Summary of Statutory Instrument No. 175 of 2020 Effective Sunday, December 20, 2020

Belmopan. December 22, 2020.

1. Nationwide CURFEW

For all adults, a nationwide curfew is being imposed and in effect EVERYDAY from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

For all minors, 16 years and under, a nationwide curfew is being imposed and in effect EVERYDAY from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

No person shall be on the streets or in any public place nor on any public road during curfew.

● A fine of $500 will be charged for breach of curfew.

2. Essential Services who can move during the 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 responsible for Home Affairs or person authorized by him.
3. Mandatory use of Face Masks
● Every person MUST at all times in any public or private place wear a face mask or other face (nose and mouth) covering.

● Every business owner or manager MUST not allow entry to any person not wearing a face mask or face covering.

o Business owners can determine the types of face masks or face coverings permissible for entry into their business, office or establishment.

● There is NO requirement for the use of face mask or covering if you are;

o in your private residency
o exercising
o swimming
o or driving ALONE or driving with members of your same household, in an enclosed vehicle but not golf cart, motorbike, or similar vehicle.
● A fine of $500 will be charged for failing to wear mask or face covering.

4. SOCIAL DISTANCING Protocols
● Every person MUST maintain a distance of at least six feet from another person in a public place or business place.
● Every person MUST wear a face mask or mouth covering in a public place, public space or public office or building.
● A fine of $500 will be charged for failure to social distance.

5. Sports and Exercising
EXERCISE IS ALLOWED

o ONLY exercising by jogging, running, walking, or cycling is allowed.
o Social distancing of a minimum of six feet distance must be maintained.
o In the case of cycling, no person can ride two abreast.
o There is NO requirement for the use of a face mask or face covering while exercising.

● Sports

o ONLY tennis, golf, table tennis, volleyball and other non-contact sport are allowed.
o WHILE participating in an approved sporting activity, persons are exempt from practicing social distancing and from wearing a face mask or face covering.
● A fine of $500 will be charged for breaching the permitted non-contact sporting and exercising regulations.

6. SOCIAL GATHERING Protocols
● There shall be NO gatherings for social purposes whether in any private or public place of more than 10 persons who are not of the same household.
● The restrictions of 10 persons shall not apply to any members or persons involved in the functioning of any sitting of the National Assembly.
● A person may not host nor attend
o A private party which includes persons living outside your house
o A recreational or sporting event
o A wedding which has more than 10 persons (excluding the bride, groom, official witnesses, and the marriage officer)
o A banquet or reception
o Any social event
o A funeral which has more than 10 persons (excluding the officiant and mortuary staff
o A meeting of fraternal society, private or social club, or organization
o A church service or places of public worship of more than 10 persons (not including the officiating person and a maximum of two auxiliary personnel, if any)
● A fine of $1000 will be charged for breaching the restrictions on social activities and gatherings.

7. EVERY BUSINESS AND OFFICE must abide by the social distancing protocols and MUST–
● Enforce social distancing and face masks by-

o Ensuring that all customers and staff maintain a physical distancing of at least six feet in or outside their business.
o Ensuring that all customers and staff wear a face mask or face covering at all times.
● Implement NEW Social Distancing Protocols

o 50% Rule –The square footage of the establishment will determine the number of customers and staff that may be permitted in the establishment which shall not be more than 50% of its capacity.
o Place distance markers of six feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand while at a check out point and OUTSIDE while waiting to enter the establishment.
o Employ a Peace Officer - For department, hardware, grocery, dry goods stores, and markets greater than TWO THOUSAND square feet (2000 sq.ft.) must employ a peace officer, who must be a Justice of the Peace, to ensure that your business and customers comply with the social distancing and face mask wearing regulations. The peace officer’s role is to ensure that these establishments are complying with these protocols and to liaise with the police if they are not.

8. PROTOCOLS 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.
● Enforce Social Distancing and Face Masks by -

o Ensuring that all employees observe social distancing of at least six feet
o Ensuring that all employees wear a face mask or face covering
o Install hand wash stations at the entrance and within the establishment
o Limit the seating capacity of the lunchroom to 50% capacity and not allowing more than two persons per table in the lunchroom.
● 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.
9. The following ESTABLISHMENTS must remain CLOSED until further notice:
● Discos, bars, rum shops, and nightclubs
● Casinos and gaming establishments
● Gyms

10. The following ESTABLISHMENTS are ALLOWED to operate BUT MUST FOLLOW these new Rrestrictions and protocols
Beauty salons, spas and barbershops
o By appointment only;
o Only 2 customers can be allowed to be in a beauty salon or barber shop at any given time (the customer being attended to and the customer who is waiting),
o If the square footage does not allow for two customers, then only one customer at a time
o If the square footage allows for more than two customers while observing social distancing protocols, then you may have more than two customers at a time.
Restaurants, Saloons, Diners
o Can only offer take out service, delivery or drive thru,
o EXCEPT open air establishments, outdoor restaurants or an al fresco dining establishment may offer dinning in services by Reservation Only and for no more than 50% of its seating capacity.
Street Vendors may only offer service of take out or delivery from a private property.

11. SCHOOLS remain CLOSED

● Yes. Schools shall remain closed however may operate online.

12. Implementation of SHIFT SYSTEM/WORK FROM HOME

● Every employer of a public or private non-essential business (meaning other than those in tourism, health, baking law enforcement, agriculture or food) shall implement a shift system for their employees.
● Every employer of a public or private non-essential business shall implement work, where possible, from home (remote operations) for their employees.
o If your employer allows you to operate from home AND your duties can be discharged from your home.
o Employees working from home should be available for work during that employee’s normal working hours.
o Employees are to report to the employer as required or instructed.

13. Public Transportation Protocols
● Unlike the protocols stated above and below, these transportation protocols do not come into effect until the Minister of Health so orders.
● Every person traveling on public transportation MUST wear a face mask to board the bus AND for the duration of the journey.
● Public and private transportation (that transport large quantities of persons like busses, vans etc) are limited to ONLY 50 % seating capacity and Social distancing of 6 feet shall not be observed.
● The transport operator shall have hand sanitiser for use of every passenger.
● Passengers on public transportation must purchase a ticket before boarding the bus and MUST observe the 6 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.

14. RESTRICTIONS on the SALE OF LIQUOR

● No person shall sell liquor from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

15. PENALTIES for Employers and Businesses
● Every employer of a business, office or establishment who contravenes these regulations commits an offence and may be liable to $5,000.00.

16. Corozal and Orange Walk Districts RESTRICTION on Cross-District/ Inter/Outer-District Movement

● No person shall move across the Corozal District or Orange Walk District boundaries, including movement between the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts and within those districts.
● No person shall move across any towns, villages, or communities within the Corozal or Orange Walk Districts.
● Persons WILL BE ALLOWED to move across boundaries (district, town, village and community boundaries) for the following purposes:
o going to and from work;
o conducting business operations;
o food distribution;
o a medical emergency;
o tourism by foreign tourists on tours; or
o purchasing essential supplies, such as food, medication or water.

17. ENTRY REQUIREMENT for every foreign tourist PRIOR to arrival at the airport

● Reservation and Travel Arrangements. Foreign tourists must:
o make reservations to stay at an approved hotel or tourist accommodation prior to arrival;
o make transport arrangements to be transported to their approved hotel by their approved hotel or other authorised transport by the Belize Tourism Board;
o download and comply with the terms and conditions on the Belize Health App;
o ensure the Belize Health App remains downloaded on their mobile device and for the duration of their stay; and
o comply with all required testing requirements for entry into Belize.
- Failing to do so, persons may be DENIED entry to Belize.
- If denied entry, persons will be required to return to their port of entry at their own expense or placed in mandatory quarantine designated by the Belize Quarantine Authority at their own expense.

18. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS for every person (local or foreign) prior to arrival at the airport
● Download the Belize Health App

● Download and comply with the terms and conditions of the Belize Health App

● Comply with testing requirements
o MUST provide a PCR test taken within 96 hours prior to arrival or any other test for SARS-CoV-2 approved by the Ministry of Health taken within 48 hours prior to arrival in Belize.
o Every person shall submit to testing for COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health at the airport.
o Every person shall pay the cost for a PCR or SARS-CoV-2 test conducted and approved by the Ministry of Health.
o Any person (except Belizeans) who fails to comply with any testing requirements will be DENIED entry to Belize.
● Comply with all health and safety protocols
o Must comply with all health and safety protocols including social distancing, wearing of face masks when required and any other protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the Belize Tourism Board.

19. MANDATORY QUARANTINE Protocols
● Every person who tests positive for COVID-19 shall at their own expense be put into mandatory quarantine as directed by the Quarantine Authority.
● Tourists may quarantine at their Gold Standard Hotel that have been approved by the Ministry of Health. Gold standard Hotels are required to have quarantine/isolation facilities.
● Every person can leave quarantine upon being declared recovered and discharged by a health professional in accordance with the protocols of the Ministry of Health.
● Persons who fail to quarantine, breach quarantine, escape or leave mandatory quarantine before directed to commits an offence liable to a fine of $1,000.

20. ALL LAND AND SEA 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 travel approved by the Minister of Health
● 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. Criminal Procedure 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 be 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. Entry requirements for returning Belizeans, permanent residents, and foreign diplomats
● You will be allowed entry via any land or seaport from abroad if you are:
o A Belizean or Permanent Resident who is a
✔ Recipient of urgent medical care abroad (with proof)

✔ Required to be in Belize to assist in an urgent medical situation
✔ Returning student enrolled at or a graduate of an educational institution abroad
✔ Returning Belizean National or Permanent Resident
✔ Resident Belizean diplomat
o Belizean or foreigner who is a

✔ Foreign diplomat resident in and accredited to Belize
✔ Consultant or specialist technician required to be in Belize to assist in an emergency or needs basis
✔ Holder of a valid work permit
✔ Business person with investment in Belize

● 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.

● 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 PRIOR to entry/exit and for further guidelines.

23. MANDATORY QUARANTINE
● The following persons shall be put into mandatory quarantine at their own expense and for a period directed by the Quarantine Authority:

o Persons who test positive for COVID-19 after a PCR, rapid test, or any other test for SARS-CoV-2.
o Persons who develop flu-like symptoms and suspect that they may be infected with COVID-19.
o Persons who may have had contact with someone who has travelled to or from a country affected by COVID-19.
● The person has to go to a quarantine facility approved by the Quarantine Authority or Minister of Health. In the case of a Belizean, you may be permitted to quarantine at home; for a tourist, at your Gold Standard Hotel; all others who have no place of residence in Belize or cannot afford a hotel, at a government quarantine facility.

● It is an OFFENCE to breach quarantine, escape or leave quarantine before directed, or to fail to quarantine when directed to.

● A person breaching quarantine regulations shall be liable to mandatory quarantine and a fine of $1,000.

24. 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.
● Offences where there is no penalty assigned shall be 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.

These Regulations (save for the one pertaining to public transport at 50% capacity) came into effect on Sunday, December 20, 2020, and will remain in effect until otherwise announced.