Belize announces reopening date
June 27, 2020
Last Update: 2020-06-27 13:01:19
Belize prime minister Dean Barrow announced that the Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen on Aug. 15 effectively jumpstarting international tourism to the country once again.
“I want to repeat that the decision has not been an easy one. In our region, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to surge. In the US, our greatest source market for tourism, the number of states experiencing substantial jumps in the rates of infections is alarming,” said Barrow at a press conference to country. “Particularly concerning is that Florida seems likely to become the new American epicenter and California and Texas, two of the states from which there are also direct flights to Belize, are among those seeing a pronounced resurgence of the virus.
“In the circumstances, and with the experts confirming that no end to this sea of corona troubles is in sight, it seemed to us futile that waiting any longer would provide a more favorable launching pad for our tourism restart,” he added.
Protocols for COVID-19 in Belize © Courtesy of the Government of Belize Press Office
What you need to do when visiting Belize
Before arriving in Belize, there are a series of steps visitors must follow. Immediately after receiving a hotel confirmation, travelers must download the Belize Health app which will allow authorities to monitor movements throughout the country. Visitors must check into the app daily.
Travelers are encouraged to take a PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival. According to the Belize tourism website, “A certified negative result will put you on the fast track arrival lane at the airport.”
Those who don’t take a test before arriving will have to take a test at the airport at their own expense. Those who test positive will be quarantined for 14 days at an approved facility and at their own expense.
A nine-point program called “Tourism Gold Standard” has been implemented for restaurants, hotels and tour operators. Among the new set of protocols: face masks in public, hand sanitizing stations, capacity restrictions for group tours and contactless payment systems.
International airlines like United, American, Delta and Avianca are expected to resume flights on Aug. 15.
There have been 23 recorded positive results and two deaths in the country due to COVID-19. Land borders to Mexico and Guatemala will remain closed for the foreseeable future.