Effective Friday, June 12, 2020
1. IS CURFEW STILL IN EFFECT?
Yes, curfew is still imposed and in effect for the entire country for BOTH Adults and Minors, 16 years and under from:
o Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 p.m. to 4:59 a.m.
o Friday to Saturday from 12:00 a.m. to 4:59 a.m.
However, minors, 16 years and under, MUST be accompanied by a parent or guardian during:
· The mornings from,
o Sunday to Saturday from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
· The evenings from,
o Sunday to Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:59 p.m.
o Friday to Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.
No person shall be on the streets or in any public place nor on any public road during curfew.
2. WHO CAN MOVE DURING CURFEW?
- ● Members of the security forces, Customs and Excise Department, Department of Immigration Services who are on duty.
- ● Frontline health care providers on duty working for the Ministry of Health (including hospitals which are statutory bodies).
- ● Essential workers who possess a pass badge issued by the Minister of National Security.
3. MOVEMENT OUTSIDE CURFEW HOURS – WHO CAN MOVE AND FOR WHAT PURPOSES?
Everyone can move outside curfew hours and for any purpose whatsoever.
Persons MUST NOT loiter, wander, assemble or otherwise move in any public place and on any public road during non-curfew hours.
4. EXERCISE IS ALLOWED AT ANY TIME OUTSIDE THE CURFEW HOURS.
- ● Social distancing of a minimum of six feet distance must be maintained.
- ● In the case of cycling, no person can ride two abreast.
There is NO requirement for the use of a face mask or face covering while exercising.
5. WHAT ARE THE NEW RULES AS TO SPORTS, GYMS and PARKS?
o All sporting activities are allowed EXCEPT for competitive sporting events.
o Persons WHILE participating in a sporting activity are exempt from practicing social distancing and from wearing a face mask or nose and mouth covering.
o Must close no later than 9:00 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
o All gyms MUST follow the guidelines issued by the National Sports Council.
o All parks, playgrounds and other recreational grounds are OPEN.
6. WHICH BUSINESSES CAN OPERATE?
Every business or service can operate EXCEPT
- ● Discos, bars, rum shops, and nightclubs.
- ● Daycare centres, childcare centres, nurseries and other similar establishments or businesses.
7. WHEN CAN THOSE BUSINESSES OPERATE?
Every business or office can operate at the times as determined by their management according to their approved time as provided in their respective license or permit.
However, every business or office MUST CLOSE no later than:-
- ● 9:00 p.m. on Sundays to Thursdays.
- ● 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
8. ARE THERE ANY CONDITIONS FOR BUSINESSES WHICH ARE OPERATING?
Yes, for certain businesses there are conditions for how they are to carry out or operate their service or business.
9. WHAT ARE THESE CONDITIONS AND TO WHOM THEY APPLY?
- ● Hotels, villas, and other rental accommodations
o But shall not make or take any international bookings.
- ● Restaurants
o Dining must be made by reservation only.
o MUST observe a minimum distance of 6 feet between tables.
o A maximum of 10 guests of the same party can be seated together.
- ● Establishments which hold a publican’s special license operating as a restaurant and not as a bar (or similar business)
o MUST observe a minimum distance of 6 feet between tables.
o A maximum of 10 guests of the same party can be seated together.
- ● Beauty salons, spas, massage parlours, waxing parlours, and barber shops
o by appointment only,
o Only two customers can be allowed to be in a beauty salon or barbershop at any given time (the customer being attended to and the customer who is waiting),
o Where the square footage is such that social distancing protocols cannot be observed between both customers, there must only be one customer at a time;
- ● Casinos and Gaming establishments
o However, NO drinking or smoking shall be allowed,
o MUST observe a minimum of six feet between persons,
o ALL persons must wear a face mask or mouth covering.
10. WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING RULES?
- ● Every person MUST maintain a distance of at least six feet from another person.
- ● Every person MUST wear a face mask or nose and mouth covering in a public place, public space or public office or building.
- ● HOWEVER, children UNDER the age of SIX YEARS are NOT required to wear a face mask or nose and mouth covering.
- ● Every employee of an approved business or office who has constant interaction with the public MUST wear a face mask or nose and mouth covering.
11. EVERY BUSINESS AND OFFICE MUST ABIDE BY THE SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS AND MUST:
- ● Ensure that all customers and staff maintain a physical distancing of at least six feet in or outside their business.
- ● Determine the number of persons that can enter the establishment at any one time, depending on the square footage of the establishment and the social distancing protocols.
- ● Place distance markers of 6 feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand while
o In a line at a check out point; and
o OUTSIDE while waiting to enter the establishment.
12. WHAT ARE SOME ADDITIONAL MEASURES IN PLACE FOR BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING (BPO) COMPANIES?
· Every BPO company or business must maintain, at any given time, a number of employees that is proportionate to the square footage of the establishment.
· Every BPO must install or appoint a special internal auditor for COVID-19 who must submit a written weekly report to the Ministry of Health detailing the following:
o the number of employees and the number of employees who presented themselves to work during the reported week,
o the number of floors and supervisors being utilized,
o the number of employees who call in sick and who are working on a rotational basis,
o the protocols being implemented and observed by the BPO,
o any other information required by the Ministry responsible for health.
· The Ministry responsible for health can carry out spot checks and inspections to ensure compliance.
A BPO found in non-compliance with the provisions is liable to immediate closure by Notice served on the BPO under the hand of the Director of Health Services.
13. CAN I WORK FROM HOME?
Yes. If your employer allows you to operate from home AND your duties can be discharged from your home.
· Employees working from home should be available for work during that employee’s normal working hours.
· Employees are to report to the employer as required or instructed.
14. WHERE AN EMPLOYEE’S ASSIGNED TASKS CAN ONLY BE DISCHARGED AT HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT
· That employee must report to work as instructed by the employer as permitted by the regulations.
· The employer must implement social distancing protocols under this regulation in addition to safety measured as advised by the Ministry of Health.
15. THE USE OF PUBLIC POOLS, BEACHES, AND RIVERS
All public pools, beaches and rivers are OPEN to the public
16. CAN CHURCHES OR PLACES OF PUBLIC WORSHIP OPERATE?
Yes. Churches or places of public worship can OPERATE in any facility or public place.
A congregation MUST consist of a maximum of 100 persons
· Every person MUST wear a face mask or other nose and mouth covering for the entire duration of the service except for the priest or pastor or other person conducting the service or sermon.
· Children, below the age of 12, CAN participate in any service.
17. WHAT ABOUT SOCIAL GATHERINGS?
A person CAN host or attend-
· A private party of no more than 100 persons which can include persons living outside the household
· A recreational event of not more than 100 persons
· A wedding which has more than 100 persons
· A banquet or reception
· Any social event
· A funeral which has more than 100 persons
· A meeting of fraternal society, private or social club, or organization
18. WHAT ABOUT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?
· Every person traveling on public transportation MUST wear a face mask or nose and mouth covering 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 or nose and mouth covering.
· Public transportation is limited to seating capacity and social distancing of six feet shall not be observed.
· The transport operator shall have hand sanitiser for use by every passenger.
· Passengers must purchase a ticket before boarding the bus and MUST observe the six feet social distancing for an orderly boarding of the bus.
· The transport operator shall oversee the sanitisation of the means of public transportation on site at the terminal.
· Before boarding, every passenger must wash or sanitise his hands using the conveniences provided at the terminal. If you board the bus at a place other than the terminal, then you must sanitise your hands using the hand sanitiser provided by the bus operator.
· Everyone must follow the Ministry of Health guidelines.
19. IS THERE A RESTRICTION ON TRAVEL?
Yes. All ports of entry are and will remain closed for the purpose of travelling except for
· Cargo flights, cargo shipments and Commercial courier flights
· Emergency medical flights
· Emergency flights approved by the Minister of National Security
20. PORTS OF ENTRY AND EXIT
· All ports of entry into and out of Belize remain CLOSED. Therefore, anyone found entering or exiting Belize illegally is committing an offence and liable to
o An imposition of a mandatory quarantine AND three (3) months imprisonment for the first offence.
o An imposition of a mandatory quarantine AND one-year imprisonment for a second or subsequent offence.
21. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM ARRESTED AND CHARGED FOR ENTERING OR EXITING BELIZE ILLEGALLY?
· You will be immediately tested for COVID-19 and then taken to court to be arraigned.
· If you cannot be immediately taken to court, you will be isolated in a cell at the nearest police station pending your arraignment.
· After your arraignment, whether you have been granted bail or not, you will be taken to a quarantine facility for a time determined by the Quarantine Authority.
· Once you finish the quarantine period you will
o Be released if granted bail or remanded to prison pending your trial, or
o If you are charged and found guilty of the offence, you will serve the time of imprisonment.
22. I AM BELIZEAN OR A PERMANENT RESIDENT OF BELIZE, CAN I RETURN TO BELIZE FROM ABROAD?
If you are Belizean or a Permanent Resident of Belize, you will be allowed to enter Belize from abroad if you are
· Recipient of urgent medical care abroad (with proof).
· Required to be in Belize to assist in an urgent medical situation.
· Returning student from being enrolled at or a graduate of an educational institution abroad.
· Returning Belizean National or Permanent Resident.
· Resident Belizean diplomat.
A Belizean allowed entry shall be put into immediate mandatory quarantine or self-isolation at the discretion of the Quarantine Authority.
Please DO NOT just show up at the border.
23. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO ENTER BELIZE?
· If you qualify to enter as per the above, please apply to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your nearest Embassy or Consulate for permission. They will provide you with further guidelines.
· Foreign diplomats resident in and accredited to Belize may also be allowed to enter Belize from abroad.
24. WHAT IS MANDATORY QUARANTINE?
If a person develops flu-like symptoms and suspects that they may be infected with COVID-19 or may have had contact with someone who has travelled to or from a country affected by COVID-19 you MUST
· Immediately inform the Ministry of Health
· At your own expense be placed into mandatory quarantine at the discretion of and for a time determined by the Quarantine Authority.
25. 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.
· 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.
26. PENALTIES FOR NOT OBEYING THE LAW
· Any person who contravenes, incites, or attempts to incite any person to contravene any of these regulations commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5,000 or imprisonment for two years.
· A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent offence under these regulations is liable to imprisonment for two years.
· Members of the security services may use force if necessary to ensure compliance with these Regulations.
· Any member of the security forces may enter any premises or board any ship or aircraft without a warrant.
· 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.
These Regulations came into effect on Friday, June 12, 2020, and will remain in effect for the duration of the public emergency.