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Belizeans stranded abroad after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the closing of Belize’s borders have been returning home via the repatriation program led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Health and National Security. The month of June has seen a number of repatriation flights on United Airlines, mainly for foreign nationals to leave Belize. Belizeans who have been allowed to return home are taking advantage of these flights and so far 154 have successfully repatriated. Upon arriving in country, they are swabbed and then transported to designated facilities/hotels where they must spend a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense.

These hotels, mainly in Belize City, include Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, Best Western Biltmore Plaza and the Ramada Princess Hotel and Casino. Other places Belizeans/residents have or are serving quarantine include the Orange Walk and Corozal District and Ambergris Caye. On Ambergris Caye, the designated facility is a large resort south of San Pedro Town, which is currently housing nine persons. They are being monitored by members of the Belize Coast Guard.

The repatriation process began on May 18th when the online application to do so became available. Any Belizean or permanent resident can start planning their return home after filling out an online application found on the website www.covid19.bz. Once the online application has been completed and submitted, its approval will be deemed appropriate after reviewed by the Ministry of Health, Foreign Affairs and National Security. No one should attempt traveling to Belize without prior approval.

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