Belize's land borders were reopened on February seventh. Since then, there has been a steady trickle of travelers crossing over into Mexico and Guatemala. But there are still a few setbacks to address in the days ahead, particularly where it concerns testing requirements for persons re-entering the country. It takes a concerted effort for government to get things to flow smoothly. Earlier today, Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler spoke about the numbers, as well as the hiccups that are being faced at the borders.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

"The borders opened on Monday. We've had a constant flow of people crossing the border both ways at both borders and I think all the departments are working to ensure that it is a seamless effort. There are going to be some hiccups here and there but we're working through those and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we have a seamless process as people move back and forth to Mexico and to Guatemala. We had an intense discussion in Cabinet yesterday with regards to the way forward, living with COVID and the Minister of Health and Wellness should bring a paper next week to the Cabinet to lay out the protocols or requirements that we will need as we continue to open up the economy."

"It's Time That We Open Up" – Anthony Mahler

While Mahler anticipates an increase in traffic to and from Belize in the coming weeks, he also supports the idea that it's time to fully reopen the country, but not without certain rules in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations

"It has been steady. I think the first day we had about twelve hundred and yesterday we had about fifteen hundred and I think that will continue to grow, again, as things become more relaxed as we move forward in opening up the economy."

Reporter

"Sir, the borders are now open, you guys have said that you're discussing it at length in Cabinet, but the curfew was extended for another month.� Could I get your thoughts on that particular measure and its effect or lack thereof?"

Anthony Mahler

"Now that we've been living with Omicron for a month or a little bit over a month, I think we need to open the economy as best as possible but still taking into consideration the health protocols to keep our people safe, but it's time that we open up."

Reporter

"The travelers' insurance is now available for sale coming into effect on February fifteenth.� Does that mean that tourists at the border who test positive they can still come into the country at the land borders?"

Anthony Mahler

"They will be treated under the program, yes."

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