In San Pedro there's a real quarantine and a state of emergency in effect, and it's been extended to 30 days. That town is in a virtual lockdown, with no boats or planes in or out of the island.
Things get a little busy between 7:00 and 10:00 am when shops, bakeries, and gas stations are permitted to open, but after midday, it goes back to silent mode. Residents tell us that those who still have money line up outside to get a turn inside the shops to get some groceries.
It's a tough situation for the place known as Belize's island paradise - which has turned into a sort of soft prison for those who got stranded there when the quarantine order came down.
Today, the Attorney General said the state of Emergency may not last for 30 full days:
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General"No person shall enter or exit Ambergris Caye for the next 27 days. Nobody can go to Ambergric Caye, nobody can leave Ambergris Caye. If you're not from Ambergris Caye and you're stuck there, we ask you to kindly to be patient with us while we do a full mapping. Even though it is for the next 27 days, it may not last the full 27 days. In 5 days, in 10 days we can come and say listen, we have the issue contained and we no longer need the 30 days and we're revoking the declaration of public emergency."Lawless Landlords Could Be Charged
And hopefully there will also be charges for heartless landlords on San Pedro who are evicting tenants in the middle of a state of emergency on the island. We have received such reports this week and the AG said it is illegal:
Hon. Michael Peyrefitte - Attorney General"You can only be kicked out by virtue of a directive from the Magistrate's court. Landlord can't come and kick you out, most of places who have rental agreements, by law, there must be a period of notice and usually that notice is at the time when you pay the rent. So if you're paying the rent on a monthly basis, then you have 30 days' notice, which is the length of the state of emergency. So you would have to wait until the state of emergency is over. Next thing, if you purposely kick a person out and you know that person has nowhere else to go, clearly you have taken an action to me that will cause panic and fear, which means under the summary jurisdiction act if you just do that, with no reason, just out of spite, then you are committing an offence. Not only that, no policeman can come and just take somebody out of a residence and say the landlord wants you out, the policeman must have a judicial order that says that."Channel 7