The Ministry of National Security clarifies the movement of persons traveling at sea, rivers, lagoons and waterways within the country of Belize. Statutory Instrument No. 46 of 2020, along with its subsequent amendments, categorizes those travelling conditions as emergency cases and essential needs only. Commercial fishers are fishers with a valid fisher’s license which they must be able to produce when encountered by the authorities.
The SI further defines the essential services relating to riverine and maritime activities as follows:
1. Fishing. This shall be interpreted as commercial fishing only for the purposes of supplying marine products for local and international markets. Recreational and sport fishing do not fit these criteria and are therefore prohibited activities during the state of emergency.
2. Port operations and services. This includes the operations of barges, cargo, and necessary logistics required to support the offshore islands.
3. Waste disposal. This includes those vessels under charter that are regulated by the Solid Waste Management Authority and transporting waste from the transfer station in San Pedro to Belize City.
4. Any other vessel being chartered for the purposes of transporting essential service workers during the state of emergency.
Regarding individuals and businesses that were affected during the initial state of emergency declared for Ambergris Caye, the Ministry asks for understanding and appreciation of the scope of this nation-wide operation. Minimizing the movement of persons is directly proportional to minimizing the movement of the virus.