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Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force #541889
04/24/20 03:59 AM
04/24/20 03:59 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Country will remain in Lock Down, but amendments will be to SI as first step towards moving back to normalcy. Cabinet and Senate meetings set for Monday and Tuesday of next week.



from Prime Minister Rt Hon Dean Barrow

My dear Belizeños,

I take this opportunity to provide you updated information about our fight against COVID-19.

Fortunately, we remain stable in the field of health and have not reported any positive cases since Monday, April 13 Unfortunately two people died, but luckily none of the 18 originally diagnosed patients remain hospitalized. In fact, we now have 5 patients recovered and the rest are recovering at home.

The tracking and mapping exercise carried out in San Pedro, San Ignacio, Corozal and Belize City is about to end, but sampling continuously. We are also waiting for a resupply of reagents this Saturday that will allow us to proceed with the full scope of the necessary tests. Indeed, it seems that so far we have managed to contain the clusters that developed in San Ignacio and Belize City. This, of course, is no reason to let your guard down. It is obviously the opposite and our health professionals will try to move beyond their achievements.

For about a month now, we have implemented the necessary measures to enforce social distancing, including restrictions on economic activities. More recently, when our fear of the spread of coronavirus reached its peak, we improve our defense. We made it through Legislative Instrument (SI) No. 55 of 2020, which came into effect at midnight on Saturday glory. Due to SI, a complete closure was imposed on Sundays, public transport stopped completely, government offices being shut down to the public and additional private sector establishments also closed. Unless they were extended, these additional barriers would have remained in effect until April 25, 2020 with the exception of the complete closure on Sundays. This was planned to remain in effect until April 30 when SI 55 would come to an end.

Now I can officially report that there will be no extension of these additional closures. These will expire from midnight this Saturday.

We feel able to order this relaxation precisely because of the content of the spread of clusters. In this way, public transport by land, air and sea will summarize for essential workers and essential purposes. However, these passengers, who travel either by bus, boat or plane, must wear facial masks. Government offices will reopen and additional establishments that are in total closure will be able to operate again during a limited schedule. Also, Sunday's special quarantine will end.

I repeat we will not lower our precautionary stockings. After midnight on Saturday, we will return to the state we were in immediately before additional measures that were added to SI 55 of 2020. In other words, we will remain closed, albeit in a non-extreme way as stipulated in the additional special measures.

To avoid any confusion, the Attorney General, through the media and as soon as possible, will explain the details of SI 55 that remain in force excluding special measures and will answer all questions so that the new measures be absolutely clear.

We will move forward as follows.

The original State of Emergency expires on April 30, 2020. An extension is clearly necessary but can only be done through a National Assembly Resolution. Due to this, there will be a meeting in the House of Representatives this Monday and a Senate meeting the following day. These meetings are solely for the purpose of approving the extension of the State of Emergency and physical attendance to these meetings will be limited only to the minimum amount required to constitute quorum. As soon as Parliament approves the extension of the State of Emergency, a new SI will be prepared to be signed by the Governor General.

The National Monitoring Committee is being advised by the National Working Group, Economic Tsars and the Health Team on more relaxed additional measures that are safe for inclusion in the new SI.

The point is that we are watching the beginning of a gradual and calibrated reboot of commercial and economic activity in Belize.

I reiterate that this will have to be a finely balanced exercise, especially since we cannot rule out the possibility of a second wave of the coronavirus. To emphasize this, the National Assembly is requested for a 2-month extension of the State of Emergency. In this way, there will be a decrease in the rigour of new measures that will enter into force on May 1, 2020. However, it will be to a carefully calculated degree as we continue to treat the preservation of life and health as our first priority.

In this regard, I wish to recognize again to all those on the front lines on this battlefield against coronavirus. I would also like to thank the Belizeño people for their understanding, tolerance and the spirit of cooperation that has been evidenced since the beginning of the crisis. I reiterate the need for us to maintain strict adherence to social distancing and personal hygiene, as well as the good brotherhood I have just recognized.

The two key citizen support programs that includes unemployment relief and food assistance, are moving fast. Therefore, I report that as of this morning 33,771 people had been approved for unemployment benefits, with payments made to 23,680 of them; and 8,017 households with a total of 32,871 people have received baskets of grocery. This amount is in addition to the 4,000 households that already benefited from the existing and long-term food pantry program.

In view of all the progress we are making progressively, I wish to close with a security note. Therefore, I reiterate my unwavering conviction that this fight against COVID-19 is one we can win, one we will win.

Thank you very much

Re: Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force [Re: Marty] #541892
04/24/20 04:15 AM
04/24/20 04:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,973
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Government of Belize considers easing restrictions in National State of Emergency

Thursday, March 23rd marks one month since Ambergris Caye was placed under a mandatory quarantine, after the government announced the first case of COVID-19 on the island. The rules restricted people from leaving or traveling to Ambergris Caye, as the island went into a complete lock down for 72 hours. The island quickly became a ghost town as islanders remained home to stop the spread of the deadly virus. The island routine now sees streets coming to life every morning, a prolonged hustle and bustle as islanders try to catch stores and secure their necessities before heading back indoors by midday. Every morning, people line up outside of stores as they take turns to go inside to get their groceries. Vehicular traffic also increases as everyone tries to get through with their errands by midday or before. Police and members of the San Pedro Traffic Department have been monitoring and enforcing social distancing and making sure that persons are only out on the streets with a purpose. For the past month, islanders have been living the quarantine life.

On Thursday, April 23rd, in a pre-recorded video message, Prime Minister Right Honourable Dean Barrow addressed the nation. He touched on the measures of SI 55, which also imposed a complete Sunday lockdown, halted public transportation countrywide and shuttered additional private sector businesses. According to him, these restrictions were to remain until April 30th, but will now expire at midnight this coming Saturday. “In-country public transportation by land, air and sea will resume for essential workers and essential purposes. Those passengers, though, whether on bus, boat or plane will be required to wear face masks. Government offices will reopen and those additional businesses placed on total cessation can go back to operating during limited hours,” said Barrow. For the past two weeks, no one has been allowed to be out on Sundays, except for essential workers. Businesses were also subjected to shut down on this day in order to further enforce this regulation. However, starting this Sunday, April 26th, it will be a thing of the past.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun

============

Government Lifts Sunday's Complete Lockdown

And while the state of awareness needs to remain high, the Prime Minister today announced that some of the additional special measures, the strictest ones that went into effect 6 days ago will now be relaxed slightly now that the clusters have been contained.

This starts with the full lockdown on Sundays - which is now being removed while limited public transport is being re introduced:

Rt.Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister


"There was a position for a complete Sunday lockdown, government offices were - i am now able to declare officially - There was the imposition of a complete Sunday lockdown, public transportation was brought to a halt, Government offices were closed to the public and additional private sector businesses were shuttered. Unless extended, these extra barriers were to last until April 25th, 2020, except for the Sunday lockdown. That was to remain until April 30th, the full life of the rest of SI 55. I am now able to declare officially that there will be no extension of the additional special buffers. They will, therefore, expire at midnight this Saturday. We feel able to mandate this relaxation, precisely because of the containment of the cluster spread. Thus, in-country public transportation by land, air and sea will resume for essential workers and essential purposes. Those passengers, though, whether on bus, boat or plane will be required to wear face masks. Government offices will reopen, and those additional businesses placed on total cessation can go back to operating during limited hours. As well, the special Sunday quarantine will disappear. We will still be in lockdown mode though in a manner not quite as draconian as provided for by the additional special measures."

Relaxed State of Emergency Adjustments Coming May 1

So, the limited lockdown continues, so then why, as we reported last night, is the government going back to the house to extend the state of emergency for two months?

Well, as he explained today, that extension will provide for new, more relaxed regulations starting on May first.

Rt.Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister


"The original State of Emergency Proclamation will itself expire on April 30th, 2020. An extension is clearly needed but that can only be done by way of a Resolution of the National Assembly. There will, therefore, be a meeting of the House on Monday coming, and a meeting of the Senate the following day. Those meetings are for the sole purpose of approving the State of Emergency extension, once the extension of the State of Emergency is approved by Parliament, a new SI will be drafted for the signature of the Governor General. The National Oversight Committee is currently being advised by the National Task Force, the economic czars and the Health Team as to further relaxations that the new SI could safely permit. The point is that we are looking at the commencement of a phased, calibrated restart of business and economic activity in Belize. I repeat, that this will have to be a finely balanced exercise, especially since we cannot discount the possibility of a Coronavirus second wave. To underscore that, the National Assembly is being asked for a two-month extension of the State of Emergency; so, there will be an easing of rigor in the new regulations coming into force on May 1st, 2020."

Channel 7

Re: Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force [Re: Marty] #541916
04/25/20 04:31 AM
04/25/20 04:31 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,973
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
For those of you confused about what "relaxing the SOE measures" really means: We are back to where we were two weeks ago. That's all.

There is still a curfew from 8PM-5AM. You can not be out of your house for any reason.

You can be out of your house to exercise (run, walk, or jog) from 5AM-8AM.

Food shops, restaurants (take-out only) and gas stations will be open on Sundays. You will be allowed to leave your home during non-curfew hours on Sundays to get food or fuel. You will also be allowed to leave your home on Sundays to get money from ATMs.

Mechanic shops can service your vehicle, not just the vehicles of essential businesses.

You are still NOT allowed to visit family and friends who do not reside in your home. Not on Sundays nor any day of the week. Cook your own damn rice and beans and wash uno own clothes!

Government offices will be open again from 9AM-4PM.

Restaurants will be allowed to sell take-out food only.

Distribution of beer and alcohol will resume. That means Belikin and the rum makers can restock the shelves of stores.

Limits on the number of people allowed to be inside groceries stores, etc. continues without change. People waiting in line must practise social distancing.

Public transportation (including inter-district routes) will resume. However you can't be using public transportation UNLESS you have a legitimate purpose to be traveling. That means going to work at an essential business, or getting medical attention. You can not travel outside your district to go shopping. People using public transportation must wear a mask.

So the bottom line is, other than being able to go to the shop, grocery store, or gas station on Sundays, and being able to take the bus to get to work (if you are an essential worker), not much changes starting Sunday. We are still under a state of emergency, quarantine and curfew restrictions are still in force. You will still face a $5000 fine or 2 years in jail for going out without a legitimate purpose during non-curfew hours or being out between 8PM-5AM.

f I recall, the maritime restrictions were issued by the Port Authority and were not included in the statutory instruments. So if that's the case, the maritime restrictions may remain in place until revoked by Port. Water taxis are included in public transportation so they can move again. I am not sure about pleasure craft.

Brent Toombs

======================

STATE OF EMERGENCY RULE BEGINNING THIS SUNDAY TO THURSDAY

Same rules as all other 6 days will apply this Sunday;

- Curfew for children remain in place;
- 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew remains place;
- 5: 00 am to 7:59 pm, moving with essential purposes only —

(a) purchasing essential needs;
(b) attending for medical or veterinary attention;
(c) emergencies;
(d) an essential worker or employee of an approved business going to or from work;
(e) a home-health care provider of services to sick and elderly only, going to and from work;
(f) an essential worker acting within the scope of his duties, including but not limited to security guards patrolling, whether on foot or by conveyance, agricultural or factory workers or other similar operations requiring the movement of personnel for the effective conduct of the business or operation.

- Essential workers Identification Card covers them for movement to and from work during the none curfew hours;
- Exercising 6 feet apart from the next person;
- Persons in the Cayo District may move from that district for an essential purpose only, persons will be required to prove why they are moving;
- All other permitted persons, work Identification Card covers them for movement to and from work during the none curfew hours;
- Social protocol remains in place. Persons must be 6 feet away from the nearest person; public transportation will be allowed to operate during none curfew workers. However, all passengers will be required to wear a face mask or other face covering during the entire travel.

===============

SOE, Relaxing The Rules

The extra strict rules for the National State of Emergency are being relaxed - just a little - starting on Sunday. This is after no new cases of COVID 19 have been detected in Belize for 10 days - and there are only 11 active cases of COVID in Belize tonight, and no one is hospitalized.
The new, temporary measures mark the end of a two week period when extra strict measures were activated to contain what was believed to be community spread of COVID 19 in the Belize and Cayo Districts. Since then, those community clusters have not resulted in a significant spike in cases, so government is moving - very gradually - to relax the strictest measures.

Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte appeared today on ask the Experts to explain how the lockdown Sundays of the last two weeks will be freed up, just a little:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"This Sunday, 2 days from now will not be that strict Sunday that we've been having the last 2 Sundays, so this Sunday shops will open, gas stations will open, you could move to help elderly people with their home and stuff. Sunday will be just like Monday to Saturday, starting this Sunday until next week Friday. So you can exercise Sunday morning 5am to 8pm if you want. This Sunday you could go to shop, pharmacies will be open. Remember previously on a Sunday only the 24-hour places could open along with essential services. Now fishing for livelihood could take place, productive sector places can open, manufacturers can open on a limited basis, so Sunday will be a regular Sunday, for lack of a better way to put it."

Curfew Continues

But, not all that regular because the national state of emergency and the national curfew will still be in effect, and that includes children.
Peyrefitte stressed that after Sunday, children still cannot be on the street after 4:00, and adults still cannot be out after 8:00:

Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"If you are a child below the age of 16, you could only be on the streets between 8am and 4pm. That will remain in place. So come 4pm on Sunday if you are under 16 you need to be home. Come Sunday 8pm the curfew is still in place, so from 8pm Sunday until 5am Monday morning, it's a curfew. You are not allowed to be on the streets unless you are police, BDF, Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration, nurse, or doctor who are on duty. Curfew is not changed, we still have curfew. If you are out 9pm at night and you're not a person who is supposed 9pm Sunday night, you will go to jail."

Buses, Boats & Planes

But, you won't go to jail if you're an essential service provider or employee travelling inter - district. That's right, one feature of regular life that's returning on Sunday is public transport. Buses, water taxi's and domestic flights will be able to move - provided everyone on board is on a specific essential mission, and wears a mask.

Peyrefitte explained the limited inter district movement - which is not for recreational or non-essential travel:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"Public transportation providers will now be allowed to operate again. When I say public transportation providers I am talking about busses, water taxis, the planes like Maya or Tropic, they can now move, but let me make a clarification again: if you are traveling on a water taxi, bus or a small plane, you still can't leave Belize City to casually go and hang out at the Split in Caye Caulker this Sunday. We are not there yet. You can only use that to go to Caye Caulker if you have one of the things I read earlier, if you are going there for an essential purpose, medical reasons or something that you have to do."

Travel Inter-District If...

But, as you heard, the opening of bus and water taxi service is only for essential travel - no local tourism, or recreational travel.

AG Peyrefitte specified:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"If you live in the Cayo District and you are going to Belize and the police stop you in Hattieville, you have to demonstrate to that officer that you are going to Belize District because you are either purchasing essential needs, medical attention, emergency, you are an essential worker of employee of an essential service, home healthcare provider or something to the effect. But you are still not allowed to leave your municipality unless you have to for what you do or for an emergency or for an urgent need that you may have. So you still can't go to Orange Walk for tacos Sunday and it doesn't grieve anyone more than how it grieves me, but you still cannot travel across any locality if it is not for an essential purpose."

Moving With A Purpose

So unless you're going to one of those government offices, or going about your personal business with a specific intent, there are not many reasons to be outside. The limitation on public movement remains in effect after Sunday - and the rule is, basically, if you're out of your house, it has to be with good reason:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"From 5am to 8pm, you can only be outside for the same reasons that you could only be outside from before like now. You can only be outside and about come Sunday if you are purchasing essential needs, if you are attending for medical or veterinary attention, if you have an emergency, especially a medical emergency, if you are an essential worker or an employee of an approved business going to and from work, if you are a home healthcare provider of services to sick, disabled, elderly and children only going to and from work and you are acting as an essential worker, but not limited to security guards, whether by foot or a delivery person or something like that."

Limited Openings For GOB Offices

And while you might be able to get a few tacos out the backdoor, you won't be able to get any lands documents! That's because while government offices will be opening opening on Sunday - it's only a few select offices having to do with essential services:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"Yes, Government offices will be open on Monday; Office of the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, AG's ministry, the judiciary of Belize, Ministry of Health, Human Development, Food and Agriculture, Ministry of the Public Service, Works Department, Department of Transport, Press Office, Belize Gazette, Bureau of Standards, Tax Services, Karl Heusner Hospital, Office of the DPP, Treasury Department, Central Bank of Belize, Department of Civil Aviation, Belize Airport Authority, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), Belize Marketing and Development Corporation, Social Security Board, City Councils and Town Councils and Diplomatic Missions. These will be open on Monday from 9am to 4pm. But not the Ministry of Natural Resources. Its only essential services at this point."

New Month, New Rules

So, we stress, all these new wrinkles in the State of Emergency rules come into effect on Sunday.
But, these are just interim measures for 5 days: they will be followed next week Friday, May first, by a new set of measures, which may start to open up the economy and social living a little more.

These will be introduced next week after another round of COVID testing is done. Peyrefitte explained:

Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General
"If between now today and next week Friday May 1st for example, we have no more cases, we continue to have zero cases every day and clearly it will show that we have some control over the situation, then the rules from May 1st to end of June could be very loose. If all of a sudden between now and next week Friday, we have 100 cases or 50 cases come upon us, then the rules between May 1st and June 30th could be fairly strict. We have not yet completed the rules for May 1st to June 30th, because we have to look to see what will happen between now and May 1st."

So, one way or the other, Belize remains under a state of emergency with strict rules. We won't know until next week how much government plans to relax those rules - and they won't know until they see the continued outcomes of COVID testing.

But, on that front we note that we aren't seeing any new testing being done. The infographic for Wednesday and Thursday shows the same total number of tests: 816 over two days. That tells us that no new tests were done from one day to the other, and yesterday the Prime Minister said that reagents are coming in tomorrow, which, quote, "will enable us to proceed with the full scope of necessary testing." End quote. That tells us that testing has slowed down, and the Director of Health Services posted last night that quote, "we can anticipate a higher number of tests from Saturday through to Monday." End quote.

On Monday the government will go to the house to request a two month extension on the state of emergency, taking it up to June 30th. AG Peyrefitte today said they are doing that just in case it is needed, but the state of emergency may be called off before then.

But, the PUP today said 60 days is too much. A press release says, quote, "The last reported positive case in Belize was on the 13th April, 2020. The PUP has consulted medical experts who have advised that if there are no new positive cases for the next 30 days, it would be safe to lift the State of Emergency. In this circumstance as a Party we support a 30-day State of Emergency…Most importantly, during the state of emergency the land borders must remain closed and airports must remain closed to international passenger flights….COVID-19 has brought the Belizean economy to a virtual standstill. The PUP calls on the Government to implement a measured 'opening up' so as to spur economic activities. It is necessary to strike an equilibrium between well-being of the population and public health and safety." End quote.

We expect this will be debated at Monday's house meeting where the UDP will only be represented by four members and the PUP will be represented by three to keep social groupings under 10.

Channel 7

Re: Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force [Re: Marty] #541937
04/26/20 06:23 AM
04/26/20 06:23 AM
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Posts: 66,973
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Effective today, April 26th, Statutory Instrument No. 62 of 2020, the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) Regulations, 2020, will come into force.

SI No 62 of 2020 Belize Constitution Emergency Powers Regulations 2020

Re: Update to the Nation On the State of Emergency in force [Re: Marty] #541966
04/27/20 11:03 AM
04/27/20 11:03 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,973
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

Summary of Statutory Instrument No. 62 of 2020

April 27, 2020.

The following regulations apply to all areas of Belize:

Is there a curfew?

Yes.  Curfew hours are as follows:

  1. For children 16 years and under, from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. the following morning
  2. For adults, from 8:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m. the following morning

Is anyone exempt from curfew?

Yes. Who can move freely during curfew?

  • Frontline healthcare workers who are on duty who are reporting to or from work for the Ministry of Health or its statutory bodies
  • Members of the security forces who are on duty
  • Customs and Excise Department staff who are on duty
  • Department of Immigration Officers who are on duty
  • Other essential workers (with a pass badge) who are reporting for an emergency or as otherwise allowed by the pass badge

Movement during non-curfew hours – Who can move and for what purpose?

Movement is allowed between 5:00 a.m. to 7:59 p.m. until further notice only for the purposes of:

  • Purchasing of essential needs (food, fuel, finance, medicine)
  • Medical or veterinary attention
  • Other emergencies
  • Essential workers who are reporting to, or coming from, work
  • Workers of an approved business allowed to operate under regulation 9, who are reporting to or coming from work, or who are performing duties for the effective conduct of their business (security guards, agricultural workers, etc.)
  • Home-healthcare service providers going to or coming from work (to attend to the sick, elderly or disabled persons, or for childcare purposes)

Exercise is allowed after curfew hours from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.

The period allocated for exercise (walking, jogging, running) is 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. ONLY. Exercising outside of this time is an offence.

Six feet of social distancing must be practiced by all persons exercising during these hours.

Can an officer of the security forces stop you?

Yes.

You can be stopped during the period under proclamation and may be asked to explain your reason for moving. You should be moving to fulfil one of the reasons provided above. That means there should be no movement for social gatherings since this is prohibited, and no movement if is not related to “essential work”, or to obtain food, fuel, finances or medicine.

You will be stopped if you are caught committing an offence.

No loitering is permitted for the duration of the period of public emergency under proclamation.

Can I move from district to district or between districts?

No.

Movement between districts or across districts is only allowed for work by essential service workers or those workers of approved businesses allowed to operate under Regulation 9, or for an emergency.

Resumption of business – Which businesses can resume operations?

Regulation 9 (a) 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Fuel stations, fuel depots, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) suppliers, LPG depots, LPG distributors
  • Agro-processors, food manufacturers, factories, manufacturers of carbonated beverages
  • Agricultural and aquacultural farms
  • Fishing for livelihood and sustenance (no fishing for sport or leisure)
  • Waste disposal, sanitation companies and auxiliary personnel
  • Productive sector industries, personnel and auxiliary workers (including for food and water)
  • Public transportation providers
  • Construction and construction sites (private and commercial)
  • Bakeries and tortilla factories

Regulation 9 (b): Businesses that can operate from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Pharmacies
  • Markets (agricultural produce, fish, and meat)
  • Convenience stores, food stores, supermarkets, meat shops, butchers, distributors of carbonated and other beverages (including potable water) and food
  • Hotels, villas, and other rental accommodations (for maintenance and house-keeping by employees and, where these establishments have restaurants, delivery, take-out or drive-thru’ services ONLY are acceptable). The restaurant cannot open for services of dining-in.
  • Store-front outlets for essential businesses (public utilities companies) solely to allow customers to pay bills
  • Financial institutions (including commercial banks, credit unions, money lending institutions, money transfer institutions, pawn shops)
  • Mechanic shops, garages, and auto-parts stores
  • Service of take-out, delivery and drive-thru’ facilities (at restaurants, saloons, diners, and other similar establishments)
  • International delivery services by international delivery service providers (such as DHL, Federal Express, Amerijet, etc.)
  • Domestic delivery services (such as BPMS and Speedit) or pick-up of goods and meals by social service organizations and volunteer groups operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Human Development
  • Wholesalers of goods and services directly related to approved businesses which are allowed to operate, provided that the wholesalers operate only to supply and/or offer delivery services; wholesalers cannot be open for business to the general public
  • The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre (and any research undertaken)
  • Hardware stores (for delivery services only to those businesses approved to operate)

Regulation 9 (c ): Businesses that can operate from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • All offices listed in Schedule II (see list below)

Businesses that can operate on a 24-hour, seven-day per week basis:

  • Food mills
  • Sugar, citrus, and other approved food production factories
  • Oil production and drilling for oil exploration
  • Port operations and services connected to the loading and unloading of ships, aircrafts, and delivery to and from ports
  • Public utilities and independent energy producers which provide energy to public utilities

Establishments to remain closed until further notice:

  • Casinos and gaming establishments
  • Spas, beauty salons, and barber shops
  • Gyms, sporting complexes
  • Discos, bars, rum shops, and nightclubs

What about Social Distancing?

The new “normal”:

Everyone is to continue practicing social distancing of up to six feet.

How does social distancing apply in the workplace?

Regulation 12

  1. Businesses and offices are to ensure that customers and staff maintain at least six feet from each other, both inside and if people are waiting in line outside, of the establishment.
  2. The number of persons allowed into a business or office must be proportionate to the square footage of the premise and social distance practicing protocols.
  3. Within 24 hours of the commencement of these regulations, all businesses must place distance markers six feet apart, inside and outside of the business, indicating where each customer must stand in a line or checkout point.

Can I go to my workplace?

Employers:

Businesses or establishments listed in Regulation 9 above, shall implement measures to allow their employees to work from home if the work done by that employee and business is one that can be effectively done remotely.

Employees working from home/remotely

Anyone allowed to work from home shall do so as follows:

  • Be available during normal working hours
  • Stay at home and observe social distancing and curfews
  • Report to your employer as required or instructed

Employees who can only work from their workplace

If a job can only be done at a workplace, the employee is to report to work unless instructed not to report to the place of work.

If an employee is to report to work then he can do so as follows:

  • Between the hours specified in Regulation 9 (a) (b) or (c)
  • The employer shall implement social distancing protocols under Regulation 12 (see above) in addition to safety measures advised by the Ministry of Health.

These are prohibited:

Social Gatherings

No person shall host or attend the following:

  • A private party which includes persons living outside your house
  • A recreational or sporting event
  • A wedding which has more than 10 persons. This includes the bride, groom, official witnesses, and the marriage officer.
  • A banquet or reception
  • Any social event
  • Any ceremony of public worship in any public place or centre which involves the participation of the public
  • A funeral, except members of the immediate family and the officiant and the mortuary staff
  • A meeting of fraternal, private, or social club of organisation

Are borders still closed?

Yes. All ports of entry are and will remain closed during the public emergency.

However, the following will be allowed to deliver food, medicine, and  other supplies:

  • Cargo flights and cargo shipments
  • Commercial courier flights
  • Emergency medical flights
  • Emergency flights

What about public transportation?

  • Every means of public transportation can operate provided they follow the sanitization protocols (by air, sea and land, including water taxis, taxis, dollar vans).
  • The Ministry of Health shall issue additional guidelines for sanitization of public transportation and for protocols to be followed by its users.
  • Every person traveling on public transportation has to wear a face mask for the duration of the journey. Persons will not be allowed to board any form of public transportation if they are not wearing a face mask.
  • Public transportation is limited to seating capacity.
  • As each passenger disembarks from the public transportation, the transport operator shall oversee the sanitization of the means of public transportation on site at the terminal.
  • Before boarding, every passenger must wash or sanitize his hands using the conveniences provided at the terminal.

Everyone must follow the Ministry of Health guidelines that will be updated from time to time.

Can I return to Belize from abroad?

No Belizean will be allowed to enter Belize through any port of entry unless he is returning to Belize after receiving urgent medical attention or is required to be in Belize to assist in urgent medical situations.

If the person is allowed in:

  • He will be placed in a quarantine centre determined by the Quarantine Authority
  • for a period of time determined by the Quarantine Authority
  • at his own expense (approximately $110 per day board and three meals)

If you believe you have been in contact with a person with COVID-19, have travelled from a country affected by COVID-19, or develop flu like symptoms you shall:

  • immediately inform the Ministry of Health
  • be placed into mandatory quarantine at the discretion of and for a time determined by the Quarantine Authority
  • at the person’s own expense

If you do not exhibit any flu-like symptoms, the Quarantine Authority will determine when you will be released.

If, while in quarantine, you develop flu-like symptoms, you will be placed in immediate isolation at a designated hospital or other isolation centre.

Information for Medical Officers

  • No medical officer employed by the Government of Belize shall engage in any independent private practice during the period of public emergency declared by p
  • Medical officers independently employed shall report to the Director of Health Services any patient that he has attended to that exhibited flu-like symptoms or who has respiratory problems.

Penalties for not obeying the law:

  • Any person who contravenes any of the regulations or incites or attempts to incite any person to contravene any of these regulations commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000 or imprisonment for two years.
  • A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offence under these regulations is liable to imprisonment for a period of two years.
  • It is the duty of every member of the security services to enforce, using force if necessary, to ensure compliance with these Regulations and with any other order, rules, instruction or condition lawfully made, given or imposed by any officer or other person under the authority of this r
  • Any member of the security forces may arrest, without a warrant, any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to have committed an offence against these regulations or any other rules. They may also enter any premise or board any ship or aircraft without a warrant.

The Minister of National Security may make orders and rules for the purposes of preventing, controlling, containing, and suppressing the spread of COVID-19.

These Regulations came into effect on April 26, 2020 and will remain in effect for the duration of the public emergency which is April 30, 2020.  Since these Regulations have come into effect, SI No. 55 of 2020 is repealed.

 

See Schedule I and Schedule II of SI 62 of 2020 below:

SI 62 of 2020

SCHEDULE I

[Regulation 8]

Essential Services

  1. Ministry of National Security
  2. Department of Border Management and Immigration Services
  3. Customs and Excise Department
  4. Cabinet members and members of the National Assembly
  5. Medical and auxiliary services
    • including veterinary services;
    • services by private medical institutions including private clinics; and
    • ambulance services,
  6. Forest Department
  7. Department of the Environment
  8. National Meteorological Service
  9. National Emergency Management Organization (Emergency Operations Centre)
  10. Private security services
  11. Public utility workers and auxiliary staff responding to emergencies
  12. Social workers authorized to respond to emergencies
  13. Sanitation workers and auxiliary staff
  14. Productive sector industries, personnel and auxiliary workers (potable water production, agricultural workers)
  15. Media (workers supporting radio, newspapers and online media services)
  16. Belize Port Authority
  17. Office of the Governor-General
  18. The National Fire Service
  19. Belize Electricity Limited
  20. Belize Water Services Limited
  21. Belize Telemedia Limited
  22. Speednet Communications Limited (Smart)

 

SI 62 of 2020

SCHEDULE II

Regulation 9 (a,b,c)

  1. Office of the Prime Minister
  2. Ministry of Finance
  3. Attorney General’s Ministry (including the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry, the Belize Intellectual Property Office, Vital Statistics Unit)
  4. The Judiciary of Belize
  5. Ministry of Health (including) Central Medical Laboratory
  6. Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation
  7. Ministry of Food and Agriculture
  8. Ministry of the Public Service
  9. Ministry of Natural Resources
  10. Ministry of Works
  11. Department of Transport
  12. Central Information and Technology Office
  13. Government of Belize Press Office
  14. Belize Gazette publications
  15. The Belize Bureau of Standards
  16. The Belize Tax Services Department
  17. Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Authority
  18. Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
  19. Treasury Department
  20. Central Bank of Belize
  21. Department of Civil Aviation
  22. Belize Airports Authority
  23. Belize Agricultural Health Authority
  24. Belize Marketing and Development Corporation
  25. Social Security Board
  26. Municipal Bodies (town councils and city councils)
  27. Diplomatic Missions

MADE by His Excellency the Governor-General Sir Colville N. Young this 25th day of April, 2020.

 

(SIR COLVILLE N. YOUNG)

G.C.M.G., M.B.E., PhD., J.P.(S)

Governor-General


SI No 62 of 2020 Belize Constitution Emergency Powers Regulations 2020

Summary of Statutory Instrument No. 62 of 2020 which came into effect on April 26, 2020



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