What you need to know about coming to Belize starting August 15
Visitor Process at (BZE) International beginning Aug. 15
Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) will reopen on August 15th, 2020. With the international airport as Belize’s first port of entry to re-open, they have had to make a number of modifications to ensure safety. Belize’s land borders will remain closed until further notice as a part of its phased reopening.
Modifications to the airport started in early June, as plans to expand the waiting areas and enclose sections of the airport where lines will now form to make entry to Belize as comfortable as possible upon entry. As with all airports since COVID-19, there will be additional wait times due to new screening procedures that must be put in place. Social distancing will also be marked every 6 feet within the airport with over 650 markers going into to place so passengers can easily adhere to following the protocols.
The passenger flow process is depicted in the chart above. The Belize Tourism Board introduced the new passenger flow at the airport outlines the steps guests must take from they disembark the plane until they depart from Belize again.
It is strongly advised that passengers take their COVID-19 PCR tests in the 72-hours before arrival to Belize. If passengers do not adhere to this, they will – at their own cost – be required to take the test at Belize’s International Airport. If result is positive, a mandatory quarantine in Belize is required, at their own cost. To avoid all of this, passengers should ensure they have their test results ready.
The Belize Health App
Lastly, the development of the Belize Health App will make screening, tracing and verification of guests throughout the country much easier. It is a requirement to register on the app before you travel to Belize and will save you time at the airport because if you have not registered before you arrive, you will have to do it when in Belize and will only make your airport process longer.
PGIA Airport will open Aug 15, 2020. It is a phased approach.
To ensure health and safety of all:
• Passengers will need to download and complete a health app prior to boarding. This app will help you to be cleared upon arrival (Where you've been, any test results can be uploaded, contact tracing while in Belize, etc). Immigration and customs forms will eventually be available through this app also. (App not available yet) • If you're willing and able to provide PCR test result within 72 hrs of travel, you will be fast tracked (fast lane) upon arrival. If not, you'll go on for a rapid test, temperature check and review of you health app. Cost of rapid test will be your cost. If positive, then 14 day quarantine at your cost. • Once cleared, go on to customs and immigration as per usual • Must wear a mask in airport at all times. Must wear masks in public places in country. • Social distancing (6ft apart) will apply • Phased approach to which hotels will be allowed to open (full service hotels, that provide transportation, have pool or beach, have restaurants, and provide private tours).
**American Airlines, Delta and United will be flying here as of Aug 15**
Belize Travel Reopening Plan
The Belize Tourism Board introduces the below Travel Reopening Plan for the country of Belize. Kindly note this five-part plan includes the reopening of the international airport in August 15, 2020.
Enhanced Hotel & Restaurant Guidelines
Executive director for the Belize Tourism Board explains requirements for tourists to enter Belize
The discussion on the reopening of the PGIA was based on several factors including the mitigation of risk as well as the precautionary measures needed to ameliorate the safety protocols. Leading the discussion on what the protocols will be like at the airport for both Belizeans and tourists, was Karen Bevans, the Executive Director for the Belize Tourism Board. According to Bevans, the opening of the airport puts Belize at phase three of the reopening process.
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543195 06/26/2010:24 AM06/26/2010:24 AM
Last night, we showed you the announcement from the Barrow Administration that the Philip Goldson International Airport would be re-opening on August 15th.
The re-opening is part of a phased recovery plan for the rebooting of the tourism industry, which has been on a hiatus for 3 months now. With no work and no revenue source, they have been waiting for a definitive answer on the re-opening of the airport.
Last night, you saw how both the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Belize Hotel Association are hitting the ground running. They want to productively use those remaining 7 weeks to prepare for the slow return of tourists. So, we went looking for the perspective of another tourism stakeholder who was calling for the government not to rush the reopening.
He's Yhony Rosado, the outspoken, local tour operator - who works with cruise ships. Rosado and his employees are currently in the midst of the same money worries as the bigger tourism interests. He hasn't earned any revenue for his tour company since, the end of March when the State of Emergency began.
Today, he told us that while he is worried that the rest of the world is still struggling with ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, he can understand why the Barrow Administration is choosing to reopen the country for tourism business in mid-August:
Yhony Rosado - Independent Tour Operator "We, the people, did our part for our country, and our government, to not get infected. And, we won. But now, the economic part, it's different. Finance is running out. The desperation is getting there."
"I'm here today, Mr. Ortiz, to let you know that I totally understand the decision of the Government of Belize. I totally understand because I was not the one, or we, the masses of the poor people were not the ones protesting out there, burning tires, or doing anything like they're doing in Central America to open up the country. We did not do anything like that. It was the rich people of this country that, through emails, and through the intellectuals, they pressured our government. And our Government knows that we're running out of fuel. We're running out of our cash."
"I was against the opening of the airport a little bit too soon. As you know, every week, every day, there's some medication. There's some - we're winning the battle against the coronavirus in the scientific world, in the medical world, where we get a new answer for this virus. So, the longer we take, it was better for us, Little Belize, because we are not infected. We're not infested."
"I did make a comment in our press conference as FECTAB, before we got infected, to close our country. And I made a comment after, please don't open our airport. And now, the Government has [decided to] open the airport, either if it is his wisdom, or he was being pressured."
"According to them, everybody that will come to Belize will be coming [in] clean. If anybody comes infected and infects the country, it's not a tour guide or a tour operator, nobody is to be blamed. It is no one but themselves. And so, this is where I get a voice as an average Belizean person, We will do our due diligence."
The Attorney General clarified that during phase 3 (the reopening of airport on Aug 15 to international travelers), those presenting a negative PCR test within 72 hours (prior to) arrival will be allowed to "roam freely."
Those who don't have one will do the (less reliable) rapid test and will need to stay at one of the approved full-service resorts and are not able to "roam freely".
The Belize Tourism Board will be providing more clarification on Thursday
Ready to visit Belize? Here's what you need to know.
Can Belizean citizens travel back to Belize right now?
Belize is currently only open for citizens and residents trying to return home by the airport only. Belize’s land borders remain closed until further notice, but the (BZE) International Airport is functioning for repatriation flights and will reopen on August 15th, 2020 for leisure travel. There is a mandatory 14-quarantine in place for those entering Belize prior to August 15th, 2020.
When can tourists and foreign nationals travel to Belize again?
Foreign nationals will be able to travel to Belize starting August 15th, 2020 via Belize’s International Aiport (BZE) on commercial flights or private charters. Delta, United and American Airlines are expected to resume service on August 15th, 2020.
Are COVID-19 tests required to travel to Belize?
Yes, in order to travel to Belize, every single visitor no matter your nationality (including Belizeans) must provide a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 72-hours of your flight to successfully enter the country.
What happens if I don’t have a negative test upon arrival?
If an arriving passenger – citizen, resident or foreign national does not provide proof of a negative test results within 72 hours prior to arrival, they will be immediately required (at their own cost) to take a rapid test given by Belize’s Ministry of Health at the BZE airport. If this test proves a positive result for Covid-19, you will be required to remain quarantine in a government-approved location.
Do I need to wear a face mask in Belize?
Face masks are required in all public places, including transit through Belize's international airport, and travelers are encouraged to wear them throughout the duration of their flight.
Is public transportation open in Belize?
Public transportation in Belize is operating via buses, water taxis and domestic airlines.
Are food service establishments open in Belize?
Yes, Restaurants, Bars and Cafes in Belize are open but are required to practice social distancing among tables and masks upon entry, but not while seated at your private table. Reservations are recommended.
Are businesses and tourism attractions open in Belize?
Yes, they are open but are required to practice social distancing and implement new safety protocols. There are new capacity restrictions that have been identified for all tourism sites to ensure social distancing can be maintained and smaller groups will provide a more intimate tour experience. As in any public space, or activity, you are required to wear a mask. For more details on the rules of using face masks while on vacation in Belize, click here.
What important contact numbers should I have when traveling to Belize in case of an emergency?
Ministry of Health Hotline: 0-800-MOH-CARE (664-2273) Belize Tourism Board Information Line: 1-800-624-0686
Coronavirus Case Statistics – Belize has some of the lowest cases of Coronavirus throughout the Americas and the Caribbean.
Total Number of Cases: 24 Total Number of Recovered Cases: 19 Total Number of Death: 2
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543281 07/01/2004:53 AM07/01/2004:53 AM
August 15th has been officially announced as the date the Philip Goldson International Airport will re-open. A phased approach was introduced yesterday that details the protocols that will be in place to ensure the safety of both passengers and nationals. We invited representatives of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) to speak on the re-opening and how the industry is preparing to meet the new requirements.
John Burgos - Executive Director, BTIA Stewart Krohn - Second Vice President, BTIA
MESSAGE FROM BELIZE MINISTRY OF HEALTH: For those who CANNOT obtain a Covid test result within 72 hours of arriving in Belize when the airport opens on August 15, you can get your Covid test upon arrival at Belize International Airport at NO CHARGE. As soon as it's available, in the near future, you will need to download the Belize Health App to your phone. At the airport they will scan that into their system, along with all the details filled out on the required health form, including exactly where you are staying. You HAVE TO remain in place at that location UNTIL they advise you of your test result. If it's positive, you have to remain in quarantine at your location for 14 days, and the Ministry of Health will track your progress. If it's negative, you will be allowed to mingle with those who live here. The Ministry of Health are currently processing Covid tests quite rapidly, but by August 15, they are hoping to have ALL test results within 24 hours. It is VERY important to wear a mask on the plane, incase there is a Covid positive passenger, in order to reduce your risk of contamination. The Belize Ministry of Health says any passenger is flying at their own risk.
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543295 07/02/2005:01 AM07/02/2005:01 AM
The Philip Goldson International Airport opens on August 15th and Belizeans aren't being quiet about it. It's the topic of conversation at the water cooler, in the bank line, and everywhere else you can think of. Vacillating between an economic emergency and a pending public health disaster, everyone has their own opinion. This morning Cherisse Halsall took to the streets to get the people's perspective on the upcoming airport reopening as well as the official end of curfew. Here's what they said:
Dr. Jorge Hidalgo - thoughts on health challenges in reopening of the PGIA
Dr. Jorge Hidalgo shared his thoughts on the potential health challenges in the reopening of the PGIA. As one of three critical care doctors in country, he talked about how we can safeguard the health of both visitors and locals as the country prepares to restarts the tourism industry.
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543377 07/07/2005:34 AM07/07/2005:34 AM
In an effort to keep all travellers to Belize informed, we are providing the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 below. We do invite you to consider postponing, rather than cancelling your vacation, and visiting our beautiful jewel in the near future when these restrictions are reduced.
Kindly take note of our Frequently Asked Questions and all official updates from our Ministry of Health below to keep updated.
Are there any specific requirements that must be undertaken prior to my travel to Belize?
Download the Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding the flight to Belize.A QR code with a unique ID number will be returned to you, and will be used for contact tracing while in Belize.
You are also encouraged to take a Covid PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize.
Book a hotel in Belize that has achieved the Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition (refer to question #4 below).
Where can I find the Belize Health App?
The Belize Health App is not yet available for download. The App is required to be downloaded within 72 hours of your arrival in Belize. Once it goes live there will be official communication from the Government of Belize and the Belize Tourism Board on where the app can be found and instructions on how it should be used.
I do not have a smartphone/not travelling with a phone – how will I be able to register for the Belize Health App?
It is recommended that if you do not have a smartphone, that you download the app to a tablet and submit your information within 72 hours of boarding your flight to Belize.
Where can I find a list of all the countries approved for entry to Belize?
The Government of Belize (GOB) does not have any travel bans in place for visitors to Belize at this time. We encourage you to visit www.travelbelize.org regularly for updates on Covid-19, as the situation remains fluid.
What specific measures are being taken to protect visitors to Belize from contracting the virus?
A series of new enhanced health and safety protocols have been put in place to protect Belizeans, our communities, and our visitors. These include:
Introduction of “Tourism Gold Standard” Recognition Program for hotels, restaurants and tour operators. This 9-point program seeks to enhance the tourism industry’s health and safety standards by adapting new behaviours and procedures to ensure both employees and travellers are confident in the cleanliness and safety of Belize’s tourism product. Some of these new standards include:
Enhanced health and safety protocols for:
Social distancing and the use of face masks while in public spaces
Online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, and automated ordering/booking systems
Hand sanitizing stations across the property
Enhanced room cleaning and increase sanitization of public spaces and high touch surfaces
Daily health checks for guests and employees
Designated ‘Isolation/Quarantine rooms’ for suspected Covid-19 cases and action plans for handling suspected employees or guests.
Tours, Archaeological Sites & National Parks
New capacity restrictions for all tourism sites to ensure social distancing can be maintained
Smaller tour groups to provide a more intimate tour experience
Sites and Parks to manage tours by appointment to limit the number of persons on site
Enhanced sanitization of tour equipment
Although limited in scope, this phased approach allows for the industry to re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary, to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors. As the country re-opens for travel, Belize wants to assure travellers and residents that hotels and restaurants will be cleaner and safer than ever before.
Which airlines will provide service to Belize upon re-opening?
To date, three airlines have confirmed resumption of service when the international airport is reopened on August 15th:
American Airlines – Miami to Belize, daily service
United Airlines – Houston to Belize, 5 times per week
Delta – Atlanta to Belize, 3 times per week
Will all hotels reopen when the airport opens on August 15th 2020?
No. When the airport reopens our hotels will be opened in a phased approach. The first grouping of hotels that will be allowed to open include properties that:
have achieved the Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition, and
provide full service to guests.This means that these hotels are able to provide all amenities, so as to contain the guest on the property, and minimize opportunities for guest interaction within the local community. These amenities include having transportation to offer pick-up/drop-off services from the airport; access to a restaurant on property; have a pool or access to beach front; and be able to provide isolated tours, limited to guests of the property only.
Travelers are therefore encouraged to book Gold Standard approved hotels. A list of the Gold Standard approved hotels will be available at www.travelbelize.org in the coming weeks.
If I am unable to take a PCR test prior to traveling to Belize, will I be required to test upon arrival?If so, what is the cost of the test?
Yes. All visitors travelling to Belize have the option to take a Covid-19 test within 72-hours of travel. Passengers who present a negative PCR test upon arrival, will be able to utilize the ‘fast track’ entry lane for much faster arrival processing.
Passengers who do not have a negative test will be required to undergo testing by the Ministry of Health upon arrival. This is at a cost to the passenger and the exact amount will be made available shortly.
If I test positive at the airport, will I be able to get a flight back out of Belize without having to be placed in quarantine?
No. All arriving passengers who test positive at the international airport will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at the passengers’ expense.
What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 upon my arrival in Belize?
Passengers arriving to Belize who test positive for Covid-19 will be placed in an approved quarantine facility for a minimum of fourteen (14) days. Individuals must have two negative Covid-19 tests at the end of this period before they will be considered as ‘cleared’ from the virus. The cost of quarantine is the sole responsibility of the passenger. It is recommended that travellers explore the possibility of acquiring travel insurance prior to their Belize vacation.
If I do the test in Belize; how quickly are the results given?
Passengers arriving in Belize without a negative Covid-19 PCR test must undergo rapid testing upon arrival before entry to the country will be granted. Results can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes of taking the test, and the cost is at the passengers’ expense.
Will children (under 16 years old) be required to present a negative PCR test or be tested upon arrival as well?
Can groups who require the use of charter buses for their vacations continue to use this service?
Groups who require the use of a charter bus for transportation in country will need to arrange this with an approved Gold Standard tour operator. Arrangements can also be made with an approved Gold Standard Hotel.
Will returning Belizeans be required to go into the 14-day quarantine upon their return to Belize once the airport reopens?
No. Once the airport reopens on August 15th 2020, all returning resident Belizeans, has the option to take a Covid PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize.
If you are unable to provide a negative result of a Covid PCR test done within 72 hours before travel, you will be required to take a Covid-PCR test at the Belize international airport.
Belizeans who test positive upon arrival will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at your expense.
Can families and groups traveling to Belize rent their own vehicles for their vacation?Does this mean that rental car companies would not be allowed to operate?
During phase 3 of reopening of the industry for international leisure travel, rental car companies will not be permitted to rent vehicles to international visitors. Transportation providers include approved Gold Standard tour operators, Gold Standard accommodations approved for phase 3 reopening, airport taxis, and the domestic airlines offering flights from the international airport.
If I test positive can I quarantine in my personal home?
No. All individuals who test positive upon arrival must quarantine in an approved quarantine facility for a minimum of 14 days at the passengers’ expense.
How do I get from the airport to my hotel; are there certified transportation providers?
Yes. Transportation providers include approved Gold Standard tour operators, Gold Standard accommodations approved for phase 3 reopening, airport taxis, and the domestic airlines offering flights from the international airport.
Upon arrival in Belize, what will the Immigration and Customs process entail?
Enhanced health and safety measures have been adapted to protect both officers and arriving passengers. Some of these measures include protective barriers to reduce contact between the officers and the passengers, kiosks for scanning of passports upon entry, luggage scanners in the Customs Hall, and safety barriers where inspection of luggage is required.
How long should I anticipate getting through arrivals?
If a negative PCR Covid test is produced upon arrival, you immediately proceed to the ‘fast track’ arrivals processing. Time varies depending on the result of your health screening, temperature screening, and test results.
If I am not booked at a Gold Standard Certified Hotel, can I still travel to Belize? If so, will I be required to go into quarantine?
During this initial phase of reopening (Phase 3) there will be a limited opening of hotels. Only approved Gold Standard recognized hotels will be permitted to accept international guests. These hotels will offer full service which means that the hotel is able to provide all amenities so as to contain the guest on the property, and minimize opportunities for guest interaction with the local community. These amenities include:
having transportation to offer pick-up/drop-off services from the airport;
access to a restaurant/bar on property;
have a pool or access to beach front;
on-site entertainment; and
be able to provide isolated tours, limited to guests of the property only.
A list of the Gold Standard approved hotels will be available at www.travelbelize.org in the coming weeks.
I plan on visiting Belize and staying in a condo; will condos be included in phase 3 of reopening for travel?
Different classifications of properties that meet the requirements will be approved to reopen during phase 3; this may include condos. We recommend that you visit www.travelbelize.org to see the list of properties approved for reopening.
Am I required to wear a mask; if yes where?
Yes. By law, all citizens and visitors to Belize must wear a face mask when in public spaces.
Is there a curfew?
No, not at this time.
Will I be able to explore Belize on my own, during this first phase of reopening?
During this first phase of reopening for international leisure travel, visitors will be able to visit tourism sites on tours with an approved Tourism Gold Standard tour operator. Tours to sites and parks can be arranged with your Tourism Gold Standard hotel.
Although limited in scope, this phased approach allows for the industry to re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors. As the country re-opens for travel, Belize wants to assure travellers and residents that hotels, restaurants, and tour operations will be cleaner and safer than ever before.
Where do I find out which tourism sites are opened? How do I book a tour to these sites?
During this phase of reopening, visits to tourism sites can only be done through an approved tour operator. We recommend that you discuss which tours/sites you are interested in with your accommodation provider, to find out which tours are available, and they will assist you in booking these activities.
All visits to tourism sites and parks will be done on an appointment basis and all guests must be accompanied by an approved tour operator/guide.
What should I do if I start to exhibit symptoms during my vacation?
If you start to exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms, immediately notify your hotel’s front desk, and they will implement their Covid Response Plan.
If someone at the resort where I’m staying tests positive for COVID-19, would everyone be quarantined for 14 days?
This is dependent on the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing exercise. The hotel will utilize its communication plan to advise of any necessary steps to be taken.
If a guest becomes infected and requires an extension beyond their reservation dates, who pays for the extended stay? Are there any special provisions like discounted rates if the guest has to pay it?
Should a guest test positive upon arrival into the country or develop symptoms and be identified as having the virus while in country and require to be placed in quarantine, the cost of this is the sole responsibility of the guest. It is highly recommended that all travelers to Belize obtain travel insurance prior to departure in the event that they become sick while on vacation.
What if a family or group is traveling and 1 member of the party tests positive, will the entire party be quarantined for 14 days?
All members of the group will be tested, and based on the results of the test, quarantine of individuals will be determined.
Will spa services be allowed?
Yes. However, both providers and customers are advised to refrain from high contact treatments which involve the face, nose, and mouth such as facials, lip scrubs, etc. Approved Gold Standard accommodations will have safety protocols for this service.
Will visitors be allowed to go out to shop while in Belize?
Guests will be allowed to shop on property, while on approved tours at site gift shops, and approved accommodations are also encouraged to arrange visits from local artisans so that guests can access other souvenir options.
Do Belizeans living abroad have to stay in a Gold Standard hotel or can they stay with family members?
Belizeans living abroad can stay with family members. However, they must either present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight OR take a PCR test upon arrival.
National Guidelines for Re-Opening of the Tourism Sector Post-COVID-19
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543421 07/09/2005:00 AM07/09/2005:00 AM
Belize Is Holding the Gate Open For You Belize is reopening its International Airport (BZE) on August 15th, 2020. Belize's culture is calling; our history is waiting to be discovered; wildlife and beauty beckon. And as a destination worth waiting for, we'll see you soon.
Re: International Airport to re-open Aug. 15, Tourism restart
#543455 07/11/2005:12 AM07/11/2005:12 AM
The Philip Goldson International Airport is scheduled to re-open for international travel on August fifteenth. This will allow visitors to enter Belize and jump-start the tourism industry and by extension support the recovery of the economy. There is the fear, however, that the arriving tourists will bring COVID-19. The Ministry of Health, in coordination with different agencies, has designed a plan on how tourists will be managed from the time they book their travel to Belize. But what happens when a tourist feels that his rights are being violated? Recently, in Antigua and Barbuda, several tourists were threatening legal action over the current mandatory coronavirus testing protocols upon arrival to the islands. Some of the tourists there did not follow mandatory quarantine orders and booked flights to return to their home country. Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that the public health at this time is supreme and tourists will follow mandatory quarantine protocols at their own expense.
Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services
If you are arriving with COVID from your home country, the overall public health measures trumps whatever situation you may have. I mean you are talking about the overall health of a country so I don’t know that that’s, I have read but I don’t know if that is a valid situation. Belizeans are more entitled and whatever we say is what must go. I know that a part of what Antigua is going through has been sent on to the relevant persons here so we can review, make sure that things are amended so that those things don’t happen to us. Maybe people should start talking the drastic measures that countries such as Mexico have. Mexico clearly articulates that foreigners have no opinion in the national say of what happens in Mexico. That is the law. You can’t say anything as a foreigner once you are in Mexican land in terms of policies and government decisions are taken.”
“Is there any expectation that there will be another lockdown after August fifteenth if we see a drastic increase of COVID-19 as we have seen in other countries?”