A recent spike in the number of COVID-19 infections, four hundred and three active cases reported on Wednesday, continues to raise serious concerns for the Ministry of Health and Wellness.  While all efforts are being made to vaccinate as many Belizeans, there is a group that is against getting the shots.  Well, there is also a segment of the population that is against wearing masks.  Earlier this week, it was reported that two elderly persons from Spanish Lookout had succumbed to the illness.  That Mennonite community, it turns out, has not been adhering to the COVID protocols which include the wearing of face masks in places where business is being conducted.  A trip to Spanish Lookout on Wednesday was a shocker for Commissioner of Police Chester Williams who saw for himself that the regulations were completely being disregarded.

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I went to Spanish Lookout yesterday and I visited one store and I was really and truly pissed because, like you rightly said, no one in the store was wearing a mask and I got after them.  I don’t know how they never called the talk shows and reported me because I went off and right away I got on the phone with the O.C. in San Ignacio and I told him to ensure that patrols are done in Spanish Lookout and to take along three ticket books because I am sure that if they do that they would be able to exhaust those ticket books.  People in Spanish Lookout need to understand that they are part of Belize and they are subject to the laws of this country and so, just like how people in the other parts of this country are adherent to the regulations and when they are not they are penalized, the same should be done in Spanish Lookout.”

Reporter

“How is the Home Affairs Ministry dealing with the enforcement of mask wearing in the Mennonite communities because we’ve heard that they haven’t been wearing any masks?”

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“It’s actually an issue that came out on our national tour when we visited San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the San Ignacio formation, because a lot of the officers had that concern that we were not to enforce in Spanish Lookout and we said absolutely not.  Spanish Lookout is a part of our country and they serve Belizeans from all across the country every day, on a daily basis.  And so, they have a responsibility not just to protect themselves but to protect those individuals who come there for commerce each day.  And so the police department, and those in particular at the San Ignacio formation, have that directive that they are to enforce the regulations in Spanish Lookout and other Mennonite communities across Belize.”

Channel 5