Travelers in particular - have to get private COVID tests. The same for private citizens who want to know their COVID status but would rather not have to deal with the long lines and slower service at a public testing site.

For them, Covid Self-tests would be perfect - they've become a standard screening tool in many countries - a great way to screen yourself ahead of an occasion, or a visit with vulnerable family members.

But, self tests are not permitted in Belize. And why is that? Is it to protect the lucrative testing being offered at private facilities?

With land border re-openings in the not-too-distant future, we yesterday asked the PM whether self-testing is coming to Belize in 2022. Here's his response:

Hon. John Briceno - Prime Minister
"We have had that discussion in the last cabinet meeting and what we have asked is the ministry of health to take a look at how we can start to do self testing. The concern that the ministry of health that the technical people have is that it would be difficult for them to keep track of the number of people who are getting sick and where they are getting sick but the point is that presently right with the ministry doing the testing and having different groups doing the testing there is a reporting mechanism that is sent to the ministry so at least with that, they could start to do some kind of projection to see how the spread is going, where it is and what work they need to do. Now if we're not reporting and you're doing the self testing, which the time has come I believe, we will still have to try and find a way hopefully soon that when you do a self test that you will be required to do some reporting to the ministry. Unfortunately many people don't want to report because they know they will have to be isolated for 10 days but what they don't realize is when they don't do that then they cause much more damage to other people that they could get other people who are innocent sick and laugh of life and even more loss to the country."

And the PM may be right to be concerned, an article in the New York Times entitled "At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Test Kits: Where to Buy and What You Should Know Says quote:" when it comes to the accuracy of an at home antigen test warnings on the box often warn that results depend in part on test sensitivity, test specificity, sample integrity, viral load, onset of symptoms, the time since a person's last known or suspected exposure, and whether the instructions on the test are followed exactly." End quote.

Channel 7