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G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday #546970
12/18/20 05:51 AM
12/18/20 05:51 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
The Government of Belize is expected to announce new quarantine regulations on Friday which will become effective on Saturday. As you will recall, the most recent Statutory Instrument expires this Friday. But going into the Christmas holidays with a large number of COVID-19 cases daily has prompted law makers to institute additional measures. This morning, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa appeared on Open Your Eyes where he shared that the public can expect some changes in the law coming into force. Some of those changes are centered on the fines for violations of the law. For example, failure to comply with facemask will result in a five hundred dollar fine and as we had shared earlier this week, the police will no longer be doing those mass arrests of persons who breach the regulations. The violations will be ticketed going forward. Here’s more from Minister Kareem Musa:

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs


“What I can tell you off the bat, because they are still refining some of these regulations for the press conference tomorrow and the intent is to in fact make it come into effect on Saturday, the twentieth of December. But what I can tell you off the bat, one of the very first discussions that myself along with the Minister of Health Minister Michel Chebat had was regarding the police department and police officers having so much contact with members of the public. At the end of the day what we are seeingfrom the magistracy is that individuals found guilty under these quarantine regulations are being fined somewhere in the vicinity of five hundred dollars, max fifteen hundred dollars. So nobody is being fined this five thousand dollar maximum. So what we have done is to limit the amount of contact and the amount of time that police have to deal with these offenders. So, it will now be a ticket-able offence. You have the option to pay the fine – the fine will be five hundred dollars so there is a reduction in the fine. We understand the tough economic times but at the same time we can’t put it too low at a hundred dollars or a hundred and fifty dollars because then everybody will be taking off their mask and then everybody will not be observing social distancing in public. So, that is the way forward and if you do not pay your fine then you will be given a court date to attend court to dispute the allegations that have been made and the charges that have been made against you. So, it requires every a radical shift in the way we have been doing things. I think we have been doing it in a very irresponsible manner the way we have everybody piling up at the police stations being detained and then having to go to court.”

Channel 5

Re: G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday [Re: Marty] #546986
12/18/20 11:11 AM
12/18/20 11:11 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Here's the press conference... Live stream of the Ministry of Health's virtual press conference: Update on COVID-19 in Belize and New Quarantine Regulations.


Re: G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday [Re: Marty] #546991
12/18/20 11:28 AM
12/18/20 11:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
MOH press conference happening now: Announcements due to increasing cases and deaths in Belize.

Adopting the following measures starting Dec 20th: The curfew will be lengthened from 8pm to 5am, for minors 6pm to 5am, sale of liquor will be restricted from 6pm to 7am EXCEPT hotel restaurants. Penalty for those who have tested positive and are not adhering to quarantine. Buses and water taxis can only carry 50% of seating capacity.

Business owners are responsible for enforcing mask regulations in their businesses. Businesses that do not comply by regulations. Employees $200, Employer fine $5000, 1st violation. 2nd violation, 7 day closed. LIMIT to no essential travel to/from Corozal and OW.

There is a hotline to report parties - large group gatherings. 0-800-PARTIES

What about the vaccine? Belize is working with the IADB...to procure and distribute vaccine. Govt of Belize has entered into agreement to procure vaccine for 30% of the population - the most vulnerable. Signed on the 18th of September with GAVI (?)

Starting Sunday, December 20th, Public Transportation will only allowed to carry 50% of their capacity.

Businesses will only be allowed to operate at 50% capacity based on square footage.

=====

Statutory Instrument No. 175 of 2020 comes into force on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

Here are the new regulations:

QUARANTINE (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID-19) REGULATIONS, 2020

CLICK HERE!

Re: G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday [Re: Marty] #547002
12/19/20 05:24 AM
12/19/20 05:24 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
NO TRAVELLING TO AND FROM AND WITHIN THE TWO NORTHERN DISTRICTS

NO travelling will be allowed to and from the Corozal and Orange Walk District except for work, medical purposes and the delivery of goods. Inter district travel will be restricted for the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, except for for work, medical purposes and the delivery of goods.

====

- A curfew will be in place from 8pm to 5am for adults and 6pm to 5am for minors 16 and younger. Exceptions will be made for essential workers in possession of a badge from the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries.

- No alcohol can be sold between the hours of 6pm to 7am.

- Buses can only carry 50% capacity, and must continue to sanitize and implement face mask protocols.

- Inter and inner district travel will be restricted for the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts.

- Face masks must continue to be worn with the exception of those who are a) on a private residence b) driving alone or c) driving with members of your household. There is now a $500 fine across the board for those who are caught without a mask. Businesses can also be fined if they allow customers into their establishments without masks.

- A distance of 6 feet must continue to be maintained at all times.

- No private gatherings are allowed. Households may have visitors, as long as the number of persons at the household at any one time does not exceed ten. There is now a hotline in place to report households hosting private gatherings.

- No more than 10 persons inside churches for mass, weddings, and funerals.

- Bars, nightclubs, gyms and gaming establishments remain closed.

- Establishments can only reach 50% capacity of persons inside, including customers and staff members. A distance of 6 feet must be maintained outside the business as well, and visible markers must be placed. For bigger department stores and the like, JP’s will be assigned to ensure quarantine regulations are kept within the store. Business Owners will be expected to carry the cost of the JP’s.

- In the case of BPO’s, all employees must adhere to social distancing and face mask regulations, hand wash stations must be in and outside of the establishment, no more than two people at any one dining tablet, and the lunch rooms must only hold 50% capacity.

- Businesses will need to employ a COVID-19 internal auditor to provide weekly reports to the Ministry of Health and Wellness. The Ministry will provide guidelines on what information the reports will contain.

- Non-essential businesses are expected to put their employees on a shift system. Non-essential workers are also expected to be able to work from home.

- Spas, beauty salons, and barbershops can only have two customers inside, except in the case of a small building, where they will only be allowed one. Customers must make appointments.

- Businesses that don’t comply can be fined $5,000, with employees being fined $200, and there is also the risk of the business being forced to shut down.

- Restaurants can be opened for take-out. Those that have open air seating can provide dine-ins but customers must make a reservation, and can only seat 50% of their capacity.

- Contact sports are still disallowed.

Of note, essential services are those that fall under health, tourism, banking, law enforcement, agriculture, and food.


Belize COVID-19 Regulations Update (December 2020)
If you missed the live press conference or don't want to go through the hours of video footage of other parts of the live press conference, we have made a video containing only the part containing the new COVID-19 Regulations and updated ones that take effect on Sunday, December 20th, 2020.

Re: G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday [Re: Marty] #547005
12/19/20 05:32 AM
12/19/20 05:32 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

New Covid Containment Regs Make For A Calm Christmas

The new COVID regulations laid out today will be with us for weeks, maybe more.

This morning, the Ministry of Health and Wellness hosted a long awaited press conference, rolling out the new SI that will come into effect on December 20 - deployed to quickly contain the fast increasing number of COVID cases and deaths.

And even though we say "new" SI, it's regulations are similar to previous ones under the Barrow Administration. Familiar regulations like curfews, mandatory face masks, and social distancing are still in place, along with other protocols like limited inter district travel, that the police and the Ministry will enforce with random spot checks.

Minister of Health, Michel Chebat, gave a brief overview of the new regulations.

Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Health and Wellness
"Starting on the 20th of December, the curfew being imposed will commence at 8pm and it will go to 5am. For minors, children under 16 years old, the curfew will begin at 6pm and that will last till 5am. The sale of liquor will be restricted from 6pm to 7am with the exception of those restaurants that are in hotels. There is now gonna be a penalty for persons who have tested positive and are not adhering to the mandatory quarantine. The penalty for not wearing a mask will continue, we are not introducing a restriction to public transportation where buses and water taxis will only be permitted to carry 50% of their seating capacity. In terms of businesses who violate and employees who violate these regulations, a $200 fine will be imposed on employees and on employers a $5,000 fine and a second violation by employers will result in their business being closed for a period of 7 days. We're also gonna be imposing a fine for those people who continue to have parties at their homes. Businesses are only gonna be allowed a 50% customer base which is gonna be based on their square footage. We're introducing a limit to non-essential travel, interdistrict travel from Corozal and Orange Walk districts. The concept behind limited this non-essential interdistrict movement is very simple in view of the fact that are unable to sustain the type of protracted nationwide limitation of movement of the nature a scope that we have seen in other countries, the localized interdistrict movement limitation instead seeks to attain a fall in the incidences and overall rate of transmission at the municipal and subnational levels."

Christmas Under Covid Will Look Like This

The Minister of Home Affairs used his presentation to explain the regulations in depth - Uncle Peyrefitte style, minus the one liners.

Musa began by explaining the basics - the curfew and the dreaded Christmas parties expected to occur.

Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth
"This curfew of 8pm excludes workers in the following professions: the security forces, customs and excise department, the department of immigration services, frontline healthcare providers with the Ministry of Health or any other essential worker issued a badge by the Minister of Home Affairs."

"The attorney general's ministry is currently drafting legislation that early in the new year we will be presenting so that police officers can issue tickets so that is not in place yet so you will still be detained, you will still be taken to the police station, processed, and you will still need to go to court at least until that law is passed."

"No type of private gathering is allowed, you cannot organize host or attend private gathering. 10 people maximum so every now and again you might have a visitor, unexpected, that different than hosting a private gathering, you can have a visitor but make sure it is never over ten people the moment, you're over ten people inside your residence then everybody can be charged under this SI."

There is a $500 fine for people caught without wearing face masks, and business owners can be held liable if customers are in their establishments without masks.

There are also a few more regulations in place for businesses, both big and small.

Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth
"In terms of inside your building, business owners have to ensure that customers including staff must not make up more than 50% maximum capacity of your building. So if your building can hold 100 people which includes customers and staff you now can only have 50 people inside your business."

"Department stores, hardware stores, dry goods stores, and shops, we're going to have Justices of the Peace assigned to your business. If your business is more than 2,000 square feet in size, we will have Justices of the Peace assigned to your business and you will be responsible for paying the cost of having these Justices of the Peace."

"You know BPO's they don't have customers per se but they have hundreds of employees and so these regulations apply to them, the following regulations apply to them, so the Justices of the Peace will not be assigned to BPO's, but the responsibility for BPO's and other businesses still lie with the managers and owners. So they are to ensure that the employees are observing social distance among the workers, face mask at all times, they are to install hand wash stations at the entrance and within the BPO company and they are to ensure that no more than two people are seated at any one table and that during lunch breaks, the seating capacity of that particular room is up to 50% and no more."

"All businesses including BPO's shall appoint a COVID-19 internal auditor who will prepare and submit weekly reports to the Ministry of Health."

"Businesses are to implement a shift system unless they are essential businesses and essential businesses are those involved in health, tourism, banking, law enforcement, agriculture, or food. So all other businesses, if you are not essential you must implement a shift system. Every employer of non-essential business shall implement measures to allow their employees to work from home where possible."

Bars, nightclubs, gyms and gaming establishments must remain closed. Spas, beauty salons, and barbershops are only allowed two customers at a time, unless the building is small, then only one customer can be inside. Restaurants can still be opened for take out, delivery, or drive through. Those with outdoor or open air seating can have customers dine in, but they must make a reservation and only 50% of seating capacity is allowed.

As for churches, no more than 10 people are allowed inside for mass, weddings, and funerals.

Contact sports are still disallowed, and those who exercise outdoors must maintain a six foot social distance.

Channel 7


GOB introduces new regulations to contain the spread of COVID-19

On Sunday, December 20th, new quarantine regulations will introduce a new curfew and limit inter-districting travel, particularly from the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Also, there will be further restrictions on public transportation capacity by 50%, the sale of alcohol, and new fines for employers and employees for violations against the regulations.

Minister of Health and Wellness Honourable Michel Chebat discussed the new regulations during a virtual press conference on Friday, December 18th. Chebat stated that in limiting traveling from the northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal, it is necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as these districts are experiencing a high number of positive cases and deaths. However, the mainland’s labour force that temporarily lives in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, can still travel to these districts to return home. According to the measures presented, other non -essential traveling will be restricted.

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


Re: G.O.B. Announces New Quarantine Regulations on Friday [Re: Marty] #547014
12/20/20 05:15 AM
12/20/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 77,056
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP
Statutory Instrument No. 175 of 2020 comes into force on Sunday, December 20, 2020.Here are the new regulations:

QUARANTINE (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID-19) REGULATIONS, 2020

CLICK HERE!

From Commissioner of Police Chester Williams

Good morning, Regulation no. 175/2020 will come into force tonight at midnight. The important features of this Regulation are as follows-

- curfew is from 8pm to 5am. For children its from 6pm to 5am.

The curfew shall not apply to members of the security forces, health workers, customs, immigration officers and other essential workers who are required to move in the course of their employment.

- every person except a child under the age of 6 years are required to wear a mask when in any public place or space.

Persons engaged in cycling, exercising or other authorized sporting events are not allowed to wear mask when engaged in any of the activities.

- A person driving alone in a vehicle or with persons from the immediate household do not need to wear a mask.

- Every person must maintain social distancing of no less than 6 ft. When in public.

- persons engaging in Volleyball, tennis, golf or table tennis do not need to practice social distancing. Cyclists are to ride only in single file and persons exercising must practice social distancing.

- Where the square footage of a business establishment exceeds 2000 Sq. The proprietor must hire at his expense a peace officer for each floor to ensure compliance with these regulations.

- The business establishment must also ensure that there are markers inside and outside of the establishment showing the 6ft. Distance for customers to stand.

- An employer commits and offense if he fail to comply with these requirements.

- Restaurants, diners, food street vendors and Saloons remains open; but only for take out or delivery service.

- Restaurants that are open air can host patrons at 50% of their usual capacity and must only be by reservation.

- Spas, barbershop and salons, can open but only on appointments basis.

- Buses and Water Taxi can now only operate carrying 50% of their legally authorized capacity. The operator of these public transports must ensure their passengers wear a face mask at all time during their travel.

- No person shall gather for any social purpose in groups of more than 10 if they are not from the same household.

- No person shall attend or host a private gathering which includes persons from outside their household.

- no wedding with more than persons excluding the bride, bridegroom, officiating person and 2 witnesses.

- no funerals with more that 10 persons, excluding the officiating person and mortuary staff.

- no church service with more than 10 persons, excluding the officiating person and at least 2 assistants.

- any banquet or reception, meeting of the Fraternal society, or any social club.

- any social event.

- no person shall enter or leave the Orange Walk or Corozal Districts, except for - persons traveling to and from work, medical supplies or emergency, delivery of food, foreign tourist on tour, business operation or purchasing of food or medical supplies.

- no person shall sell alcohol between the hours of 6pm and 5am the following morning.

- the following establishments shall remain closed for business; bars, rum shops, discotheques, gymnasiums, casinos and game shops.

A breach of any of the listed restrictions amount to and offense and carry a fine which if not paid can land you in prison.

I ask that we all comply with the new measures put in place to keep us safe. It is only by each of us playing our responsibility role that we can over come this virus. Wish you all a blessed and productive day.


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