Prior to this afternoon’s press conference, there had been persistent hearsay on social media that the prime minister would be bringing into effect a countrywide lockdown in attempting to mitigate the possible spread of coronavirus in Belize. At the start of that media briefing, PM Barrow made it clear to the nation that there will not be an immediate shut down amid the ongoing crisis brought about by COVID-19. He admitted that while it is foreseeable that another state of emergency may be declared, banks and other financial institutions, as well as grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We are not announcing a national shutdown. We are not announcing the declaration of a state of emergency. So I want to make clear to the people of this county that it may yet come to that. If it comes to that we will give some notice and in any event, since that is at the very least a possibility and I would go so far as to say a likelihood depending on how things evolve. I need to make clear right at the start that if we got to that point it would not mean that every last little thing would be locked down, there would be no need for people to rush the supermarkets, there would be no need for any run at the banks. Financial institutions, supermarkets, grocery stores, all those things would remain open.”

Channel 5