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Today's Belize News: May 6, 2020 #542184
05/06/20 06:16 AM
05/06/20 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,887
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

ComPol Chester Williams visits the islands to clarify COVID-19 regulation enforcement
After images surfaced showing overcrowding on boats allegedly carrying 'essential trave;' passengers to the islands, ComPol Williams visited the islands to seek ways to address and enforce a plan for the public transportation system to adhere to social distancing and mandatory mask-wearing.

Unemployment Relief Top-up Cards
Recipients of the Government of Belize COVID-19 unemployment relief, who are receiving payments by way of top-up cards, are advised to carefully protect their top-up cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PIN).

Tropic Air Resumes Limited Domestic Flights
Effective Monday, May 11, 2020, Tropic Air will be resuming limited domestic passenger flights to San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City Municipal, Placencia, Dangriga, Corozal and Punta Gorda.

Ministry of Natural Resources Re-Opening Protocols
The Ministry of Natural Resources informs the public that all offices countrywide are open between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 12 midday and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. To maintain the health and safety of customers and employees and to comply with the Government of Belize’s regulations, effective immediately, all persons conducting business at any office countrywide are required to wear a face mask that covers their mouth and nose, practice good hand hygiene, and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Caye Chapel Development Co. supports Caye Caulker Residents
The Caye Chapel group felt compelled to assist when they heard of the halt of the tourism season and the substantial loss of jobs as a result of COVID19 of their neighboring island Caye Caulker.

Update on Daycare Closures
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation advises the public that under the current regulations, daycares are permitted to operate; however, an amendment will be made to the current statutory instrument to include daycares in the list of businesses prohibited from operating under the current state of emergency. Therefore, daycares will remain closed until further notice.

Water Taxi Companies Services to the islands resume
The economy is slowly beginning to open across the country after a significant decrease in cases of COVID-19, and public transportation via water taxi began transporting people to and off Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye on Monday, May 4th. Although the country continues under a State of Emergency, movement has been allowed for essential travel and persons needing to move with a purpose, including stranded individuals needing to head back home. The fact that screening is not mandated at this moment for anyone traveling to Ambergris Caye, however, has several residents concerned. They ask authorities to implement some sort of screening that could filter those that have valid reasons to travel to the islands.

Ambergris Today

Belize Is Back To Zero Active COVID-19 Cases
This afternoon, Belize’s Ministry of Health has made the announcement that the country is once again back to zero active COVID-19 cases with the last two active cases having recovered after testing negative on their second test. This marks the 7th week since it was announced that Belize had its first COVID-19 case, a 38-year-old female, Belizean national who resides in San Pedro. Belize is going into a 4th week since the last case was diagnosed but Belizeans are urged that they CANNOT lose sight of the fact that our neighbors are having escalating numbers in terms of cases and deaths.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Wednesday, May 6th meal .pick ups Location: Carribean Fusion ( previously Dirty Mc Nasty's) Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45am Bahia: 11: 45am 12;30 pm Every container and bag you bring with you helps our mIssion to feed those in need. Thank you! "it takes a village to feed a village"

Tropic Air resumes limited domestic flights
Tropic Air announces that effective Monday, May 11, 2020, we will be resuming domestic passenger flights. Flights will serve San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City Municipal, Placencia, Dangriga, Corozal and Punta Gorda, and initially be at limited frequencies, on limited days. As demand warrants, we may add more flights to meet demand. Please also note that there will be no flights on public and bank holidays.

No more LPG licenses for Butane Importers
The public is hereby informed that April 30, 2020 was the last day we imported Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). As mandated by the Government of Belize effective May 01, 2020 we have been blocked from importing LPG or butane gas into Belize, which we are addressing via a Constitutional Claim in court and awaiting the Court to set a date.

Fisheries Department Office Operations and Services during COVID-19 State of Emergency
In conformity with the national state of emergency and guided by Statutory Instrument No. 65 of 2020 and Circular Memorandum No. 13 of 2020, the Fisheries Department will be implementing the following measures effective Wednesday, May 6, 2020: 1. No walk-ins will be allowed, except where these services may be considered critical. Public visitations will be allowed by appointment only. 2. Applications for renewals of fisher folk and vessel licenses will be processed as follows:

Unemployment Relief Top-up Cards
Recipients of the Government of Belize COVID-19 unemployment relief, who are receiving payments by way of top-up cards, are advised to carefully protect their top-up cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PIN). The top-up card will be used to receive additional payments during the remainder of your approved unemployment relief, which will be paid twice a month over a three-month period. Lost cards should be reported to the nearest Social Security Board (SSB) office as early as possible. Please be advised that a $10.00 fee is required for a replacement card and PIN. This process may take several days.

The YWCA is selling reusable face masks for only $5
They have a wide assortment of colors

Global Big Day 2020
FB Live this Friday 8th at 10.30am, as we prepare for Global Big Day 2020. Tune in. If you know someone who wants to learn about eBird, THIS is their chance. It will be a step by step. Tune in to the discussion live on Friday!

The Artist of the Day, Chris Bradshaw
Chris Bradshaw has been dedicated to music for over 20 years. As both performer and teacher, Chris is passionate about bringing music education to the wider population, particularly the children and youth in Belize. Among his many accomplishments, Chris has served as conductor for the National Youth Orchestra, director of the music program at Wesley College, and production manager for Belize’s National Song Competition and Pan Yaad. Chris works diligently to share his skills and knowledge with the wider population by performing in various genres at numerous gigs and occasion. Chris also Lectures in Music at the Wesley Junior College and Saint John’s College. Chris holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Valdosta State University where he studied saxophone.

Mrs. Simeona Zuniga, curator of the Darina Museum in Libertad Village
As part of our Museum Month activities we would like to introduce Mrs. Simeona Zuniga, curator of the Darina Museum in Libertad Village. Miss Simeona began collecting Garifuna artifacts in 1997. In 2012, working along side community schools and the local chapter of the National Garifuna Council, she set up a display at her home. The display received great response and in 2013 Miss Simeona opened her cultural museum. Throughout the years she has grown her collection and offers tours to residents, tourists and schools with November being her busiest month. Mrs Zuniga is very much involved with the National Garifuna Council-Libertad Branch and continues to support the Lisanigu Libertad Dance Group who has preformed locally, nationally and internationally. If you would like to visit the Darina Museum please contact Miss Simeona through her facebook page or President of the National Garifuna Council-Libertad Branch Mr. Norman Zuniga's facbook page.

DID YOU KNOW.....? BTB OFFERS FREE ONLINE WEBINARS FOR TOUR GUIDES AND INDUSTRY PARTNERS
BTB offers free online webinars for tour guides and industry partners: The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is offering a series of FREE capacity building webinars, opened to all tourism industry stakeholders during this COVID- 19 downtime. The webinars form an integral part of the BTB’s capacity building efforts for the industry, and will focus on topics relevant to preparing the industry for reopening when travel is deemed safe. The first webinar will be held on Monday, May 11 and each session will be delivered by subject matter experts, for approximately 60-minutes in duration. Stakeholders can attend and participate from the comfort of your home using a computer or mobile device. The full training schedule can be found in the table below, and accessed using the unique Zoom Meeting link.

MarAlliance Fundraiser
We need your help. There is just no other way to put it. MarAlliance is not just about shark and ocean conservation efforts. We depend on the courageous fishers we work with, and their families, who bravely speak up against unsustainable practices and push for healthier seas. These heroes are key to ensuring a future for our fish populations. During this Covid pandemic fishers are not allowed to go out to sea to fish sustainably and feed their families. They need your help. During this #GivingTuesdayNow, please donate at https://maralliance.org/donate/ and give back to support these coastal families, show them that they are not alone in their fight to keep our seas healthy.

Belize is now COVID Free
Belize now has ZERO active cases. This is great news; however we must still be cautious and continue to follow the preventative measures: washing of hands, social distancing, good hygiene, staying at home, wearing of face mask and more.

Fisheries Department Application Forms Ready Online
All Application forms are readily available on Fisheries Department website: 1. Fisherfolk License - Renewal 2. Fisherfolk License - New Entrant 3. Vessel License - Renewal 4. Vessel License - New Entrant Remember to submit a complete application form along with the required documents.

BTB Capacity Building Webinars
The Belize Tourism Board, in partnership with these presenters, are offering FREE capacity building webinars for the next couple months. If you are a tour guide, tour operator or if you work in the accommodations industry and would like to know more about the tourism industry, tune in for an hour to learn all about it. All you need is a device with internet connection. Check out the schedule below.

Daycares in the list of businesses prohibited from operating
As announced by the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, an amendment was made to Statutory Instrument No. 65 of 2020 to include daycares in the list of businesses prohibited from operating under the current state of emergency. Therefore, daycares will remain closed until further notice.

Proposed Cost Savings Measures
The Ministry of Finance has asked the PSU to accept proposals for pay adjustments in light of the 'collapse of Government's finances.' If not, the government will amend public service regulations to give the Minister power to alter salaries.

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION PLEADS FOR COMPASSION FROM SECONDARY SCHOOL MANAGEMENT TO PROMOTE STUDENTS
COVID-19 is a crisis that was unexpected and as a result we are now faced with many challenges. The Ministry of Education (MoE) did not anticipate the early closure of and are mindful of the issues teachers, parents and students are faced with at this unprecedented time. In an earlier press conference, we informed the general public that ER 128 speaks to the automatic promotion at the primary level. However, at the secondary level, the determination for promotion and graduation is done in accordance with the schools' academic policies and assessment practices.

Sacred Heart Junior College flowchart for registering
Accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year. There are two ways to apply.

BWS Payment plans
BWS advises customers that payment plans are now available for those who have been displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Proof of unemployment due to COVID-19 must be presented! Feel free to contact us or visit the nearest office if you have any questions or concerns.

Situation in Santa Elena taken at 6pm today and on the road from Belmopan!
Heavy, dangerous smoke that is so thick you can smell it and taste it. Imagine the sheer volume of particulate matter we are inhaling, deep into our lungs, ever day and night for weeks at a time , with only 1-2 days reprieve over the last month! The Health of 10s of thousands being impacted by a few who insist on lighting fires during this pandemic and who seem to not understand that we are in a drought and that smoke is harmful to all of us, including them! At this point , the new fire regulations are insufficient to stop this practice because it requires that arsonist and persons lighting fires are caught in the act or that the authorities can prove that the person started the fire; as a result , I haven’t read of a single person being charged under the new regs. In fact, the number of fires seem to have increased. Perhaps it is time, during this SOE at least, for the legislation to contemplate having the landowner be liable for fires on their property, regardless of who may have started it. Maybe this would result in a curbing of this ridiculous and unrelenting #smoke situation. Nothing else seems to help. Instead, we suffer day in, day out!

Channel 7

Belize is COVID Free, But Can We Stay That Way?
For the first time since March 23rd., Belize is free of COVID 19 tonight. The last two cases have come back with a second negative test, meaning that they have shed the COVID virus. So there are zero cases of COVID-19 in Belize tonight. And while that may be cause for modest celebration, the call tonight is for caution. Right outside our borders - the numbers are surging up. Guatemala's total up to yesterday was 730 cases with 46 cases in the East of the country, which includes our neighbour Peten.

Cross Border Couple Sent To Jail, Not Quarantine
But while the country rejoices in its COVID free status, there are two cross border cases being watched tonight. 49 year old Jose Alfredo Aguilar and 48 year old Dalia Aguilar, both from San Jose village, Orange Walk are at the Hattieville prison in isolation tonight. They pleaded guilty to crossing the borders illegally and were sentenced to three months in jail. They are the parents in the family of four that had been caught slipping into Belize on Saturday afternoon. They were captured on camera coming over an illegal crossing.

Security Minister Thought They Were Going Into Quarantine
Today, we caught up with the Attorney General and Minister of National Security, Mike Peyrefitte to ask about what went wrong in this case. He says Cabinet did discuss it today - and the understanding was that they would be quarantined: "In cabinet this morning we discussed the matter and we all agree that in deed these people would be quarantine under the Ministry of Health, so like I said I would need to speak to the different section before I am fully appraised..."

Water Taxi Ram - Jam
And, another possible COVID trouble area being looked at is water taxis coming off San Pedro. As we showed you yesterday, the lines into the water ferries did not show adequate social distance. And, today, a picture circulated of those sitting on a ferry, shows that all seating was full, apparently above capacity. We asked the Security Minister about it today: "A water taxi leaving from any terminal within the country, then clearly that's more than seating capacity. The busses, planes and water taxis are the exception to the 6 feet rule..."

Area Rep Recovered From The San Pedro Slapdown?
We'll have comments from Commissioner Chester Williams about that water taxi situation later on. We also asked security minister Peyrefitte about the situation with his cabinet colleague and San Pedro area rep who had to be reigned in after he went too far with a San Pedro proclamation for the state of emergency. Peyrefitte said it is all smoothed over: "Mayor Guerrero and Minister Heredia - they are going all out to make sure they represent the people in San Pedro and so if they want to take extra special measures to protect what they believe is their responsibility nobody can fault them for that..."

Stranded On a Ship, No Direction Home
Belizeans in far flung corners of the world continue to wait for a signal that Belize's borders may be opened, just a little - to let them back into their home country. Foremost among those are scores of students, whose courses of study, scholarship funds, or visas may be coming to an end, and they've got nowhere to go, no direction home. We've heard from students in Cuba, the UK, India, and the US, who are stuck in their country of study, with no active prospect for repatriation.

Will "Butane"ť Be Scarce With New Supplier?
Last night, we told you about the latest in the battle over Liquified Petroleum Gas, which has been playing out in the Supreme Court, and the Appeal Court. The 3 Central American importers of cooking gas: Gas Tomza, Southern Choice Butane, and Belize Western Energy Limited, are no longer authorized to import butane into Belize. Their import license from the Government expired last week Thursday. As we've reported, they've gone to the high courts to challenge the Barrow Administration's refusal to renew those licenses.

New Butane Importer is Ready
Right now, the National Gas Company is finalizing its work to set up its operation. Like other businesses, it is trying to cope with all the challenges that have accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions under the State of Emergency. But once there is a return to normalcy, should customers expect any difference in the way they purchase butane? We asked the Managing Director of the National Gas Company about how the retail end of the industry will work, with them as the sole importers of LPG.

Cabinet Not Seeing A Butane Crisis
Today the Attorney General told us that this is not a matter which has caught the attention of Cabinet. "It has not reached the point where it has become a national issue. We believe we have the situation under control. The cabinet is still dominated by the Covid19. That is our major concern and that's what 99% of cabinet is right now- trying to make sure that we can strike a balance between opening back the economy and keeping the people safe. But we are not at that stage where we believe there is a crisis for us to deal with. We believe we are secure in the production of butane and we believe that all Belizeans will have butane."

LPG Attorney's Gets Sharp Response From The Court of Appeal
Today we also asked the Attorney General about the pending appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Audrey Matura, attorney for the Central American LPG companies, told us via telephone on Thursday that she is already preparing to seek leave to appeal this second judgment at the Caribbean Court of Justice. She also pointed out that the substantive case that her clients have brought against the Government is still pending, and she will be pursuing that matter in the Supreme Court for a full hearing in the near future.

Keeping Safe Distance On Water Taxi's
Earlier in the news, we showed you pictures of overcrowded Water, taxis which made the social media rounds. And today during a brief visit to San Pedro Commissioner of Police Chester Willams says he advised water taxi personnel on how to better implement social distancing both during boarding and disembarkation. He spoke to the San Pedro Sun. Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "One of the greatest concerns that people on the island as well as those on mainland have is the issue relating to the water taxi. Now there are several photographs going around on social media showing that these water taxis are over crowded..."

San Pedro, Only If You're Essential
The Commissioner also made a point to the San Pedro Sun, saying that while the country is opening up, cross-district travel, including travel to the breezy islands, is still limited to essential purposes only. "We must understand that while we have open up to some extent there is still restriction of movement in respect to cross municipality, cross districts and so just like if you are in Belize City you want to go to Belmopan or you want to go to Orange Walk..."

A Bonanza For Barbers and Beauticians
On Friday, many Belizeans got the much-awaited news that barbershops and salons were allowed to re-open. And it's not just women clamoring to get their nails and hair done. Men were likewise eager for fresh cuts and "mark -up's". Cherisse Halsall headed to some local salons and barber shops to find out about post quarantine grooming needs:

Charged For Working Out?
And while some rushed to get hair, nails and eyebrows done, in the personal care department, many also wanted to get back into the gym - which have bene closed for more than a month. But, those remain closed by State of Emergency decree - one of those ones which must remain closed, along with papa's and casinos.

MOE and UNICEF Team Up To Feed Kids
This morning, the officials from the Ministry of Education started distributing food hampers to the families of needy school children who are beneficiaries of their annual school feeding programs. According to the Ministry, its feeding program has providing for 1,400 school children countrywide. Through a generous donation from UNICEF in Belize, the families of 1,000 of these needy children will be receiving the hampers, which contain food, and hygiene supplies to help them get through this COVID-19 pandemic.

A Close Response To Distance Learning
The press also took the opportunity to ask the Chief Education Officer about how parents and students countrywide have been embracing the Ministry's attempts at distance learning. As we told you last week, the Ministry has been producing printed lessons for parents to pick up from grocery stores countrywide. Those who have access to radio can engage in daily lessons that the Ministry has produced. And, if you and your child have access to the internet, the Ministry has uploaded those lessons on their government website for easy downloading.

What Do Tertiary Students Think?
And while secondary schools are urged to show compassion with promotions, tertiary institutions have pretty much been left on their own. Last week the National Student Union of Belize held a forum to discuss the state of education generally under the state of emergency. Panelists NSUB executive director Dominique Noralez, Rhodes Scholar elect Abby Godoy Guillen and UWI student Rolando Caballero gave three unique perspectives on the difficult realities of the 2020 academic year. And in the first part of their discussion, we asked their opinion on whether schools should be allowed to re-open.

Channel 5

Belize Down to ZERO Active COVID-19 Cases
Belize is down to zero active COVID-19 cases. This is the good news that emerged from the Ministry of Health this afternoon and is widely welcomed by Belizeans.  But according [...]

DO NOT Let Your Guard Down! Second COVID-19 Wave Likely to Happen
While some of the most severe restrictions in modern days have been relaxed, the state of emergency remains in place for another two months. With an imminent second wave of [...]

23 Persons Die of COVID-19 in Quintana Roo
Neighbouring countries in the north and west, Mexico and Guatemala, are recording an increase of COVID-19 cases. With Belizeans illegally crossing the border, the possibility of a more lethal second [...]

Body 2000 Shut Down, Six Persons Charged for SOE-related Offenses
The full force of the law unexpectedly came down on Body 2000 this morning. The popular gym, located on Coney Drive, closed during the state of emergency and is not [...]

ComPol Williams Says Exercise was Taking Place at Body 2000
So a member of the police team says the building was shuttered and locked and they got no answer from inside. Neal and the other five persons charged also have [...]

Norwegian Cruise Lines Warns of Possible Bankruptcy
What is the future of Harvest Caye in southern Belize? As you know, the novel coronavirus wreaked havoc in the entire tourism industry across the globe, when no sail orders [...]

Has National Gas Company Commenced Commercial Operations?
As of May first 2020, importers of liquefied petroleum gas—Gas Tomza Limited, Southern Choice Butane, Zeta Gas and Belize Western Energy Limited—cannot import butane gas into Belize. That responsibility belongs [...]

Foreign Company Controls Majority Shares of National Has Company
Matura also raised questions about the owners of the National Gas Company. The company is a Public-Private Partnership with the Government of Belize holding twenty-five percent of shares. The list of [...]

Gang Truce Amid COVID-19, Police Street Unites
Earlier this year, a state of emergency was instituted on the south side of the city allowing for the imprisonment of gang members due to the spike in violent crimes. [...]

Social Distancing in Water Taxis Causing a Headache for the Police
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams addressed the concerns arising from the lack of social distancing at the water taxi terminals and on their vessels. While these can now operate, today [...]

Is San Pedro Residents, Businesses Complying with S.O.E. Regulations?
ComPol Chester Williams was in San Pedro today where he met with Coastal Executive Officer, Superintendent Chris Noble and his team of officers as well as with San Pedro Mayor, [...]

Ministry of Education Speaks on High School Promotions
Secondary schools are still working out what will happen for students when the new academic year starts in September. Will they all be promoted to a new class or will [...]

There’s a Growing Demand for MOE’s Educational Resources
When she spoke with reporters today, Doctor Carol Babb also gave an update on the progress of the ministry’s educational programmes for students. As you know, the ministry is offering [...]

The Mandatory Use of Face Masks
The use of face masks is now a must for persons venturing in public during the next thirty days of the state of emergency.  That has created a whole new [...]

Are You Wearing Your Mask in the Public?
The cost of not wearing a mask in public can cost you five thousand dollars – it is a hefty fine to pay when reusable masks are going for as [...]

Forest Fires Killed Animals, Destroyed Habitats
The rains last week doused the huge fires that were burning out of control in the Vaca and Chiquibul forest in the west. The damage, however, was already done. Huge [...]

UNICEF Gifts 1,000 Care Packages to Feeding Programme Recipients
This morning, UNICEF handed over a thousand boxes of food and hygiene items to the Ministry of Education.  The hampers are for underprivileged students who are enrolled in the government’s [...]

Can UB Offer Other Options to Students Instead of Withdrawal?
On April twenty-second, the University of Belize issued a three-page press release to update students about steps being taken as the university navigates these uncertain COVID-19 times. There are some [...]

National Students’ Union of Belize Advices UB Students to Not Fully Withdraw
UB’s President Sankat has said that the students withdrawing from the course will not warrant any academic or financial penalty and students will be able to re-register for such courses [...]

OCEANA & BTV Partner Up to Provide COVID-19 Relief for Toledo Fisherfolk
Fifty families in Toledo are set to receive food hampers. The generous donation is being sponsored by OCEANA Belize through the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The food packages are to extend [...]

The International Office of Migration Makes Donation to Ministry of Human Services
The Ministry of Human Services also received a donation today. It came from the International Office of Migration comprising of three hundred hygiene kits to benefit vulnerable populations. The packages [...]

New Laws Restrict Cultural Practice of Fishing in Coastal Communities
And going back to the south, when we spoke with Wil Maheia today he shared that one of the restrictions has been very tough for residents to deal with in [...]


Re: Today's Belize News: May 6, 2020 [Re: Marty] #542185
05/06/20 06:16 AM
05/06/20 06:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,887
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

Belize tourism industry faces hard times
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the brakes on the global tourism industry. Most countries remain on lockdown with closed borders. Cruise ships have stopped sailing and air travel has grounded to a screeching halt. In Belize, a major portion of the country’s economy is based on its tourism product. The pandemic, however, has demolished Belize’s tourism industry, creating a massive unemployment headache for the government. As the country enters a new phase of its COVID-19 State of Emergency with a gradual re-opening of internal economic activities, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that the tourism sector is going to be the last sector to re-open.

Cab driver murdered in Sugar City
Mathias Alpuche, 54, a cab driver, was found dead in his cab in the Honey Camp area of Orange Walk Town, at about 6:30 yesterday evening. He was found in the driver’s seat of his car with multiple stab wounds in his chest, neck and abdomen, and he was soaked in pools of his blood. At the Northern Regional Hospital, he was declared dead on arrival. Information to us is that the car was seen swerving across the road, and after it was parked by the roadside, a man of Hispanic descent, wearing a red T-shirt, jumped out of the front passenger seat and ran into the bushes.

Penalty for not wearing a mask in public: $5,000 or 2 years in jail
t midnight tonight, the one-month State of Emergency that government declared on April 1 comes to an end. Tomorrow, May 1, Belize enters a new State of Emergency regime under which some of the harsh rules that were instituted during the previous month have been eased, as other rules come into effect in the government’s continuing battle to keep the country free from the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Today, following the announcement by Prime Minister Dean Barrow that government is lifting some of the strict lockdown rules, Attorney General and Minister of National Security, Michael Peyrefitte, took to the airwaves on the government’s webcast Meet the Experts to explain the new State of Emergency laws contained in government’s latest Statutory Instrument.

Athelstan Sanchez, RSM, of the Belize Volunteer Guard, laid to rest
Athelstan Isidro Sanchez, 91, a retired regimental sergeant major (RSM) Warrant Officer Class 1, of the now defunct Belize Volunteer Guards, was laid to rest this morning at the Lord Ridge Cemetery. He died after a bout of illness at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Thursday, April 29. A squad of soldiers from the Belize Defence Force B Company Volunteers acted as escorts and pall bearers, and he was given a mini-military funeral due to the restrictions that are in place to combat COVID-19, which prevented the full military honors due to the fallen sergeant major.

American, Kenneth Stockton, 58, found dead in his house
An American national, identified as Kenneth Winfield Stockton, 58, who was a retiree living on Almond Street, Corozal Town, in Southend, was found dead in his house by police after neighbors smelled a stench coming out of Stockton’s house. Police made an entry into the house last Wednesday, and found Stockton dead on his bed in a state of decomposition. His body was taken to an area where an onsite autopsy is to be carried out to certify the cause of his death, but police said that there were no signs of violence on his body and are ruling out foul play.

Barrow tells Minister Manuel Heredia it is illegal to amend the SOE
Authorities in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, have not been following the national State of Emergency regulations to the letter of the law. Mayor Daniel Guerrero was of the view that because San Pedro is an island and has no hospital, it does not have to fully align its laws with the state of emergency regulations that are uniformly extended throughout the country. Mayor Guerrero was supported in that view by the local Emergency Operations Center and the area representative for San Pedro, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., who supported an amendment to the State of Emergency laws.

BDF soldier killed in traffic accident on Consejo road
Priestly Rancharan, 23, a soldier of the Belize Defence Force, died in a traffic accident today on the Consejo Road in Corozal Town. Reliable information to us is that this afternoon, Rancharan and four other soldiers were on mobile patrol in an SUV on the Consejo Road, and were heading from Corozal Town toward Consejo, when the driver lost control of the vehicle, which overturned. As a result, Rancharan suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost immediately, while the four other soldiers suffered varying degrees of injury.

Editorial: No compassion or just inefficient
There are people in authority who have known difficult times, and there are people in authority who have never known a day in their lives when they didn’t know wherefrom their next meal was coming. It would be an interesting study to find out how quickly the person who has experienced being hungry/deprived forgets his or her past when things are looking good (their belly is full and they have money in the bank) and what is needed for a person who has never known hunger to empathize with persons who don’t have food to eat.

SIB Report for March 2020
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported that in the first quarter of 2020, January to March, Belize earned $62.5 million from exports of merchandize, down 31.7% from exports in the same period last year. The report says that changes in the shipping schedules contributed to declines in exports of sugar and petroleum, the commodities that showed the greatest losses. The value of sugar exports fell from $24.2 million to $3.2 million, down $21 million, and we earned nil dollars from petroleum, compared to $6 million in 2019. On the positive side, earnings from red kidney beans exports increased significantly, up $5.5 million over the $1.5 million the commodity earned in the first quarter of 2019, and export earnings from bananas went up by $1.5 million, from approximately $20 million in 2019 to $21.5 million in 2020. Increased sales of lobster tails pushed exports from marine exports from $10.3 million in the first quarter of 2019 to $10.9 million in the first quarter of 2020.

PM Barrow announces easing of some State of Emergency restrictions
There has been no positive test in Belize for the novel coronavirus for the past 18 days. This has prompted Prime Minister Dean Barrow to announce an easing of some of the restrictions of the National State of Emergency, which came into effect on April 1. Prime Minister Barrow’s announcement this afternoon came on the heels of parliament’s approval of a further two months of the State of Emergency, which expires at midnight tonight.

122 curfew violators arrested
Since the declaration of a national State of Emergency, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a curfew has been in place in an effort to confine members of the public to their homes from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Violators of the curfew face a fine of $5,000 if found guilty. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams announced on Friday that 60 persons had been arrested for curfew violations countrywide, and for other offenses under the State of Emergency regulations.

Belize football, towards a “National Playing Style”
For the past couple years, under its President, Sergio Chuc, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has embarked on a player development project country-wide, with the objective being to raise the playing standard in a sustainable manner and continuously improve over the long term, thus creating a foundation upon which to build our senior national team system, whereby the Belize national team can be successful on the international stage. Director of Georgia Football, Jacob Daniel has been working along with our own FFB Technical Director, Phillip Marin in developing the FFB Coaching Manual which will guide coaches across the country in all phases of the game.

Football Flashback 5: a few more names and corrections
We’re near to completing our lists of First Division/Senior football players over the past decades, but we keep coming across names we overlooked in our journey down memory lane. Egbert Muschamp, from the Belrovers team of the early 1970s in Belize City, called on Saturday and gave us some names we missed, as well as some corrections. He gave us the birth names for “Cuchi” and “Sam Cooke”, as well as a correction for “Tuta”, who we previously had as Flowers, but is actually Reneau. Also, Egbert told us that one-time Dunlop goalie “Pudd’n” was younger brother to legendary referee Elridge “Rubbage” Hyde; Pudd’n’s first name was Gilbert, not Elridge as we had it.

Flabbergasted by 2-month demand
Okay, I advised them when I knew I shouldn’t…. I knew I shouldn’t, not because I suspected my advice was unsound, but because our big people with their swollen heads never take advice from lesser people. It really was a catch-22. I knew what they were after bikaaz when it comes to certain matters dehn like du fool, but if I told them about it, shared a dispassionate view from one who has been observing their inclination to folly when they face Guatemala, they would have ignored me. You’ve heard about ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ —who bayg noh wahn get, an who noh beg noh want.

Induced labour: Arreini, a five-pound daughter …
Looking back now, December 8th, 1973 had proven to be the longest day in the lives of most of the main characters in our story, although it started out routinely enough. Ever since the graduation party at the Roberts’ residence, there had been no reference to it between Jewel and Jerome, although he had mentioned it to Mama as having left a bad taste in his mouth and had made the resolution to be on the alert against repetition of a similar mistake in the future.

State of Emergency – disobedience of the law!
The debate over whether there should be an extended state of emergency is a rather interesting one. I say interesting because as an advocate from early March for a State of Emergency with drastic measures to close down our country so the virus COVID19 is not imported, I based my decision on the then need to prevent the entry of the virus. Since then, we now know that as early as 14th March, 2020, the virus was already here and that on the 19th of March, 2020, when the airport was finally locked down, the virus was already within our borders. We were a few days late.

How COVID-19 is revitalizing Cuba’s medical diplomacy, even Trump’s “maximum pressure” aims to shut it down
Cuban doctors receive Cuban and Italian flags during a farewell ceremony before departing to Italy to assist, amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, in Havana, March 21, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini • Cuba’s longstanding efforts to promote its healthcare system has seen a boost as its medical professionals deploy abroad to aid the fight against the coronavirus.

From the Publisher
From time to time over the years, you will have heard me criticize, often excoriate, Belizean intellectuals, for refusing to address certain controversial or dangerous issues. It’s not fair to our academics, actually, because in the case of yours truly, I had a whole organization of young, militant Belizeans to protect me when I first fought the iconic George Cadle between 1969 and 1974. When I disagreed with Mr. Price between 1981 and 1984, I did not have an organization any more. But I got help. What happened when Mr. Price attacked me in the Supreme Court in 1982/83 was that the then Opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) was key in coming to my financial rescue. In other words, I had “backative,” and present day Belizean academics do not.

LOVE FM

Belmopan’s fire chief speaks about forest fires
Yesterday Love News spoke with several residents in Belmopan who are among dozens who have been enduring the heavy smoke due to forest fires. Our Cayo Correspondent, Fem Cruz reached out to Belmopan’s Fire Chief, Philip Mencias, to get an insight into how the fire service is managing their response to forest fires as well as other situations they have had to deal with in recent months.

MET office advises Belize to prepare for a busy hurricane season
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season is anticipated to have an above-average probability for major hurricanes along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean. According to a report from the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorological Project, current warm conditions appear to transition to cool conditions by this summer/fall.

COMPOL visits the Cayes to ensure compliance
The Commissioner of Police Chester Williams visited Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye today to witness the level of compliance by residents and businesses on the islands as is relates to the Countrywide State of Emergency regulations. Jorge Aldana reports from San Pedro Town.

Business owner of non-essential service charged
Under Belize’s Statutory Instrument #62, gymnasiums are deemed as a non-essential service. Early this morning, however, our newsroom got reports of a police operation at Body 2000 on Coney Drive in Belize City. The reports were that the gym was in operation and that persons were inside exercising. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams confirmed this report to Love News earlier today.

Gas companies blocked from importing LPG
While headlines have been dominated with COVID-19 related issues, there are still pressing matters that have been happening on the national front. One such matter pertains to the importation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) into Belize.

Upcoming Rainy season to bring relief from the drought
The National Meteorological Service of Belize has forecasted that the early part of the rainy season for 2020 will not be as active as usual. However, this rainy season will bring relief to farmers and other residents of Belize who have been suffering as a result of wildfires.

UNICEF Belize donates to children in feeding programs
Unicef Belize and the Ministry of Education have partnered to provide a thousand care boxes to needy families and children. The care boxes contain food items as well as hygiene products, and amount to about $100 per box.

Education CEO asks high schools to have compassion
Principals of secondary schools have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Education’s announcement for an automatic promotion of students into a higher level for the upcoming academic year. The announcement from the Ministry came on April 20 when the Education Minister, Patrick Faber addressed the public on how they intend to move forward due to inability to reopen schools.

MOE to step up production of education booklets
At the start of this week, hardcopy educational booklets courtesy of the Ministry of Education became available across the country. These booklets were produced as learning aides for pre-primary, primary and secondary students as they remain out of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COMPOL on upcoming crime statistics
Recent weeks have seen a dip in major crimes in Belize. The gun violence and murders have reduced significantly and the reports from the Public Relations Office in the Belize Police Department have been few. Compared to other Caribbean countries also combatting COVID-19, their statistics have been contrary. Police Commissioner spoke on this subject yesterday during a press brief in Belmopan.

A Family In The North One Step Closer To Justice
After three years of hoping for closure, a family in August Pine Ridge Village, Orange Walk District is one step closer to receiving justice for the death of their loved one. The man who was...

Post Mortem Conducted On Private Pristley Rancharan
The post mortem examination on the body of Private Pristley Rancharan of Logistic Company, Services & Support Battalion, of the Belize Defence Force has concluded. The report is vague and would only indicate that Private...

No More Active Cases In Belize
It had been 46 days since Belize announced its first COVID-19 case, and now, we are happy to report that there are no active cases in the country. While Belize was saved from the devastation...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

The importance of media literacy for teachers, students and the public
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant changes in the way people interact, do business […]

Norwegian Cruise Line faced with giving up Harvest Caye and other assets to avoid bankruptcy
The Financial Times reports that Norwegian Cruiseline is offering up two of its ships and […]

Ministry of Health: All patients have recovered from COVID-19
The Office of the Director of Health Services has informed that the last 2 patients […]

International Organization for Migration donates over 300 hygiene kits to Belize
On May 4, 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Belize donated over 300 hygiene […]

Football Federation hold online classes in national playing style
Online classes began Monday for coaches and other collaborators of Belizean football on the ‘national […]

Carnival Cruise Line plans August return
Interested in a cruise, or if a tourism worker, when the cruise lines come back […]

Why buying local is important
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many challenges to governments and people around the world. In […]

Fisheries Department reopens with new regulations in place
The Fisheries Department announced that it will be reopening on Wednesday, May 6, with new […]

Mexicans and Mexican-Americans mark Cinco de Mayo
Today is the anniversary of a much-remembered military conflict in northern neighbor Mexico. On May […]

Recipients of unemployment relief Top-up cards advised to protect PIN numbers
Recipients of the Government of Belize COVID-19 unemployment relief, who are receiving payments by way […]

Tropic Air resumes limited domestic flights
Tropic Air announced today that effective Monday, May 11, 2020, it will be resuming domestic passenger […]

How COVID-19 is shaping the new “normal”
Yesterday and today, Belizeans trying to conduct business at the Holy Redeemer Credit Union needed […]

Blogs

Real Estate Reopens in Belize
Though delayed with the coronavirus restrictions, Belize’s Real Estate developments are back on track with their projects. Construction projects may not have seen a full 30-day lockdown during Belize’s State of Emergency, but all projects were affected in some way or the other. With business and movement across the country slowly starting back up, real estate developers push to recover time. Ambergris Caye, where majority of resort and residential real estate is found, has reopened development and plan to make up for lost time. So whether you’re looking to invest or retire, Belize has a home for you! Below, you’ll find some of Belize’s premier real estate developments underway.

What a Weekend in Belize Holds
Belize is an excellent destination that offers lodging and activities in lush jungles and at the beach. Belize is full of history and natural beauty. It is the perfect place to spend an awesome weekend with family and friends. With a shore facing the beautiful Caribbean Sea, Belize is one of the top destinations to enjoy diving and snorkeling for all skill levels! Most spots are only accessible by boats; so, you might spend a few hours in the open sea to reach. Here are some that you should check out:

Regulations Relaxed on Ambergris Caye – Caution Prevails
I don’t know about you but I’m getting a bit tired of the phrase – the “New Normal”. Every single tweak in regulation (here or in the US or anywhere) IS not a “new normal”. It’s a learning process…sometimes just a best guess based on data and the experiences around the world…aimed at protecting the greater good. Nothing going on right now is “normal”… May 1st brought a relaxing of the quarantine regulations in Belize. Our Prime Minister called for a cautious re-opening of the INTERNAL economy. All of our countries’ borders are closed. But now open, though with continued restricted hours and social distancing rules, are most stores, restaurants for take-out and often delivery, barbershops, offices…hotels can re-open… Bars, casinos, nightclubs will remains closed. Movement on public transport – on water taxis or buses – should have a purpose and be able to prove it.

Mango Habanero Margarita
These Mango Habanero Margaritas pack a serious punch and are addictively spicy. You can’t drink them too fast, making them the perfect balance of sweet and heat. If you have enough guts to try the habanero mango syrup by itself, you’ll agree it’s basically a dare. But, it does chill out once you mix it with other ingredients and it gets watered down a bit.

International Sourcesizz

Norwegian Cruise Line sees ‘substantial doubt’ about its future, warns of possible bankruptcy as it seeks to raise $2 billion
Norwegian Cruise Line warned on Tuesday that it may have to seek bankruptcy protection, saying there’s “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a “going concern” as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the industry. Shares of the company fell more than 19% in early trading on the news. In a securities filing, Norwegian said it was in compliance with all of its debt agreements as of March 31, but it couldn’t guarantee that it may need to seek waivers from its lenders. If it cannot amend its credit agreements, the company said it is at risk of default, which would trigger immediate repayment of most of its debt and derivatives contracts. That puts it at risk of bankruptcy.

Videos

  • The Business Perspective, 2.5hr.

  • Quarantoned is a new fitness show on Central TV, 20min.

  • Around the World | Belize, 5min.

  • Shark Kids: Deep sea sharks in Belize and Honduras with Ivy Baremore, 60min. Ivy Baremore joins us all the way from Honduras where she studies Deep Sea sharks. She tells us about the different ways MarAlliance studies these deep sea critters and why it's so important. From Genie's dogfish to the Bluntnose sixgill sharks, the team working closely with local fisher communities have been able to observe some unique and fascinating species.

  • Belize by Drone, 1min. This video shows parts of all of Belize - and many parts you won't see if you are just staying in the resort areas of Belize. We hope you enjoy seeing a part of this beautiful country!

  • Chester Williams on ReefTV, min.

  • Survivor Recalls 1918 Flu Pandemic That Killed 50 Million People, 3min. Listen to this 1918 flu pandemic survivor describe what it was like to live through a disease that killed 50 million worldwide.

  • Escabeche, 14min. Chef Beard Belize prepares one of the most delicious Mestizo dishes. Escabeche! This favourite cultural food originated in Spain, but Chef Beard and many others have made it their own. There are some great cooking tips throughout this video. Enjoy!

  • Belize Awaits: How Belize is Preparing for Post-COVID Tourism, 55min. In the spirit of social distancing, Ted Tejada joins us remotely via telephone to discuss how Belize has fared during the coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to prepare for visitors after our borders are reopened. Ted is the president of the Belize Hotel Association and general manager of the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. In this episode, he gives us some insight into how the tourism industry in Belize was caught off guard, just as the rest of the world, but how the country then took decisive action to mitigate the spread. Belize now ranks 5th globally as one of the most prepared countries in the world to lift its COVID-19 lockdown measures. As of this recording, Belize had recorded 18 cases, with only 2 active cases remaining.

  • Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Belize - lessons being learnt through this COVID-19 crisis, 14min. The Muslim Community is currently in the month of Ramadan. This is a unique time in the faith that allows for fasting, prayer and reflection. Naveed Mangla is the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Belize. He talked with us about the lessons being learnt through this COVID-19 crisis.

  • Belize Credit Union League - ways you can improve how you handle your finances, 33min. Money is tight in these times and so it is even more important to prudently manage our resources. We talked with Corrine Fuller, Executive Director of the Belize Credit Union League about ways you can improve how you handle your finances.

  • Testing for COVID-19 and the overall state of our health sector, 33min. Belize continues to be free of any new cases of COVID-19 and all but two patients have fully recovered from the virus. Nonetheless there is a lot of talk about doing random testing to track if the virus is in the community. We talked with Dr. Fernando Cuellar about testing for COVID-19 and the overall state of our health sector.

  • Belize Estate & Company Limited - Vehicle Maintenance / Servicing, 26min.

  • Business Innovation - Belize Signs Limited, 15min.

  • Business Recovery - Coveid-19 Update, 39min.

  • SPEAKING WITH COMMISSIONER OF POLICE CHESTER WILLIAMS ON CAYE CAULKER, 13min.

  • Cinco de Crabo Virtual Races (week 7), 74min. at Crazy Canucks Beach Bar

  • My Trip To Belize (Garifuna Celebration), 16min. Lina's first time in Belize during the month of November 2019. She also celebrated her non-profit Organization 5th year Anniversary.

  • Belize With The Boersma's, 4min. A recap of our amazing experiences on retreat in Belize. Locations shown in this video include Bocawina Rainforest Resort, Glovers Reef Atoll, Dangriga, and Belize City.

  • A message from Lisbeth Valverde Brenes, Miss Costa Maya Intl. 2019 from Costa Rica, 2min.


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