The Government of Belize faced a very difficult decision when imposing visa/travel restrictions related to SARS. I don't envy the individuals who were given the task of coming up with a plan.

This ban affects the local population in many ways, and is not restricted to empty beds in hotels.

People from India and other parts of Asia are a very important part of the population of Belize. There are are thousands of Belizeans who are of East Indian and Asian decent (many many more than those of US or Canadian origins). Many of them are immigrants, and for them the thought of a relative not being able to come "home to Belize" or travel abroad to visit an elderly relative is a very serious concern.

Tourism is obviously a very important part of the Belizean economy. Banning entry to any large number of holiday travelers is a difficult thing - but far worse would be seeing our population infected by SARS and having ALL travel to the country cease as a result.

With SARS, a 10-day incubation period (and probably a shorter infectious period)means that the virus needs to travel fast in order to spread. Under these conditions, it is more likely that affluent/frequent world travelers will be the ones carrying the disease to new places. Remember AIDS - "Patient Zero" was a flight attendant from Quebec.

With visions of good health to all ........