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Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #554981
01/13/22 11:25 AM
01/13/22 11:25 AM
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Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 13th January 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 11th January 2022.

• Cabinet welcomed the news from the Prime Minister that Belize was one of only two countries chosen by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) an independent United States Government foreign aid agency to give support to micro, small, and medium enterprises in its effort to reduce poverty through growth. The compact and threshold programs, which will be signed between the Government of Belize and MCC could result in Belize gaining between US$200 and US$500 million in grant funding to aid in the nation’s economic development.

Belize was chosen by the MCC Board having been satisfied that the current administration is committed to ruling justly, investing in the development of its people and its economic policy. The MCC-funded projects are expected to commence in 2023 and last for a period of five years. MCC awards countries based on the principle that aid is most effective when it is reinforced by good governance.

• Cabinet received the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the sale of government assets and took note of the findings of the commission, condemning in the strongest possible terms the detailed reports of mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption, which have come to so clearly define the United Democratic Party Government from 2008 to 2020. In addition, Cabinet instructed that the report be submitted to the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions for any advice and action deemed appropriate and necessary.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 346,000 vaccines on hand. As of 10th January 2022, 211,628 persons or 49.2 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 200,994 or 46.7 percent of the total population have been fully vaccinated. Additionally, over 21,000 booster shots have been issued since the start of the Booster Program, which is now opened to everyone who has been fully vaccinated for three months or more. Also, 23,817 Belizeans aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• The Minister of Health and Wellness also informed Cabinet that new vaccination sites will be set up in communities in the north, west and south of the country to provide better access to vaccines in rural communities.

• The Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology informed Cabinet that of the 605 schools countrywide, 570 were granted approval for some form of face-to-face instruction. Of these approved schools, 198 were opened for face-to-face instruction on 10th January with the remaining approved schools to be opened for in-class instruction by the end of January 2022.

• Cabinet approved amendments to Section 33 (1) b, c, and d of the Plastics Regulations and for effective dates of implementation of the Environmental Protection (pollution from plastics) Regulations.

Effective dates of implementation :

(a) Cease Importation of Prohibited Products - No Modification Required

(b) Cease Manufacturing of Prohibited Products - 31st January 2022

(c) Cease Sale of Prohibited Products - 28th February 2022

(d) Possession of Prohibited Products - 31st March 2022

• Finally, in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 infections and the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #555119
01/20/22 10:35 AM
01/20/22 10:35 AM
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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 20th January 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 18th January 2022.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 338,000 vaccines on hand. As of 17th January 2022, 212,080 persons or 49.3 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 201,930 or 46.9 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Additionally, over 24,905 booster shots have been issued to date. Also, 24,683 Belizeans, aged 12 to 17 years old, have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• The Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology informed Cabinet that as of January 17, 2022, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST) has approved the transition to hybrid learning for a total of 568 schools which represent 94 percent of all schools nationwide. Of the 568 approved schools, 402 schools are open for hybrid learning. This figure represents 71 percent of the approved schools or 66 percent of all schools. Two hundred three schools are open for remote learning and these schools account for 34 percent of all schools.

• The Minister of Education, Culture, Science & Technology also informed Cabinet that the safety of Belize’s education community remains the ministry’s top priority. Alongside personnel from the Ministry of Health & Wellness, MoECST are monitoring schools closely for any potential outbreaks of the coronavirus. Between 10th to 17th January, the ministry has, via its COVID-19 Reporting System, received confirmation of 313 cases of COVID-19 affecting teachers and 456 cases of COVID-19 affecting students, nationwide. Of the 313 cases affecting teachers, only 33 were recorded among teachers who were actively engaging in hybrid learning. When compared to cases among students, out of the 456 cases confirmed, 67 were confirmed among students who were actively engaging in hybrid learning. The cases recorded among teachers affected 1.4 percent of teachers actively engaging in hybrid learning. Among students, the rate was even lower, with cases affecting only 0.27 percent of all students actively engaging in hybrid learning.

• Cabinet gave its approval for a bill to be introduced at the next sitting of the House of Representatives to amend the Indictable Procedures Act, Chapter 96 of the Laws of Belize to add offences, which are to be tried by a judge alone and for pleas to be taken virtually. This is being done in an effort to address various issues arising from jury trials offences and to seek to clear the backlog of pending criminal matters. The offences to be added are abduction of a child, sexual offences, offences under the trafficking in persons and offence under the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Prohibition) Act.

Cabinet also gave its approval for the introduction of legislation for the repeal and replacement of the Libel and Defamation Act and will seek the approval of the National Assembly to strike a balance between the prosecution of the reputation of an individual and the freedom of speech and expression and to modernize the law of the tort of libel and slander.

• Cabinet gave its approval for Belize to apply for Non-Contracting Party Status of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization (SPRFMO) to allow for Belize flagged vessels to fish in the Southern Pacific Ocean region.

• In an effort to reduce the upsurge in traffic accidents on the nation’s major roads and highways and to improve enforcement and vigilance, approval was granted by Cabinet for the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Transport to increase the Department of Transport Enforcement Unit by increasing the number of enforcement officers and the vehicle fleet that patrol all highways in Belize.

• Cabinet gave its approval for legislative changes to the Money Lenders Act and Money Lenders Regulations for improved transparency and accountability as well as to strengthen entry barriers for new and existing money lenders.

• Finally, in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 infections, the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant and the continued presence of the Delta variant, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #555253
01/27/22 10:59 AM
01/27/22 10:59 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP

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Cabinet Brief 27th January 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 25th January 2022.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize as of 24th January. Currently, there are more than 327,000 vaccines on hand. As of 24th January 2022, 212,480 persons or 49.3 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 208,878 or 47.2 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Additionally, over 28,628 booster shots have been issued since the start of the Booster Program. Also, 30,238 Belizeans aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

• Cabinet approved the Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) Protocol that will guide consultations with Maya communities, whether by government or private entities, in keeping with government's commitment to the implementation of the 2015 Consent Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice.

• Cabinet approved the establishment of the Blue Bond and Project Finance for Permanence Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister, which will be responsible for ensuring that the government meets all its commitments in initiating and leading efforts geared towards the timely fulfillment of the agreement under this project.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Minister of Rural Transformation, Community Development, Labour and Local Government to present amendments to the Village Council Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Belize at the next sitting of the House of Representatives.

• Cabinet was updated on the increasing numbers of migrants arriving in Belize through the Phillip Goldson International Airport from Panama via COPA Airline flights and using Belize as a transit point to move northbound. In addition, the Minister responsible for Immigration informed Cabinet of the application for refugee status by the eight Venezuelans who were handed over to the UNHCR and later escaped while in the care of that organization. Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of Immigration to impose visa requirements for nationals of Venezuela, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.

• Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Public Utilities, Energy & Logistics, updated Cabinet on the current industrial action by the stevedores at the Port of Belize Limited, highlighting matters in contention and reported that the issues between Port of Belize Limited and the stevedores were currently before the Essential Services Tribunal for resolution. The Minister also expressed concern about the impact the industrial action was having on the stevedores, Port of Belize Limited and the country’s economy.

• Finally, in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 infections, the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant and the continued presence of the Delta variant, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #555380
02/03/22 10:30 AM
02/03/22 10:30 AM
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Posts: 79,779
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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 3rd February 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 1st February 2022.

• Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Agriculture, Food Security & Enterprise, and Hon. Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, reported on their recent trip to Cancun, Mexico, where they led a delegation to the LATAM Business Summit held from 26th to 29th January 2022. The Business Summit, which was attended by several Latin American states, offered opportunities for bilateral meetings between government and the private sector on areas ranging from agriculture, agro-industry, tourism, the hotel and restaurant industries, transport, healthcare to construction and manufacturing, among others. Belize was one of only five countries to be highlighted at LATAM 2022, together with Colombia, Panama, the United States and Mexico. Through one-on-one meetings with investors and sector representatives, the delegation successfully achieved its goal in acquiring investment and other business leads, securing solid interest for contributing to private sector growth and economic development.

• Cabinet received a report on a meeting held on 26th January 2022 between the government's consulting team and the Joint Unions and expressed its full support for the ongoing consultation process. The next meeting is scheduled for 16th February 2022.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize as of 31st January. Currently, there are more than 321,000 vaccines on hand. As of 31st January 2022, 212,940 persons or 49.5 percent of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and 204,165 or 47.5 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Additionally, over 31,681 booster shots have been issued since to date. Also, 30,407 Belizeans aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25,017 two doses.

• Cabinet approved the opening of the land borders and seaports effective 7th February 2022 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily for fully vaccinated persons only. In addition, the Ministry of Health & Wellness will require all persons entering and leaving through these border points to adhere to the health regulations.

• Cabinet gave its recommendation for the Minister of Finance to introduce a loan motion for US$8 million from the Inter-American Development Bank for strengthening public expenditure management in Belize.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the Attorney General to present amendments to the Inferior Courts Act to allow the Magistrate Rules Committee to make rules for virtual trials.

Cabinet also gave approval to the Attorney General to have introduced the Protection of Witness Bill to provide for the granting of witness anonymity court orders to safeguard the identity of witnesses who are afraid to testify due to intimidation and threats.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the introduction of legislation to amend the Fisheries Resources Act to provide specific penalties for certain fisheries offences and to allow for the establishment of the Florida Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria) Fisheries in Belize.

• Finally, in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 infections and the presence of the highly contagious Omicron variant and the continued presence of the Delta variant, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #555543
02/10/22 11:11 AM
02/10/22 11:11 AM
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Cabinet Brief 10th February 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 8th February 2022.

• The Cabinet welcomed the opportunity to exchange views with Dr. Hyginus Leon, president of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), and his delegation. The discussion revolved around the work of the bank in Belize and efforts to enhance the partnership between Belize and the CDB in the development agenda of Belize and the Caribbean region.

• Hon. Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade & Immigration, reported on the successful reopening of the land borders and seaports on 7th February 2022 for fully vaccinated persons only. Minister Courtenay indicated that since the opening of the borders and seaports total movements of persons arriving and departing Belize was well over 5,000.

• Hon. Michel Chebat, Minister of Public Utilities, briefed Cabinet on the settlement arrived at with the Christian Workers Union on behalf of the stevedores. Cabinet welcomed the process employed in dealing with the stevedores which was markedly different than the violence with which they were treated under the former administration and corrected a wrong which was committed against the stevedores at the time of the privatization.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize as of 7th February. Currently, there are more than 262,474 vaccines on hand. As of 7th February 2022, 213,352 persons or 49.59 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 204,952 or 47.64 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Also, 30,546 Belizeans aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25,194 two doses. Additionally, over 33,867 booster shots have been issued to date. Boosters are now available to persons (including 12- to 17-year-olds), who have been fully vaccinated for three months or more.

• Cabinet mandated that COVID-19 rapid tests be given free of cost by the Ministry of Health & Wellness to Belizean students traveling for purpose of study in Mexico and Guatemala. Students will be required to show a valid student identification card as proof of enrolment in an educational institution.

• Cabinet approved Belize’s signature and the subsequent ratification of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets intended to provide operational guidance and enhance international and regional cooperation for the return or sharing of recovered assets. As well, Belize’s signature of the Declaration of Intent to Provisionally Apply the Agreement on the Return or Sharing of Recovered Assets.

• Cabinet commended the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade & Immigration on the work of the Foreign Ministry on raising the profile of Belize internationally and endorsed the plan of action for Belize’s Chairmanship of CARICOM for the first half of 2022, including the opportunity for Belize to lead on critical and emergent issues facing CARICOM member states. Cabinet also approved the plans for the hosting of the 33rd Intersessional Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, scheduled for 1st and 2nd March 2022 and for the CARICOM and SICA Leaders’ Summit immediately after on 3rd March 2022.

• Finally, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #555669
02/17/22 10:53 AM
02/17/22 10:53 AM
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Marty  Offline OP
Cabinet Brief 17th February 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 15th February 2022.

• Cabinet met with the executive team of the National Health Insurance (NHI) to discuss the critical role of the NHI in the reform of the health sector. The Cabinet was informed of the implementation and performance of the NHI services in several areas of the country and its positive impact on these communities. Plans for the further rollout of the NHI Program, as outlined in Plan Belize, was also discussed and Cabinet will decide on the way forward after further deliberations.

• After discussion on a protocol to amend the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas in relation to the issue of the current implications of who is a CARICOM national, Cabinet gave its approval for signature of amendments to Article 32 of the treaty which defines a CARICOM national. This amendment will be signed at the Thirty-Third Intersessional Heads of Government Meeting to be held in Belize on 1st and 2nd March 2022.

• Cabinet gave its approval to introduce revised legislation to amend the Misuse of Drugs Bill, titled the Cannabis Control and Licensing Bill, 2022, to provide for the control and licensing of the cannabis industry and to establish the necessary legislative framework to govern and regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, and delivery of cannabis products for adult use only.

• With a view to address the rising cost of living and in the interest of protection of consumers, legislative and enforcement measures shall be taken on a prompt basis to punish price gouging offenders with strict fines per violation through a ticketing system. A public reporting system will also be established for the reporting of overpricing of controlled items. Cabinet will also consider other protection and relief mechanisms, especially for essential items, as it continues to closely monitor price movements.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize as of 14th February 2022. Currently, there are more than 299,400 vaccines on hand. As of 14th February 2022, 213,679 persons or 49.76 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 205,678 or 47.81 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Also, 30,671 Belizeans aged 12 to 17 years old have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25,351 two doses. Additionally, over 35,449 booster shots have been issued to date. Boosters are now available to everyone (including those 12 to 17 years old), who have been fully vaccinated for three months or more.

• Finally, Cabinet continues to encourage the public to wear masks in public, maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and for those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #556013
03/08/22 10:48 AM
03/08/22 10:48 AM
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Cabinet Brief 8th March 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 4th March 2022.

Cabinet gave its approval for the Attorney General’s Ministry to make the necessary legislative preparation for Belize to accede to the Madrid System for the International Registration of marks known as the Madrid Protocol which will form a part of the domestic legal framework. Belize Intellectual Property Office (BELIPO) personnel will be trained in preparation for the full implementation of this protocol.

After discussion, Cabinet gave its full support for the proposal from Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia for Nora Parham to be granted a posthumous pardon so as to correct a historic wrong in 1963. Cabinet is of the view that this will go a long way to focus attention on the issue of domestic violence. The Governor General will be kindly requested to ask the Belize Advisory Council to so recommend.

Cabinet gave its recommendation for the introduction of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Bill, 2022 at the next sitting of the House of Representatives. The adoption of the Cannabis Control Bill will provide for the control and licensing of the Cannabis industry and to establish the necessary legislative framework to govern and regulate the cultivation, processing, distribution, and delivery of Cannabis products for adult use only.

Cabinet gave its approval for the Ministry of the Blue Economy & Civil Aviation to present for adoption a draft National Mariculture Policy that will guide the development of a sustainable mariculture industry in Belize.

Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize as of 3rd March. Currently, there are more than 249,762 vaccines on hand. As of 3rd March 2022, 214,423 persons or 49.84 percent of the total population had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 207,360 or 48.20 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated. Also, 30,916 Belizeans, aged 12 to 17 years old, have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 25,507 two doses. Additionally, over 39,300 booster shots have been issued to date. Boosters are available to persons (including those 12 to 17 years old) who have been fully vaccinated for three months or more.

Finally, Cabinet continues to encourage those not fully vaccinated, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines save lives.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #556321
03/24/22 11:04 AM
03/24/22 11:04 AM
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Cabinet Brief 24th March 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 21st March 2022.

• Cabinet gave its approval for a loan motion to be taken to the National Assembly for US$6.2 million for financing from the International Monetary Fund through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to minimize the global risk and impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to strengthen the ability of the health care system to respond to future health emergencies.

• Noting high levels of excess liquidity of around $770 million, Cabinet has decided to introduce certain measures to incentivize lending by the banks into foreign exchange earning sectors to further stimulate economic activity.

• Cabinet approved further amendments to the Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Licensing and Control Act to provide for the composition of the Commission, the imposition of additional taxes on sales of cannabis and the establishment of a special appropriation fund for the allocation of tax revenues to be used for public awareness campaign programs, rehab programs, social and sporting programs, and school assistance for marginalized children.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 245,000 vaccines on hand. As of 21st March 2022, 215,089 persons or 49.9 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 208,782 persons or 48.5 percent have been fully vaccinated. Of the population aged 12 to 17 years, 25,968 have received two doses of the vaccine. To date, 42,176 booster shots have been issued. The daily positivity rate is 1.35 percent, an indication that the nation is moving in the right direction.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #556449
03/31/22 10:41 AM
03/31/22 10:41 AM
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The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 29th March 2022.

• Cabinet took note of the recent alleged child labor and trafficking offence issues and reiterated its commitment to fighting all forms of exploitation. Cabinet also instructed that there be full collaboration among line ministries in this regard.

• Cabinet gave its approval for the unification of tax administration to be done in a phased approach aimed at the restructuring of revenue administration through consolidation and modernization. This will allow for all major tax revenue entries to be administered and collected by one revenue department or authority. These tax revenue centers would include tax collecting centers such as the Customs Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and the Belize Tax Services, among others.

• Cabinet considered various relief measures in connection with heightened fuel prices and their volatility. In addition to action already taken to mitigate the price increase through reduction of excise duty by $1.23 per imperial gallon and further excise duty reduction on regular gasoline, Cabinet is evaluating possible targeted subsidies as well. Cabinet further determined that constituent commercial components of the fuel price including the dealer’s margin and the depot fee be urgently renegotiated.

• Cabinet will shortly introduce legislation for the consolidation and modernization of the Companies Law Framework in Belize by bringing together the Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry (BCCAR) and the Belize International Corporate Affairs Registry by introducing an act for the creation of the Belize Companies Bill. This is a part of government’s reform process to modernize and consolidate the business laws and processes in Belize. The result of these actions will allow for strengthened compliance in line with international rules and regulations to support and enable digital transformation through the leveraging of information and communications technology and to enhance the business law regime, all meant to improve investor confidence, boost competitiveness and cultivate a culture of innovation and modernity in the business environment.

• Cabinet gave its support to the request from the Minister of Defence and Border Security to allow members of the Belize Defence Force to pay social security contributions and to become insured persons through the Social Security Board.

• Cabinet was updated on the status of vaccinations and the number of vaccines available in Belize. Currently, there are more than 243,000 vaccines on hand. As of 29th March 2022, 215,428 persons or 50.07 percent have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 209,379 or 48.6 percent have been fully vaccinated. Of the population aged 12 to 17 years, 25,968 have received two doses of the vaccines. To date, 43,190 booster shots have been issued. The daily positivity rate is 1.38 percent, an indication that the nation is moving in the right direction.

• Cabinet approved the following measures in advance of the 1st April 2022 lifting of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. All unvaccinated people 5 years and older entering Belize through the airport must show proof of a negative rapid test (48hrs) or a PCR test (72hrs)

2. All unvaccinated foreigners 5 years and older entering Belize through a land or seaport must show proof of a negative rapid test (48hrs) or a PCR test (72hrs)

3. Belizeans 12 years and older wishing to exit Belize through air, land or seaports must be fully vaccinated before exiting.

• Finally, Cabinet urges all Belizeans to take personal responsibility to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 and encourages those persons not vaccinated to do so.

Re: Cabinet Briefs [Re: Marty] #556573
04/07/22 10:07 AM
04/07/22 10:07 AM
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Cabinet Brief 07th April 2022

The Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño, met in regular session on 05th April 2022.

Cabinet approved numerous fuel price relief measures as follows:

The continued provision of fuel price relief for all sectors of the economy to provide predictability in fuel prices. Cabinet has established a firm cap on diesel and regular gasoline pump prices per gallon at $13.41 and $13.50 respectively. This cap will be supported through a fuel price stabilization fund to be established by the government with the Central Bank of Belize. Currently, government has already reduced excise taxes by 57% to keep diesel prices at the capped price of $13.41 per gallon. On an annualized basis, these tax reductions represent an excise tax loss of over $30 million. Without such tax reduction, diesel pump prices would have been $2.13 per gallon more at $15.54 per gallon at the tax rates applied over the past five-plus years.

Cabinet also approved targeted support to alleviate fare increases on bus commuters through a fuel subsidy of $0.91 per gallon for eligible bus operators for a period of up to six months, cumulatively amounting to over $1.1 million.

Similarly, eligible tour operators will be beneficiaries of a capped fuel subsidy jointly funded by the Government of Belize and the Belize Tourism Board in the sum of $1.5 million for a period of up to six months.

Cabinet gave its approval for the Minister responsible for Forestry to undertake the following:

- to amend the boundaries of the Sibun Forest Reserve;

- repeal the Statutory Instruments declaring Mango Creek No. 2, No. 3 and of Grant’s Forest Reserves;

- amend the boundaries of Mango Creek No. 1 and No. 4;

- amend the boundaries of the Melinda National Park, handing over 36 acres to the Stann Creek ITVET for conservation purposes and amend the Machaca Forest Reserve, excising 500 acres for community expansion.

- These measures will be undertaken to regularize the current boundaries of these areas and improve the management of these forest reserves.

Cabinet received an update from the Minister responsible for Immigration informing that the 2022 Amnesty will commence on 2nd August 2022 with the registration process and conclude on 31st May 2023. The registration process will be for four months to be followed by the processing period which will last for six months.

Cabinet urges all Belizeans to take personal responsibility to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 and encourages those persons not vaccinated to do so.

Finally, Cabinet wishes all Belizeans a blessed and happy Easter and urges extra caution and safety over the busy weekend travels.

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