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Virtual Press Conference on COVID-19 Response Measures Thursday #542331
05/13/20 12:19 PM
05/13/20 12:19 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,850
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Tune for a live stream on the Government of Belize Press Office Facebook page on May 14, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. as the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will be hosting a conference to discuss COVID-19 Response Measures.

[Linked Image]

Re: Virtual Press Conference on COVID-19 Response Measures Thursday [Re: Marty] #542354
05/14/20 10:07 AM
05/14/20 10:07 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,850
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Here's the Prime Minister's Virtual Press Conference Live....


Re: Virtual Press Conference on COVID-19 Response Measures Thursday [Re: Marty] #542356
05/14/20 10:46 AM
05/14/20 10:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,850
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
From San Pedro Scoop:

Listening to the Prime Minister's press conference now...
My notes:

Social distancing will remain in place in all things.

May 15: AG will go thru final version of new SI.

Opening of seas, rivers and pools.

Open air restaurants can open.

Churches can hold services with 10 person limit (this threshold should be raised in the next few weeks.)

Citizens wishing to come home to Belize can write to Ministry of Affairs to coordinate but will be subject to 14 day quarantine.

Opening of borders?

PGIA will open, most likely, before boat/land routes across border. It's the PMs "fervent HOPE" that flights can restart July 1st but this is a moving target. (Must look to the US and scientific developments esp. rapid testing, possibility of "immunity of passport") IF there is movement here, we may even reach at point before July 1st. But "not by any means a matter of certainty"

We must be ready for "push-back", we may be taking unacceptable risks until there is a rapid response test or some sort of passport immunity certificate availablle.

Uncertainty is most regrettable but this is a moving target.

==========

From the Ambergris Today:

Notes from PM Press Conference Today, May 14, 2020

NEW SI Implementations start Tomorrow, May 15, 2020

* PGIA - Hope of opening International Airport before Land Borders

July opening projected

*Domestic Tourism Push by Belize Tourism Board is taking place

*People are Allowed to Swim in Sea, Rivers and Pools (Maintain Social Distancing)

*Restaurants (Hotel Restaurants too) allowed to operate with outdoor dining & social distancing practices

*Masks are not necessary for exercising

*Churches can hold services - subject to 10 person limit/social distancing

*Social Gathering still at limited to 10 people

*Repatriation of Belizean Citizens Abroad Begins - Residents abroad are asked to contact respective Embassies for details

=====

SUMMARY OF THE NEW COVID-19 REGULATIONS

These are the new rules for Belize from Friday May 14th.

Under the New SI effective starting Friday May 15th, according to the Prime Minister of Belize, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow
-Belizeans will now be able to travel across interdistrict borders
-Outdoor Exercise will not require persons to wear a face mask
- Private parties allowed 10 persons max
-Pools, Beaches, Rivers is Permitted for swimming subject to Social Distancing
-Hotel Restaurants - Permit eating at restaurants at outdoor seating facilities only with social distancing
-All Established Open Air Restaurants located on private property can operate with social distancing in place
-Belizeans under the new SI will be allowed to travel back to Belize with permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and subject to a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

[Thanks to Will Moreno for listening to the PM and summarizing them.]

Re: Virtual Press Conference on COVID-19 Response Measures Thursday [Re: Marty] #542361
05/15/20 04:51 AM
05/15/20 04:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 66,850
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
A Rundown Of The New Regs

At the top of the news, we told you how the Barrow Government is relaxing some of the strict State of Emergency regulations, now that Belize has been COVID-free for 31 days and counting. This morning, the Prime Minister briefly discussed them in his virtual press conference. In the afternoon, Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte appeared as a guest on the Ask the Experts Webcast to provide a bit more clarity on what rules are changing and which ones remain the same.

Here's what is mostly unchanged. The borders are still closed unless a Belizean stranded abroad has gone through the proper application process to enter legal quarantine.

The 6 p.m. children's curfew and the 8 p.m. curfew for adults are still on. Everyone is expected to maintain strict social distancing protocols, and if you are outside of your home, and in a public place, you are required to wear a face mask. The Government is still encouraging persons to work from home of they are able to. Also, movement outside of the curfew hours must still be purposeful. Loitering, and wandering about aimlessly is still being actively discouraged.

Here's what the Attorney General had to say this afternoon about the rules that have been amended to free up Belizeans just a little:



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

Closer To A New Normal, The Rollback Continues

What we've all been waiting for: a greater relaxation in the State of Emergency measures now that Belize has gone 31 days without a confirmed case of the coronavirus.

Yes, measures will be relaxed, but not all that much. First off, the curfew remains in effect, and so does the requirement to wear a mask at all times in public - except now during morning exercise.

Most important, swimming in the sea, the river, or a pool is permitted. The Prime Minister explained it as a kind of local tourism push - which starts when the new regulations take effect on Friday:


Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"The NOC, supported by Cabinet, has now decided that use of pools, use of the sea (or rivers in the case of inland resorts) is to be permitted. As always, this is subject to social distancing."

"Regarding hotel restaurants, the last position was that they could only offer room service or take-out food. The new arrangements will permit eating at the restaurants so long as the restaurant has outdoor seating facilities. Again, social distancing will obtain so that tables will be six feet apart and not more than 10 persons are to be accommodated at any one time."

"Cabinet recognized that charges of discrimination could arise if we did not do for restaurants generally, what we are doing for hotel restaurants. Accordingly, all open air restaurants will be allowed to reopen once the amended SI comes into effect. I need to stress again, though, that the social distancing prescriptions will still apply. Indeed, the National Task Force is developing a set of written protocols to guide these restaurants on how properly to operate while still social distancing."

"Using the same non-discrimination principle, the general public will now be able to go swimming in our rivers and seas. We can't, for local tourism purposes, encourage it at resorts, but continue to outlaw it generally. So subject to separation, spacing and the cap on the number of persons that can gather in any one place, Belizeans will be able now to again enjoy our aquatic wonders."

"Our Doctor Manza, as some of you know, is quite the jogger. So he certainly sympathized with his fellow aficionados that complained about the difficulties of face mask running. The medical literature bears out the thesis that the masks are not necessary for outdoor exercising. Accordingly, that requirement has been shelved and so the keep fit people can now literally breathe easier."

"Churches can now hold services at their physical facilities, though subject to the 10 person limit."


Channel 7

======

Effective tomorrow, May 15th, Statutory Instrument No. 72 of 2020, the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) Regulations, 2020, will come into force.

To view or download a copy of the new SI, kindly click the link below:

SI No 72 of 2020 Belize Constitution Emergency Powers Regulations 2020

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

State of Emergency regulations relaxed further after a month without cases of COVID-19

In an effort to encourage domestic tourism, the use of beaches, sea, rivers, and pools at hotels is now allowed. The general public can go swimming in rivers and the sea while observing social distancing, and no big crowd gatherings are permitted. Hotel restaurants were initially only allowed to provide room service under the last state of emergency. The new regulation now allows patrons/guests to eat at these restaurants under the condition that they count with an outdoor seating facility. Barrow said that tables need to be six feet apart and not more than ten persons should be accommodated at any given time. In the case of all open-air restaurants across the country, they will be allowed to operate once the new Statutory Instrument comes into effect on Friday, May 15th. A series of protocols is also being prepared for the operation of these restaurants, which will also follow the same conditions as hotel restaurants. Cross-district movement is allowed now, so people can visit restaurants, hotels, and recreational areas. The use of face masks will now be excluded when exercising outdoors. Churches can now open under the condition that no more than ten persons can be at a given service. Barrow said that this threshold could be raised within the upcoming weeks. Belizean border-jumpers will continue to face criminal charges and imprisonment of three months at the Belize Central Prison on the first offense and up to one year after a second offense.

According to the Prime Minister, they are hoping that the PGIA can re-open by July 1st. However, this is tentative and it all depends on the situation with COVID-19. Barrow said that they do not want to undo the success in containing the deadly virus. They will continue monitoring the improvement of the situation in nearby countries like Guatemala, Mexico and Belizeís top tourism market, the United States of America, where the number of cases is still very alarming.

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


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