COVID is - hopefully! - on its way from a pandemic to an endemic and that means some day soon, we will see the end of all the regulations currently in place. But that will only happen once the COVID numbers stay low. And with the border reopening, a spike is anticipated.

However, it's been about a week and a half and so far, so good. Minister Bernard chalked it up to the fact that there hasn't been a surge of Belizeans going across the border like most expected. But the minister said that, even so, Belizeans must remain on their guard.

Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness
"When the COVID medical response team recommended that the testing be done after the 24 hours or overnight was to make sure there was surveillance being done, monitoring and we knew we wanted at least a two week span to monitor the progress of where we're going, to monitor the numbers to see that we are within the positivity range that we want as a ministry so with that now, the first week going and the second week, we're seeing the numbers of persons going across the border and coming back across has been very manageable and there has been no major issue coming out of that. So we feel if that continues over the period of this week and into next week then these recommendations that we are setting out and prepared to present to cabinet will be something that will benefit the Belizean people. But we always also put that caveat that we must understand that we must be responsible as an individual."

"When we go over to Chetumal or those who travel over to Guatemala if that's the case, there are restrictions in those countries too so you go there and you follow every single rule that they've applied, but when you come to your country you want to break the rule? That cannot happen. You need to ensure that you're in this country, you follow the rules of this country as well."

"It's been very much manageable, in fact there are cases where there's been none so we're seeing that trend and we're hoping that it can remain that way. I am very much pleased to know that we haven't seen Belizeans flocking the border as we expected. I think on a whole Belizeans are also wary what is happening across the border so many persons will not want to risk it. And of course the restrictions that we have in place that it's only vaccinated persons, and again we don't see our vaccine numbers going up in a daily basis either. So we would have hoped when the border opened, you know the frenzy that was put out there as if the border is going to be open, Belizeans would want to flock over to Chetumal, that is not the case. Those who want to travel will travel and they know they have to be vaccinated, those are the ones that will travel. For those who are unvaccinated, we are encouraging them, let's take advantage of the fact that we have vaccines in this country and get vaccinated."


Channel 7