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Today's Belize News: April 2, 2020 #541442
04/02/20 06:26 AM
04/02/20 06:26 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,050
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.

The San Pedro Sun

Island authorities make arrangements to return mainland residents back home
A large number of people confined to the island since March 23rd following the first confirmed COVID-19 (Coronavirus) case lined up by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) on Barrier Reef Drive on Wednesday, April 1st. This was an attempt to join a list of persons who will be transported to the mainland on Saturday, April 4th. Many of the applicants were trapped on the island when a state of emergency was declared over a week ago, and no one was allowed to leave.

Three island residents charged for breaching quarantine curfew
As the entire nation heads into a state of emergency for 30 days, with a strict curfew to further avoid any possible spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), San Pedro Town continues on a mandatory quarantine, which demands islanders to stay at home, particularly after dark. The penalty for breaching this order of the quarantine saw three islanders charged with ‘Breach of Curfew Conditions’ after their children were out after 6PM. They were each fined $500 plus $5 in court costs, and were ordered to pay before March 31, 2021, or face one month’s imprisonment.

BTB offers Hoteliers COVID19 Tax Relief for the month of March
• Hoteliers are being asked to submit their Monthly Accommodation Tax Returns (MATRs) and Guest Registration Forms (GRFs) for March via the BTB Online Portal. • The BTB will automatically apply 100% tax credit for the total taxes assessed for the month of March, essentially resulting in Nil Accommodation Tax Due.

Returning to Mainland Homes from San Pedro
People are lining up at the San Pedro Town Council as they attempt to return to their communities of origin on the mainland. Persons needing to leave the island are asked to provide the San Pedro Town Council with their information. After reviewed you will be contacted and advised about a vessel that is expected to be transporting people to the mainland on Saturday, April 4th.

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19: G.O.B. Declaration of National State of Emergency
In conformity with the national effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and guided by the declared National State of Emergency and the Ministry of Health advisories, the public is hereby informed that the Fisheries Department’s Offices (Belize City and Punta Gorda) will be closed to the public effective April 02, 2020 until further notice. Fishermen are informed that fishing activities will be permitted outside of the declared curfew hours (8:00 PM to 5:00 AM). The public is also informed that the marine reserves will be closed to visitation until further notice. The public is encouraged to submit their queries online via our email addresses for the following services:

Hope Haven and Casa Nova Cabañas team up to supply San Pedro Town residents with potable water
The pandemic COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to affect islanders who are now unemployed and without essentials, such as water. Since Saturday, March 28th, over 300 gallons of potable water have been distributed to residents of San Pedro Town. The first beneficiaries were some of the residents from the San Mateo Area, and since then, the project has visited other areas of the island to supply the vital liquid. The project is possible thanks to Hope Haven (San Pedro Town’s Children Home), who provided Rotoplas tanks that were filled with water by Casa Nova Cabañas, a Bed & Breakfast in the Secret Beach area of northern Ambergris Caye.

Ambergris Today

PIC OF THE WEEK: Beautiful Gathering Of Spotted Eagle Rays On Ambergris Caye
Did you know a group of rays is called a 'fever'? Well, here is a large gathering of Spotted Eagle Rays near docks on Ambergris Caye. Now that the waterways around San Pedro are very quiet, the sea creatures of the coral reef are venturing closer to the shores and around the many docks. Here is a picture which Trent Turley took and shares with us. WOW!

San Pedro Town Council Says Restrictions For Ambergris Caye Remain The Same
The San Pedro Town Council's Press Release states that the regulations that were made on its previous Press Release from March 25, 2020 by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro’s EOC committee on the advice from the Ministry of Health, in order to accommodate the needs of the residents STILL REMAIN IN ORDER. These are in addition to the regulations set by the Goverment of Belize for the State of Emergency for the Enitre Country.

Various Belizean Sources



On Tuesday March 31st, 2020, the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition held a press conference on update of the COVID-19 status of Belize and its measurements to ensure the safety of all the citizens of the country. In the press conference, the Prime Minister, announced a State of Emergency for the entire country; however, Ambergris Caye is in its own State of Emergency with additional regulations from that of the entire country’s one. The following regulations will be enforced according to the Country’s State of Emergency: Country State of Emergency goes into effect Thursday at 12:00 a.m. A curfew will be implemented from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Everything MUST be closed. No one will be allowed to be on the streets. No loitering, wandering, assembling or moving at any public place or any public roads...

The 1918 Spanish Influenza in British Honduras
Take note of the report from Belize which states that the men who were not showing symptoms were not quarantined and therefore passed it onto their families. THIS is exactly why individuals coming into the country were asked to self isolate! Select documents from the Minute Paper Collection (Colonial Secretary Office Files) which gives insight into the how the 1918 Influenza was imported into the country, its symptoms, measures taken by the colonial government and statistics from the districts.

Due to the National State of Emergency brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, effective tomorrow, April 2, Tropic Air will be temporarily suspending all passenger flights. The last flights are currently scheduled for today, Wednesday, April 1. We anticipate this suspension to last for a period of 30 days. Cargo flights will continue on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between Belize City Municipal, San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Corozal only. The operational days and hours for the stations to receive and distribute cargo for these flights is shared below. Cargo flights to/from Orange Walk, Belmopan, San Ignacio, Dangriga, Punta Gorda, and Placencia are suspended until further notice.

The COVID-19 pandemic may begin to affect our collective welfare triggering an increase in work-related stress, personal lives, anxiety/nervousness, financial management and depression. To assist public officers during this time, the Ministry of Public Service is offering teletherapy through its Employee Assistance Program.

Procedure to Manage Respiratory Illnesses in the Belize District
Effective immediately, ALL patients with respiratory illnesses such as cough, cold, fever, sneezing body aches and pains should no longer go into their regular health facility. The procedures are as follows: 1. Please call ahead to your respective clinic to discuss your case with the triage nurse. 2. Please inform the doctor and nurse of the following: a. Have you traveled outside of Belize in the last 30 days? b. Have you been in contact with someone who traveled outside Belize in the last 30 days?

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19 from the Fisheries Department

Notice from The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry would like to notify the public that our western Union agent locations will remain open with certain restrictions. We also want our customers to know that you can use Direct to Bank service to SEND money directly to a bank account and our Air App service to make your transaction faster and easier. For more information call us at 223-5080, 223-5330 or WhatsApp 614-3138. Western Union hours & locations.

We had previously noted that there are no specific medications for COVID-19, that recommendation still stands! We are also getting reports on persons now procuring from certain pharmacies, two medications: hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin; both medications CAN AND SHOULD ONLY BE SOLD with a prescription. Both medications when used inadequately can have serious side effects so they should not be used by the population UNLESS approved and authorized by your treating doctor.

Precautionary Measures for COVID-19 from the Office of the Supervisor of Insurance & Private Pensions
In conformity with national efforts to contain the COVID 19 pandemic and guided by the declared National State of Emergency and the Ministry of Health advisories, the General Public is hereby informed that the Office of the Supervisor of Insurance and Private Pension (OSIPP) will be closed as of 2nd April 2020 until further notice. OSIPP will continue to provide services to the General Public, where possible, via online correspondence.

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19 from the Fisheries Department
In conformity with the national effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and guided by the declared National State of Emergency and the Ministry of Health advisories, the public is hereby informed that the Fisheries Department's Offices (Belize City and Punta Gorda) will be closed to the public effective April 02, 2020 until further notice. Fishermen are informed that fishing activities will be permitted outside of the declared curfew hours (8:00 PM to 5:00 AM). The public is also informed that the marine reserves will be closed to visitation until further notice.

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19 from the Department of the Environment
Recognizing that some persons carrying the COVID-19 virus may not be presenting symptoms, the Department of the Environment (DOE) is taking the following preventative measures to protect its personnel and the community from getting and fostering the accelerated spreading of COVID-19. While basing its response in line with the Declaration of National State of Emergency and Ministry of Health advisories, the DOE is taking preventative steps to limit exposure to its staff while keeping continued services to the public.

UK: Foreign travel advicefor Belize
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.

The Ministry of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development hereby provides contact information for Labour Technical Officers and Frequently Asked Questions
Kindly click the link below for access to the Statutory Instrument and Labour Act referenced in the FAQ.

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19 – Notice to Customers from the Forestry Department
The Forest Department joins the country of Belize in monitoring the evolving situation as it relates to the Corona (COVID 19) Pandemic. In response to the declaration of the National State of Emergency and the advisories of the Ministry of Health, the Forest Department has activated its response plan which focuses on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its staff, their families and the public while remaining operational remotely. The Forest Department offices countrywide will be closed to the public but will continue to provide online services only, effective April 2 2020 (until further notice) Forest Department has put in place the following measures to be implemented with immediate effect.

Fishing activities are still PROHIBITED in Ambergris Caye
Violators will be arrested as mentioned in our Press Release from March 25, 2020 (see attached). Please adhere to these measurements as it is implemented for the safety of all residents.

Registration for "Stranded" Visitors to San Pedro to Return Home
Persons that were conducting business or visiting San Pedro Town and were stranded on the island after the lockdown was announced, can register at the office of the San Pedro Town Council to make arrangements for your return home. Thursday and Friday only. 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. *Must bring a form of Identification.

Covid-19 cases in Belize remain at 3 out of 115 tests
Have a blessed evening my fellow Belizeans, informing you all that our Central Medical Laboratory performed 12 tests today and all came out negative to COVID-19, a total of 115 tests have been done and we remain with 3 COVID-19 positive cases. As posted on our Ministry of Health Facebook Page, we have the PPEs and masks required for our staff and at the moment we are procuring more.

Passes for Operation during COVID-19 State of Emergency Curfew Hours
Beginning April 2nd, 2020, the Government of Belize will implement a nationwide state of emergency which will restrict the movement of essential workers within 8:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. Therefore, authorized essential workers. as outlined in Schedule 1 of SI No. 46 of 2020, who are required to work and move without restrictions during the curfew hours will be allowed to move freely at any place or any time while observing social distancing protocols, with a pass authorized and signed by the Minister of National Security.

Update re: immigration stamps/extensions
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Immigration hereby notifies the public, and especially visitors holding temporary immigration status through visitors' extensions and permits, that the issuance of extensions is suspended until further notice due to the current restrictions on movement as a result of COVID- 19. Persons are reminded that this measure is being taken, not as a write-off or forgiveness of required fees, but to assist in ensuring the safety of immigration officers as well as visitors, while also encouraging observance of the restrictions of the state of emergency.

Public Transportation Bus Schedule for the Country of Belize effective 2nd April, 2020

The COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program
The co-chairs of the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee, the Rt Hon. Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, agreed on March 16, 2020, to establish the Economic Oversight Team (EOT) comprising Dr. Carla Barnett and Mr. Christopher Coye, to, among other things, oversee the establishment and operationalization of the Unemployment Relief Program. The program will offer financial assistance to meet the needs of workers who, having been terminated or laid off, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program.

Precautionary Measures for Preventing and Slowing the Transmission of COVID-19
Recognizing that some persons carrying the COVID-19 virus may not be presenting symptoms, the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is taking the following preventative measures to protect its personnel and the community from getting and fostering the accelerated spreading of COVID-19. While basing its response in line with the Declaration of National State of Emergency and Ministry of Health advisories, the Ministry of Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development is taking preventative steps to limit exposure to its staff while keeping continued services to the public.

Notice from Atlantic Bank
Dear Valued Customers, In light of Covid-19 and the country's nationwide State of Emergency we would like to assure our customers that we will continue to provide essential banking services. With ensuring the health and safety of our customers, staff and communities we have adjusted our opening hours, starting on Thursday April 2nd, 2020: • All branches except our Ladyville branch will be opened from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. • Ladyville branch will be opened from 9:00 AM — 12:00 PM. • Drive thrus will be opened from 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM. • All branches and drive thrus will be closed on Saturdays.

Corozal Revenue Dept Notice
THE COROZAL TOWN COUNCIL'S REVENUE DEPARTMENT WILL NO LONGER HAVE THEIR DOORS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BUT WILL BE AVAILABLE VIA ONLINE. ONLINE WORKING POLICY 1. The Corozal Town Council will be accepting online payments for Property Tax, Trade License, Commercial Garbage, Banners and Billboards, Market Rental and Cemetery Fees. Banking information is as follows: 2. Payment Slips must be sent to the Following Contact Information: Email Address: — Eleazar N. Tobar 3. Receipts will be forwarded after Payment slips are received. 4. This Contact will also be available for any queries or concerns regarding Property Tax, Trade License, Commercial Garbage, Banners and Billboards, Market Rental and Cem-etery Fees.

BEL Office Opening Hours Effective April 1, 2020

The National Institute of Culture and History suspends access and services to the General Public
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) in recognition of the evolving situation relating to the Corona (COVID-19) Pandemic, the recent declaration of the National State of Emergency, and the advisories of the Ministry of Health, has activated its response plan which focuses on safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the Belizean public, our staff, and their families.

Unbelievable, but true. - by Ripley. I have locked myself for several days now.- WHY ? - for my good and that of my beloved Wife, my Family, my Friends and my Country. We are experiencing what we never imagine would ever happen. Every thing is standing STILL. As I have stated previously, our traditional way of WORSHIPING has been abruptly STOPPED. Our very freedoms as citizens, have been curtailed under threats of STATE punishment, for our own good. I decided this afternoon to go down to see my TWIN Towns, as I have known it for some 80 years. WOW, Dead as a cemetery can be. - Columbus Park not a soul.

San Pedro Tourist Guide Association IMPORTANT NOTICE
To all tour guides, Please be patient and wait for the financial assistance process to go through. On Friday April 3rd, 2020 the form will be available on the SSB website. This form can be filled in online. If you don't have online access you can pick up the applications at the SSB office Friday afternoon. The completed form will then be vetted. This takes about a week. Your financial assistance will be deposited into your bank account. If you don't have account then you can pick it up at the treasury department.

Home care for people with suspicion or confirmation of COVID-19
Take care of yourself and your family. For the sick people 1.- If you have a fever and cough wash your hands with water and soap or alcohol based soap. 2.- Stay home, don't go to work, school or public spaces. Rest, drink lots of liquids and eat healthy foods. 3.- Stay in a separate room from your family members, but if this is not possible, use a mouths cover and keep a distance of approximately 1 meter from other people. Keep the room well ventilated and use a private bathroom if possible...

NOTICE: Precautionary Measures to Slow the Transmission of COVID-19 | Statistical Institute of Belize
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) advises its clients, stakeholders, and the general public that effective Thursday, April 2nd, 2020, its offices will not be open to the public. This is being done as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of our staff and valued clients. In keeping with social distancing requirements, data collection exercises that involve face-to-face interviews are temporarily suspended until it is deemed safe to resume such activities. Nonetheless, the work of the SIB will carry on, with staff working from home until further notice.

Channel 7

Regulations Released For National State Of Emergency
Belize goes into a 30 day nation-wide state of emergency at midnight tonight - and for a very large part of the population that means one month of lockdown. The State of Emergency and curfew has been declared to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Proclamation Declaring a Sate of Public Emergency has been signed by the Governor General, and he also signed the regulations which were circulated this evening. Here - in a nutshell is what they say. First off, there's a curfew from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am daily. And while there is no curfew during the day, you can only move for the following reasons:

State of Emergency Means No Leisure Movement
And cooperating means not engaging in any recreational or leisure movement: whether it's taking a walk, or going to a friend's house. Commissioner Williams says it starts with no inter district travel: Jules Vasquez: "How will you all treat inter-district travel as the Easter holiday approach?"

Will Police Play By The Rules
Now, as we said, police are given broad powers during this time. But, it's not exactly like the Southside state of emergency where you can be locked up for weeks before seeing a judge. The enemy this time isn't the criminal element; it's a virus and Commissioner Williams outlined the rules of engagement for police:

Attorney Saldivar Got Bail For a Firearm Offence?
Last night, we told you about the latest developments in the police detention of attorney Arthur Saldivar. He's already facing a criminal charge for allegedly spreading fake news, and tonight, he out on bail for firearms charges because according to police, they found unlicensed guns, ammunition and a bulletproof vest at his family home in Camalote Village.

Slipping In Through The Sarstoon?
Belize's borders are all closed as part of the national effort to minimise the exposure of citizens to the coronavirus. But, that didn't stop a vessel with 2 Guatemalans and a Belizean National from trying to enter the country illegally through the Sarstoon River today. We are reliably informed that the Belize Coast Guard was contacted this afternoon by BDF soldiers who are stationed the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base. Those soldiers reported that an unknown vessel was heading in the direction of the Coast Guard's Barranco patrol. The BDF intercepted the vessel and escorted it and those on board to the Coast Guard.

A Portal For Paying Tax
Submissions for accommodation tax returns should be made via the BTB's online portal. Use of the portal is encouraged during this time of social distancing. And in more of our conversation with Tejada, he told us that the BTB is trying to reach a digital age in which it will be relatively quick and easy to know hotel occupancy levels and forthcoming hotel taxes. Ted Tejada - President, Belize Hotel Association: "The portal is something that each hotel has to report all their hotel guests checking into the hotels on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis..."

The Hospitality Census
One giant leap toward that digital age may have come through the census carried out by the BTB earlier this month. It yielded some interesting results and Tejada told us that the overarching desire of all hoteliers at this time was to support as much of their staff as possible. Ted Tejada - President, Belize Hotel Association: "The Belize hotel association ended up calling about 900 hotels out of 900 we got responses from 70% of the hotels. At that point in time, we found out that in terms of a global the way the standard is for every room that a hotel has they normally employ one employee. So we know that the country of Belize has a little bit over 9000 rooms available every single day..."

What Was Pre-Curfew Shopping Rush Like?
Have you done your state of Emergency shopping? Today was the last day to move freely without a curfew hanging over your head. Now, don't get it wrong, grocery stores will be open during the state of emergency, butidle shopping around will not be encouraged. And while empty store shelves and toilet paper shortages have become the norm in international news clips, you might be wondering how the COVID-19 crisis will affect your local grocer.

Ask the Experts About Social Security
Ask The Experts, it's a webcast hosted by the Government Press Office to provide accurate information about Belize's national COVID-19 response. In the last 3 weeks, this Facebook broadcast has become one of the Government's main communication tools. Today's featured experts were representatives of the Social Security Board and the Labour Department, and Belizeans got to ask them about what to expect when it comes to the sudden unemployment of thousands of Belizeans.

How To Get Those COVID Benefits
Social Security is also providing the public with 2 options to make claims for their benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of them is electronic, and the other is the old analog system that will be a bit challenging, due to health risks to social security employees. Nisbet-Cansino discussed both options, and she also shared why SSB is hoping that most of your benefits claims will arrive via email:

What About Your COVID Sickness Benefit?
The SSB representative also outlined what steps you would have to take at Social Security if you end up sick with the coronavirus and you were one of those employees who recently lost their job. Here's what she had to say about the safety net for those persons: "So the Prime Minister of Belize signed a statutory instrument number 43 of 2020 on Friday and what statutory instrument does is gives us the legal authority to waive the criteria of being an employed person. We're paying sickness benefits should you be diagnosed with COVID-19 and so, if you're not aware, to qualify for any short term benefit at social security, one of the requirements is that you are uninsurable employment, which means that to qualify for short term benefit for social security, you have to be employed at the time of the claim..."

Cooking on A COVID Budget, Finny-Style
Tonight, COVID - 19 has brought the Belizean economy to its knees, thousands of tourism workers across the country have lost their jobs, and tonight thousands more are in limbo, because the state of emergency has forced their place of employment to close, possibly for a month. So, a whole cross section of the society is facing very hard times. And so we've been prospecting out there for recipes on how to help folks prepare meals on a tight budget.

Making Meals For The Stranded
And while Finnegan showed you how to stretch your corned beef, one San Pedro woman is stretching resources for all those people trapped on the island town. Maresha Reid, Chef and restaurateur, is putting her talents to use by organizing a COVID-time feeding program for those trapped on the island without any cooking facilities.

Masking Port Loyola
And it seems that in crisis, philanthropy abounds. Our next story is about Mayra Munoz, a Port Loyola seamstress filling a vital need in her community. Mayra had been commissioned to make some masks for UDP Port Loyola standard...

City Council Get Pay Cut, Half-Gone!
Belize City Council employees got dealt a blow today. A letter from their city administrator dated today says, quote, "the Council is compelled to pay salaries at reduced rates for the April 1 st - April 15 th pay period. We have determined that it is currently financially feasible to pay all employees at half-salary during the State of Emergency. Note that these salary reductions are being applied across the board and for all pay scales.

Tutorial On how To Get COVID Assistance
You've been hearing about the COVID-19 financial relief that the government will be providing to the unemployed and recently unemployed. The application form for these funds will be online by April 3, 2020 and a public announcement will be made once the form goes live. A press release tonight says that once applications are received, the verification and approval process will immediately begin; Verification is being automated so it should be a quick process and Relief payments should commence in the week of April 6, 2020

What Happens to An Employment Contract in A State of Emergency?
We turn now to a few of the labor concerns that Belizeans raised with the Ask the Experts panel this evening during the webcast. One viewer asked the labor commissioner about the contractual obligations that employers have to their staff during the state of emergency. Here's how she answered that one:

What Will Employees Get?
Another Belizean asked the Labor Commissioner about an employee's financial expectations should be if their employer decides to close down business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What About Those On The Frontline?
And finally, from today's webcast, we have the response that the Labor Commissioner gave to a question about the possibility that the frontline workers - such as the police and the medical professionals - could get sick with the coronavirus while providing essential services.

Tropic Air, More Changes
Last week, we told you how Tropic Air had scaled back a significant portion of its operation to cope with loss in business that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, the local air carrier has downsized a bit more for tomorrow's start of the state of emergency and curfew. The company says that effective April 2nd, 2020, they will be temporarily suspending all passenger flights. The last flights were scheduled for today, and Tropic Air is anticipating that tomorrow's suspension to last for 30 days.

Fisheries Staying Afloat
The Fisheries Department is reporting tonight they are taking a few steps to remain operational during the pandemic and the State of Emergency. They say that in conformity with the national effort to contain the spread of the virus, the Fisheries Department offices in Belize City and Punta Gorda will be closed to the public starting tomorrow, until further notice. Also, all marine reserves under their care will be close to visitation until further notice.

The Regulations, Again
And, so the state of emergency goes into effect tonight at midnight. Here again are the limitations on movement and services that can be offered: Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General: "During the hours of 8pm and 5am the next day, everything will be closed with a few exceptions: People will not be allowed to wonder on the streets or be on the streets except a few designated people. During the day hours certain businesses will be open, certain businesses will not be open. If you are going to be moving during the state of emergency, you have to be moving with a purpose..."

Re: Today's Belize News: April 2, 2020 [Re: Marty] #541443
04/02/20 06:27 AM
04/02/20 06:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,050
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Channel 5

National State of Emergency is Just a Few Hours Away
It has been thirty-nine years since the last state of emergency of this kind was imposed, but at midnight, a national shutdown will kick in across the country placing restrictions [...]

Essential Workers, with Limitations, Allowed Movement During State of Emergency
The state of emergency includes a strict curfew from eight p.m. until five a.m.  During these hours, only some essential workers will be allowed to be out, but their movement [...]

Chester Williams: No More Warnings, Persons Now Being Charged for Not Adhering to Laws
As you know, a number of persons are already facing charges for not observing social distancing as is required at this time to contain the spread of COVID-19.   To ensure [...]

Returning Belizeans Up North Are Quarantined at a Hotel in Corozal Town
Even though all entry points have been closed, Belizeans cannot be left stateless and are allowed to re-enter the country.  But because persons returning from countries where the COVID-19 is [...]

ComPol Says Police Need to Know Who is in Quarantine
As you have seen, the B.D.F. is on guard at a hotel up north where a number of persons are on mandatory quarantine. This morning, the commissioner said the police [...]

MOH Threatens Pharmacies Selling 2 Medications
Today, the Director of Health Services came down hard on any pharmacy that is selling two medications: hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. It is reported that a number of persons have been [...]

G.O.B. Cuts Back on Fuel Allocations to Designated Ministries
As part of measures to contain spending in the public sector, the government is cutting fuel allocations for some ministries. The cutback represents a twenty-five percent reduction in allocations to [...]

Make Your S.S.B. Submissions Online!
The Social Security Board was a representative on today’s ‘Ask the Experts’ live webcast. General Manager of Corporate and Customer Relations Chandra Cansino spoke about social security’s arrangements for the [...]

Sick Benefit Claims Submission Timeline Extended!
And for those who may get sick and want to submit their paperwork – well, that those persons don’t have to hurry to do so. Cansino says that they have [...]

Arthur Saldivar Criminally Charged for Firearm/Ammo Offences
Attorney Arthur Saldivar was released from detention today after he secured bail at the Magistrate Court. Saldivar is facing a slew of firearm and ammunition offenses following a police search [...]

Saldivar Claims to Be a Political Target
Attorney Arthur Saldivar believes he is being targeted. The usually outspoken lawyer was first arrested on Saturday and charged with ‘spreading false news’ and on Monday he was arrested for [...]

Saldivar Granted $20K Bail
In most cases, persons charged for firearm and ammunition offenses are automatically remanded to the Belize Central Prison. That’s because the Firearms Act makes the offense non-bailable. Saldivar’s attorney, Richard “Dickie’ [...]

Arthur Saldivar Charged with ‘Being in Possession of an Unregistered Bulletproof Vest’
Among the items found at Arthur Saldivar’s family residence in Camalote Village was a bulletproof vest.  For this, he was charged with being in possession of an unregistered bulletproof vest.  [...]

Rafael Sansores is Accidentally Shot & Killed with Pellet Gun
Police are investigating the shooting death of a resident of the Chula Vista area of Corozal Town. Rafael Sansores was at a close friend’s house in the White Cocal area [...]

Enough Foreign Exchange in the Local Market, Says PM Barrow
Supermarkets and select grocery stores will be allowed to remain open during the next thirty days of a national state of emergency.  On a needs only basis, persons will be [...]

What About Job Loss During State of Emergency?
During the national shutdown there are going to be several other businesses in various sectors that will be ceasing their operations, forcing employees to go jobless during the thirty-day interim.  [...]

B.T.B. Offers Tax Break to Hotels
With the tourism industry at a virtual standstill due to COVID19, the Belize Tourism Board is offering a tax break to hotels across the country.  Hoteliers are to first submit [...]

S.S.B. on Employers’ Contribution Payments
At the top of the newscast, Chandra Cansino of the Social Security Board spoke on ways to submit claims and the extension of submission timelines for sickness benefits. Another matter [...]

What About the Contributory Pensions?
And the Social Security Board says that they haven’t forgotten the contributory pensions. Chandra Cansino says that their pension was deposited today, a week before it’s due. But that is [...]

Domestic Violence Expected to Spike During State of Emergency
Beginning Thursday morning, all persons who are considered to be part of the essential services are required to carry a pass, including social workers.  The provision of social services, according [...]

Labour Commissioner Fields Questions on Labour and COVID-19
Labour commissioner Ann Marie Thompson was another guest on the Ask the Experts live show today.  A number of questions submitted by online users were about working during the state [...]

More Questions for the Labour Commissioner
Other questions raised during the online session focused on the enforcement of the labour laws during the State of Emergency. The online viewers were also concerned about those front-line workers [...]

Caribbean Tires Donates 100+ Cases of Hand Sanitizer
One local company has been working to keep the COVID-19 at bay while spreading some goodwill. Caribbean Tires is giving away over one hundred cases of hand sanitizers to frontline [...]

Attorney General on Media and Essential Service
This is our last newscast prior to the start of the national shutdown. Now, the media is considered essential services, but there are still limitations. So in the months ahead, [...]


Businesses adjust to State of Emergency
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of the businesses that will be allowed to open and the restrictions they will have to be abiding by, it is a very wide area to cover. We broke it down as best as we could, starting with how the Attorney General explained the provision of fuels and the time restrictions.

Attorney Arthur Saldivar escapes remand for firearm charges
Since the weekend we have been reporting on Attorney Arthur Saldivar and the trouble he has found himself in with the law. When we spoke with Police Commissioner yesterday, he went into detail explaining the circumstances of Saldivar’s arrest and the charges laid against him.

Attorney General outlines the final regulations and how they apply
Under the state of emergency which activates at midnight, the Attorney General noted that while allowances will be made, they will be very limited. Police officers as confirmed by the Police Commissioner yesterday will be out in full force monitoring the movements of people and making arrests where necessary.

Police Commissioner denies rumors of a 12-hour system in the department
Reports have been circulating that with the State of Emergency, the Police Commissioner would revert to 12-hour shifts. We asked him to clarify his position on this issue.

Central Health Region outlines procedures to manage respiratory illnesses in the Belize District
The Central Health Region has outlined, via a press release, procedures to manage respiratory illnesses in the Belize District. Effective immediately all persons with respiratory should no longer go into regular health facilities.

Boledo to be drawn earlier than usual on weeknights
Yesterday our newsroom was told that the Boledo game would not be on the list of essential services. Tonight, however, that has changed and Brad’s Gaming Company will be having its Boledo draw earlier than usual on the weeknights.

Governor General signs proclamation for State of Emergency
Governor-General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young signed the State of Emergency Proclamation just before two o’clock this afternoon. The signed proclamation now makes it very official that Belize will be entering into a State of Emergency at midnight tonight.

BTB offers hoteliers a tax relief for March
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has offered hoteliers a tax relief for the month of March. This is being done to alleviate some of the financial burdens these hoteliers are experiencing due to COVID-19.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Issuance of extensions for temporary immigration status is suspended
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Immigration hereby notifies the public, and especially visitors holding temporary immigration […]

Coronavirus the global picture: virus mutating, new strains emerging
The latest global statistics on the novel coronavirus now known as COVID-19 shows over 900,000 […]

Find out if you qualify for the Covid-19 unemployment relief program
The co-chairs of the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee, Prime Minister and the Leader of the […]

GOB announces list of essential establishments
The Government of Belize today issued the regulations governing the State of emergency to become […]

Casinos, clubs, gyms, barbers and more ordered to close during state of emergency
The State of Emergency will be enacted countrywide at midnight tonight. The Government has issued […]

Production factories and sites allowed to operate
The regulations issued by the Government governing the state of emergency also made mention of […]

Government shares Essential services schedule 1
Ministry of National Security Department of Border Management and Immigration Services Customs and Excise Department […]

Citco discounts property taxes, waives rental fees for next three months
The Belize City Council has announced plans to assist City residents whose finances are impacted […]

UB pushes re-opening date to May 4, 2020
The University of Belize has announced via a press release that classes will resume on […]

Ministry of Finance cutting gas allowances to cut costs
The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has circulated a memo indicating that fuel allocation for most […]

Country goes into State of Emergency at midnight
The nation goes into a countrywide state of emergency at midnight tonight. In a press […]

Statistical Institute of Belize closes its doors to the public
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) announced today that it is closing its doors to […]

Corozal teen reported missing
The Belize Police Department is asking the public to be on the lookout for 17-year-old […]

Police find gun and ammunition in empty lot in Santa Elena
Authorities conducting patrol yesterday afternoon searched an abandoned house on Mariana Gonzalez Street in Santa […]

Arthur Saldivar charged for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license
Authorities have arrested and charged Arthur Saldivar for for four counts of kept ammunition without […]

SSB can now pay sickness benefit for COVID-19
The Statutory Instrument regulating payments by Social Security Board (SSB) for unemployed persons with COVID-19 […]

ASK THE EXPERTS: Labour Department, Social Security answer concerns
The heads of the Labour Department and the Social Security Board are appearing on the […]

Director of Health services warns against selling of hydroxychloroquine without prescription; warns of revocation of licenses
The Office of the Director of Health Service informed today that there have been several […]

Department of Environment implements precautionary measures to slow the transmission of Covid-19
Recognizing that some persons carrying the COVID-19 virus may not be presenting symptoms, the Department […]

Ministry of Health informs of procedure to manage respiratory illness in Belize district
The Ministry of Health informed today that effective immediately, ALL patients with respiratory illnesses such […]

BTB issues updated notice for hoteliers regarding March hotel taxes for covid-19 relief
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) issued a statement today updating on the measures being taken […]

Corozal man dies after reported shooting incident
A Corozal man is dead after sustaining injuries, allegedly from a pellet gun shot wound […]

Unattended mosquito coil causes fire in Dangriga
Police say a late night fire on the Melinda Road outside Dangriga Town was apparently […]

Belizeans show love to Dr. Manzanero
Belize’s Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero has been leading the charge with relation […]

Ministry of Labor postpones tribunal between Christian Workers Union and Port of Belize, “good progress” made
The Ministry of Labor has postponed the tribunal for dispute resolution between the Port of […]

More bad news for tourism, cruise ship calls pushed back even further
Belize’s Tourism Industry, which is already reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic got more […]


The I AM CARICOM Campaign
The I AM CARICOM Communications Campaign was launched in the margins of the Tenth Meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Committee of Ambassadors held in Guyana, on Thursday, 21 November 2019. The #IAMCARICOM Campaign seeks to effectively and efficiently reach and engage all stakeholders, especially the general public, to create awareness and take ownership of the new Results-focused Community Strategic Plan for 2020, as well as to facilitate continuing dialogue between the Implementing partners and citizens of the Community where perspectives and information on the scope, issues, process, expected deliverables, and benefits and implications for citizens can be shared.

Best Instagrammable Moments for March
Caribbean Culture + Lifestyle is searching for 8 of Belize’s most beautiful Social Media Moments. Instagram inspires people to go and do interesting things, things they never knew existed if they hadn’t seen it in their feed. We want to see Belize through the eyes of our travelers. We’re calling all Instagrammers, Facebook friends and family, photographers, bloggers and travelers alike to share their favorite moment(s) in Belize! The Caribbean Lifestyle Photo Contest is open now through May 15th, 2020. On May 20th, 8 entries with the most likes will be the lucky winners featured online at and in the premier edition of the Caribbean Lifestyle ‘Belize Insta Moments’ section of the 2020 Gold Book, debuting in June 2020.

International Sourcesizz

Launch rockets, build a moon habitat, solve spacey puzzles and more! These science, technology, engineering and math activities are fun for kids adults and the whole family at home.

Despite lockdown, the UK military still flies, risking the spread of coronavirus
In the past two weeks, the Royal Air Force (RAF) has flown 30 air transport planes — built to move troops around — from the UK to Belize, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, the US and Finland, all of whom have imposed bans on UK travellers and/or flights entering the country. Some of the airports being used to move these military personnel — like Philip Goldson International Airport in Belize — are also used by civilian aircraft, raising further concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

Living And Retiring Overseas Post The Coronavirus—Three Top Options
Eventually, COVID 19 will be contained, and global markets and economies will recover. But the experience of having lived through this challenging period will leave us with a reinforced and maybe a reinvented understanding of what matters most in life. Belize remains off the world's radar. Nobody is targeting or intent on stirring up trouble in this little country that’s part Caribbean, part Central American. Most people don’t give Belize a second thought. In today's world, that's a plus.

The Truck Stop is Belize's first shipping container food truck park! Come try the different, exciting food options from their food trucks, or cool off with some ice cream from their ice cream shop. They also have a swimming pool with a swim-up bar, an 18-foot movie screen, an extensive outdoor games area, and something fun going on every night.


  • Wednesday's "Ask the Experts", 60min. Our featured guests will be Ms. Ann Marie Thompson, Labour Commissioner, and Mrs. Chandra Cansino, General Manager for Corporate and Customer Relations Services, Social Security Board.
  • Quarantined In Belize: Grocery Shopping Before 72hr Lockdown In San Pedro, min. Two months ago he arrived in the tropical island of San Pedro, Belize, slipped on a wet dock, and pulled his back. By the time he was healed and ready to move on, the coronavirus had reached Central America... It's my 43rd day on the tropical island of San Pedro in Belize, and the government just announced the first confirmed case of Covid-19 AKA coronavirus. The airport is closing and I am unable to return home to the USA. With just a few hours before all stores close and a mandatory 72hr lockdown is placed on all 10,000 island residents, I head to the grocery store to stock up on some survival rations to get me through the coming days.

  • Caye Caulker gets its round of sanitation, 1/2min.

  • World Health Organization (WHO) Wednesday Media briefing on COVID-19, 60min.

  • The Why Store playing in Caye Caulker, Belize, 32min. The Why Store playing in Caye Caulker, Belize at the Sports Bar. Thanks you Scott & Julie for bringing them here.

  • San Pedro, Belize | Ambergris Caye | Vacation 2020, 33min. When I tell you that San Pedro, Belize is AH- MAZING! I am not even joking! I had such a wonderful vacation!!! If you have not visited yet then what are you doing?!

  • Bush house in Belize, 4min.

  • Que hacer ante el corovirus?, 1.5min. For our Yucatec Maya speakers of Belize and the world.

  • Regulations on the state of emergency, 3.5min. In spanish

  • Regulations on the state of emergency, min. Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced a nationwide state of emergency for Belize on March 30, 2020. This video describes the measures and actions the public is required to observe under the state of emergency, which comes into effect on April 2, 2020.

  • Hok'ol Kin Hotel situated in the middle of Corozal Town being used as a quarantine area, 3min. Even though all entry points have been closed, Belizeans cannot be left stateless and are allowed to re-enter the country. But because persons returning from countries where the COVID-19 is thriving didn’t fully observe self-isolation, they are now being placed in mandatory quarantine. In Corozal Town, a hotel is under heavy guard to ensure that returning Belizeans are under lock and key. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

  • Belize Chronicles 2020, 15min. Scuba Center & Outdoor Rec's 2020 Belize trips full of action both land and sea!

  • DELICES DE FRANCE, SAN PEDRO, BELIZE - Bakery, Sandwicherie Pastry Shop In Belize, 2min. We invite you to take a look at our new presentation video of our French Bakery / Pastry shop and Sandwicherie located in San Pedro, Belize

  • Fam Bam Belize Trip '19, 6min.


  • Here are a pair of Orange-breasted Falcons in Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, Belize, 1min.

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