The tourism industry is gearing up for the arrival of international visitors to designated properties.  In less than a month, the Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen with flights from the U.S.A., where the number of persons affected by the coronavirus continues to break records.  In some Caribbean countries, the virus has been spreading with the arrival of visitors.  Here, the Ministry of Health along with other government ministries are putting in place all safety protocols at the P.G.I.A. for when the first commercial flight lands on August fifteenth. Strict protocols and guidelines will need to be followed and if tourists or returning Belizeans find it difficult to adhere to them, specifically the mandatory quarantine and wearing a face mask, the government is taking it a step further.  Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero told the media today that the government is looking at a legislative framework to enforce such protocols come August fifteenth.

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We actually just came from a discussion where we are looking legislative framework to actually enforce that once you open the airport because I know perhaps people don’t like to hear. Tourists are coming to what is called a safety corridor which means you are coming to a specific entity, specific modes of transportation. You can’t be all over the country but Belizeans who are coming back who are going to families and to the community I think that is where the concern has got to be. The other concern that came to us over the weekend is that also people who are going to be leaving on August fifteenth flights going on vacations to the US for one, two weeks for going shopping to the U.S. and then coming back to homes, families and communities. I think that is an overarching concern. So we need to put something in some legislative framework so that you can mandate that when they return there is some level of quarantine that is still mandated from them aside from the testing.”

Reporter

“Specifically for Americans tourists, should Belizean consider maybe closing our borders to those types of tourists at this time given the situation in their country, sir?”

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Again, if you go through the process because if you remember it says if you have two positive tests upon arrival, you will be quarantined it does not matter what nationality you have. Understand that we have a mask situation here that you will have to abide. It does not matter what nationality people have. All those measures that are there in place are abided by and if you follow the protocol we should have a pretty safe corridor.”

Channel 5