertheless, procedures are in place to care for travelers who test positive. If that happens, the doctor and nurse at the clinic will provide compassionate care according to protocols determined by Belize’s Ministry of Health and Wellness. This will provide intermediary care until the person can be transferred to an isolation facility provided by the Ministry of Health to begin treatment. 

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