Despite the various warnings on the importance of strict adherence to the Quarantine Emergency Measures, persons are not adhering to these warnings. If Belize is to remain in front of this COVID 19 pandemic, we must adhere to all measures put in place. In particular individuals and businesses are not adhering to the Social Distance requirement.
Statutory Instrument No. 38 of 2020 requires:
1. Persons must not gather in numbers greater than ten in public and private property and maintaining a social distance of no less than three feet apart ( except where the persons live on the property)
2. The business allowed to open must have the three feet distance clearly marked in front of the counter and outside were person queue before gaining entrance into such business.
Sections 7 of the Quarantine Act Chapter 41 of the Substantive Laws of Belize create offenses for any violation of the Quarantine Emergency Measures, directives and orders of the Quarantine Authority.
Section 7 states:
7.–(1) Any person who,
(a) refuses to answer or knowingly gives an untrue answer to any inquiry made under the authority of this Act, or intentionally withholds any information reasonably required of him by any officer or other person acting under the
the authority of this Act, or knowingly furnishes to any such officer or other people any information which is false;
(b) refuses or wilfully omits to do any act which he is required to do by this Act, or refuses or willfully omits to carry out any lawful order, instruction or condition made, given or imposed by any officer or other person acting under the
the authority of this Act; or
(c) assaults, resists, wilfully obstructs, or intimidates any officer or other person acting under the authority of this Act, or offers or gives a bribe to any officer or person in connection with his powers or duties under this Act, or being such officer or person, demands, solicits or takes a bribe in connection with his powers or duties under this Act, or otherwise obstructs the execution of this Act, is guilty of an offense and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months or to both.
(2) Any person who is guilty of any other offense against this Act is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months or to both.
Section 10 states:
10.–(1) It shall be the duty of every member of the police department to enforce, using force if necessary, compliance with this Act and with any order, instruction or condition lawfully made, given or imposed by any officer or other
person under the authority of this Act, and for such purpose, any member of the police department may board any ship or aircraft and may enter any premises without a warrant.
(2)Any member of the police department may arrest without a warrant any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to have committed any offense against this Act.
(3) In this section, “member of the police department” includes a member of any police organization constituted by law who has the general powers of a member of the police department.
The Belize Police Department, therefore, calls on all our citizens to work with us by ensuring full compliance with the measures being implemented with a view to ensure that we keep our country free from COVID 19virus. Any person found in violation of these measures and in particular that of ‘social distance’ will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.