On Monday, April 4th, water taxi services from the mainland to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are expected to resume for essential travel only. These runs cover only essential worker travel, the purchase of essential needs, attending medical appointments, emergencies and the return of care providers. The latest Statutory Instrument NO. 65 governing the State of Emergency, however, does not offer any provisions for people to return to their respective communities of origin. Regardless, personnel from The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Sunday, April 3rd that islanders stuck on the mainland can now travel back home, if they can provide evidence that they reside on the island.
This decision was taken following Belizeís significant decrease in cases of COVID-19, having registered no further cases for almost three weeks. The MOH alleges that the clusters of persons under investigation have been contained thus, the relaxation in the restrictions. This exception also applies for any mainland residents on the island wanting to head back home. They must prove that they are heading back home or if they need to travel off the island for a medical emergency or appointment. Otherwise, boarding the water taxi vessels will be denied.
According to an interview with Dr. Javier Canul during a special edition of Reef TVís morning Show, screening and quarantine are no longer needed when moving within districts. Therefore, no clearance is needed to leave or come to the islands unless it is medically-related. People traveling back home are asked to show proof of residence at the intended destination, and to wear a mask and practice social distancing.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun