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New regulation requiring vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test before accessing public buildings or services to be enacted next month

On October 1st, the Government of Belize is poised to enact a new regulation to contain the spread of COVID-19. The law will require individuals to either provide proof of vaccination or a negative test to access public facilities and services. Several businesses in San Pedro Town have announced they will enforce the regulation to provide a safer environment for customers. The government is yet to gazette the proposed legislation, however, Attorney General (AG) Magali Marin Young said on Tuesday, September 28th, that it is going to be implemented based on advice from the medical community considering the increase in cases and deaths caused by the virus, particularly the Delta variant.

The AG explained that the intent is not to make vaccines mandatory, but propose that persons be inoculated against the virus and access essential services without risks of infection. "Vaccine mandates require every citizen to take a vaccine, that is not what is coming into effect on the 1st of October," she said. "What is coming into effect is that for you to access public facilities, you will be required to show your vaccine card or produce a negative PCR that has been taken within 96 hours or negative rapid test was taken within 48 hours," Young said that the government does not consider this action to be mandatory for people to get the jab. The people have an option.

The proposed law will require anyone accessing public government buildings, private establishments, schools, public transportation, and medical institutions to show their vaccination card or produce a negative COVID-19 test. In the case of individual establishments/businesses, they are expected to enforce the rule and apply the regulations to protect staff and customers. Attorney General Young added the only exception is at medical centers for emergencies, but for routine visits, patients will be required to show their vaccination proof or a negative test.

According Minister of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Honourable Michel Chebat, enforcement be conducted with the assistance of the police and the Justices of the Peace. Penalties will include $500 for persons without a vaccination card or valid COVID-19 test. He has also said that establishments not enforcing the measure could face up to a $1,000 fine. Chebat is in close communication with the country's medical personnel and has consulted with members of the public to agree on what regulations to implement. MOHW is working on the development of an app to scan vaccination cards and verify authenticity.

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


GOB prepares for vaccine mandate for public buildings Oct 1

The Government of Belize is only a couple days away from enacting its October first vaccine regulations. Referred to as a soft mandate, persons entering public owned buildings, which include Government owned buildings, statutory bodies, social security and public health care facilities, must provide proof of vaccination. In the event you have not yet taken your jabs, you have the option to present a negative PCR or rapid COVID test result. The government's legal team and the health response task force are still working to iron out the details of the regulations before they are made public later this week. Attorney General of Belize Magali Marin Young was a guest on Open Your Eyes Morning Show where she provided some details and made the distinction between a mandatory vaccine mandate and the proposed government regulations.

Magali Marin Young, Attorney General of Belize

"Let's be clear, there is a big difference between making vaccine mandatory and the proposed regulations the government intend to enact, to come into effect the first of October. Vaccine mandate require every citizen to take a vaccine. That is not what is coming into effect the first of October. What is coming into effect is for you to access public facility such as government building, building owned by statutory bodies, social security, DFC etc. You will be required to show your vaccine card or to produce a negative PCR taken within 46 hours or negative PCR test 94 hours. There will be exception to this, but it will be medical emergencies. But, if you are doing your day to day check up you do need to produce your vaccine, or negative PCR or rapid test."

Consultations Prompt Changes to Oct 1 Regulations

There is one change to report. Minister of Health Michel Chebat has decided to scale back the reach of the regulations, reportedly after consultations. Viewers may recall that when he first made the announcement, live on Open Your Eyes two weeks ago, Minister Chebat said the mandate would apply to all buildings the public has legal access to, including private businesses. Well, he walked that back, and this morning AG Young noted that the mandate will only apply to government owned buildings. This news should come as a relief to the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, because they were concerned about the cost businesses would incur to ensure compliance with these regulations, and the administrative challenges of such a measure. Notwithstanding, private business will be able to enforce these regulations if they opt to do so.

Magali Marin Young, Attorney General of Belize

"Initially when the discussion started, we were thinking of all buildings that the public access. But, Minister Chebat has been in consultations and for right now we are only doing public owned facilities, owned by the Government, or by a statutory body controlled by the government. But, there is nothing to stop private business from enacting these same regulations. It is their property and they can control who enters their building and who does not. Similarly with their employs, they have a contract with their employees, and they have a duty to safeguard their employees. So, they can, from the perspective of controlling persons who enter the building, to protect their employees. And also their employees, requiring that they be vaccinated or produce a negative PCR or Rapid test to protect fellow employees."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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GOB Walks Back Vaccine In Buildings Mandate

Pro and anti-vaxxers across the country balked when the Minister of Health, Michel Chebat announced that starting Friday, every public and private business as well as all modes of public transportation would require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter. It sounded like too huge of an undertaking - how would you enforce that with corner grocery store and street-side taxi?

And, indeed, it seems like the minister might have bitten off more than he can chew because this morning the Attorney General announced that there was a change to the proposed regulation. Now, rather than every business, the rule will apply only to government offices. The includes departments like Immigration, Traffic, Labor, and all others. Now, it's a massive cutback - like going from an entire galaxy to just the solar system

Today we spoke with the AG, Magali Marin Young, via Zoom to find out the reason for the change.

Magali Marin Young, Attorney General
"After Minister Chebat had announced that this requirement would come into place, cabinet had ask him to engage in consultation with various stakeholders including the Belize Chamber of Commerce and he engaged in those discussions and based on the advice of the medical community, he advised that it would be best to do it in a phase approach at this time and so the proposed October 1st regulations will only apply to public buildings, those that are owned or lease by government for government operations and those of statutory bodies including those controlled by the government of Belize."

"To your knowledge, do you feel like what came out of the consultations and the reason for scaling it back was an economic reason that business would lose out on money or a problem with enforcement, or what was the main driver behind putting it down to a phased approach?"

Magali Marin Young, Attorney General
"Well, I think that as you know that government is in a position where it has to balance all possible interest in arriving at decisions in what is best to implement at this time. So, government has to balance the economic interest, the fact that we need revenue to be able to run the public hospitals, pay public officers etc., as well as to consider what the medical experts advised. Based on the discussions and consultations, Minister Chebat felt that a phased approach would be advisable at this time. Now let me very clear, there is nothing stopping the private sector, private business owner from implementing these same restrictions. So, not because government has not implemented them or impose them on private businesses means that they cannot also take these measures to protect their customers, clients and employees."

But even though it won't be across the board for every business, Belizeans are still unsure of the legality of such a regulation. We asked the AG about this and she explained that the government went to great lengths to seek legal advice, even looking for assistance in other parts of the region.

Magali Marin Young, Attorney General
"The decisions taken are not taken recklessly, they are taken with upon sound legal advice on the powers that government may use at this time to contain the spread of this virus. Each Belizean citizen enjoys certain fundamental rights; the freedom to move, the right to protection of the law, the right to privacy, the right to security of persons, right to property etc., so we all enjoy these rights, but these rights are not absolute rights. The constitution also provides limitations for each of these rights and those limitations are for public safety, public health, national security and the wider public interest. We all enjoy the freedom to move wherever we want in this country, but there is a restriction on driving the highways while drunk beyond a certain limit and that was enacted because you have to protect innocent drivers on the highway from drunk drivers who may not have all their faculties intact because of their state. So if you look around we have several laws that limit these rights. These regulations are no different, they are being enacted to protect the wider public interest, to protect government employees who work at these units, departments. These laws are not being enacted with a view to impose authoritarian or dictatorial values, they are being enacted to protect members of the public. We are in the middle of a pandemic, people are dying in this country - almost one a day. We've lost doctors, nurses, policemen right across society."

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,393
Marty Offline OP
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October 1st Regulations

Proof of vaccination at government office, public medical institutions.

The New S.I. provides an ammended that now prohibits the use of neck gaiters (commonly known as buffs) fishing face masks, ski masks, any closed tube of fabric or other similar face, neck or head covering that resembles any of the aforementioned types of masks or which is designed to expose only part of the face.

As of October 1st, 2021, any person wishing to enter a public medical institution, government office or the office of a statutory body must present proof of immunization (vaccination).

This also applies to persons who work at the establishment. Unimmunized persons who are employees will be required to present a negative COVID test every two weeks.

Un-immunized persons visiting for an appointment must present a negative COVID test taken not more than two weeks prior. Persons working in these establishments who fail to comply will not be allowed to enter for work. They will be deemed absent and will be subject to disciplinary actions.

These regulations apply to court houses, police, stations and prison. Persons caught in breach of these regulations will be issued a violation ticket.


The San Pedro Town Council would like to inform the general public that we will be in compliance with the Government of Belize's new Covid-19 regulations as stipulated in the PUBLIC HEALTH (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID-19) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 9) REGULATIONS, 2021 announced on September 30th, 2021.

As of October 1st, 2021, all persons who wish to access the San Pedro Town Council to conduct any in-person services or follow up on general inquires must provide the following:

1. vaccination card or Negative PCR Test
2. Valid photo ID
3. Approved form of face mask (No neck gaiters/buffs)

The San Pedro Town Council is committed to the health and safety of our customers and staff, and to providing a safe environment for all. We continue to encourage all those who have yet to receive the vaccination to please do so for the continued safety of our community during this time.

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