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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Monday night was the last night of the anticipated end of curfew.

Masks will no longer need to be worn outside in open air. However, they must stay on while in public buildings such as churches, government buildings, and supermarkets. They must also be worn on public transportation and at events such as weddings and funerals.

Link for latest SI: https://www.pressoffice.gov.bz/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/SI-No-36-of-2022-Public-Health.pdf

PM Briceno Announces New COVID Measures, Including the Lifting of Curfew on March 1st.


Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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PM Announces Curfew Over!

Prime Minister Briceno made an address to the nation announcing the restoration of salaries - and the suspension of the curfew effective tomorrow.

Here's a small portion of that 6 minute statement:

We believe we have found a workable compromise which includes restoring the full 10 percent to public officers and teachers.

On COVID-19, the Cabinet has decided that it is time to re-balance responsibility in the fight against COVID-19. For some two years, the Government has responded to the pandemic by embarking on a massive public health campaign, securing hundreds of thousands of vaccines, heavily imposing restrictions on personal freedoms and curtailing social and economic activities. The Cabinet has decided that the time has come to restore personal and economic freedoms, while encouraging everyone to act responsibly.

Effective 1st March the curfew will be lifted. The Minister of Health will provide more details of the process by which we will lift all measures during the month of March as we move towards normalcy on 1st April 2022.

Ending The Curfew And Its Effect On Tourism

Reporter
"How excited are you that the curfew might be lifted and what does this mean for Belize's toursm industry?"

Evan Tillett, Director, BTB
"Very excited, if the science say that that is the issue in terms of we need to remove or we can remove it, then it makes sense and for tourism, people don't want to come to a destination that feels they are trapped or they have to be govern by certain rules that they are not even governing their own destination. So in terms lifting those things, I think it will put us in a position that will allow Belize to compete on a global level. I think that when the regulators; BTB and the ministry that are the guardians of the tourism industry, look at the landscape in terms of how we can improve the traffic of tourism into the country will definitely benefit from relaxation of protocols for covid as well as looking how we can continue to develop the industry to be ready for additional tourists."

No More Testing At Border

Another change that comes with the new SI is that there will be no more testing at the land border for Belizeans. That's right - you can stay in Chetumal overnight, or two, three nights if you want and won't have to pay that dreaded $100 to get tested. But of course, you need to be fully vaccinated to cross in the first place. The only exceptions to this rule are those who need to cross for medical or education reasons - and those persons will require a test upon reentry.

Testing is also required for unvaccinated tourists coming into the country. Those who can show proof of immunization will not be required to test.

Channel 7

Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Health Minister Breaks Down New COVID Regs

Belize is finally out of curfew jail! You heard right, tonight you don't have to rush home out of fear of the curfew cops lurking around the corner waiting for 11pm to ticket you. It's the first time in a year and five months that we've been without one. Back on September 4th 2020, the curfew was kicked to the curb for a couple of months, making a comeback on November 26th 2020, just after PUP's big win at the polls. Since then, there have been a lot of changes but tonight, things are a little more like pre-COVID times.
But that's not the only change - masks also don't have to be worn outdoors and you no longer have to pay for testing at the borders once you're vaccinated. This morning, the Minister of Health broke down the new regulations for us.

Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness
"One of the first things is that yes there's no longer a curfew as of today. That has been lifted. In terms of the border testing, both testing, whether you're coming on the air, sea or land borders, the requirement for testing will be now only for persons coming in that are unvaccinated - tourists, because Belizeans still who leave the country through land borders or anywhere must be fully vaccinated. So the good thing about that, and I know that's why everybody is saying, that now they no longer have to worry about if you stay overnight, 36 hours, 72 hours, once you are vaccinated and you come across to your country and you're Belizean and you can prove your immunization through your vaccination card then there's no need for you to test coming back into the country."

"For the mask wearing, we are saying if I am walking on the street, it's outdoors, if I'm just walking on the street on my merry way home, I don't really need to wear a mask. I just want to say this though because we don't want people to also not understand that that doesn't stop me, Kevin Bernard, or anybody from not wanting to wear their mask. If you feel that you're not feeling safe, wear your mask. Now if you're indoors, at the church, at a concert which we are now allowing at 75%, at a wedding celebration, you must wear your mask, at a sporting event at a stadium and you're a guest in the audience, you must wear a mask, any public building, government building, shops, supermarkets, banks, you must wear your mask."

"One of the things that we also changed, remember there were restrictions of spas and so forth, that has been lifted completely. The issue of all other BPO's, they were at 50%, that has now been taken up to 75%. But the main changes were really the curfew, the issue of the testing at the border coming in, and the 75% allowance for concerts and all these things. So the band couldn't even play, now they can play. So the entertainment industry can return to some level of normalcy with restrictions that there are only vaccinated people."




Vax-Only Social Gatherings Now Allowed

And those aren't the only changes - social gatherings are now allowed. That mean parties, concerts, weddings, and, according to the minister, even a ball! The plan now is for the bulk of the responsibility to be on the individual rather than the state. So yes, you can host and attend a party - but your safety is up to you, as explained by Bernard.

Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness
"Gatherings on all aspects whether it's a ball, a concert, a wedding, you can have those but at 75%, however, the caveat to that for concerts, for all of these things, except church, you must be vaccinated."

Courtney Menzies:
"What about a house party?"

Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness
"You are at home. You can have your event at your home. Now, it's your responsibility to ensure that who comes to your home is also vaccinated. Who goes to an event, it's your choice now, we are telling you, you have the opportunity to have your little birthday party at home, let us try and practice what has already been there where you need to have your vaccinations, you need to have 75% of your capacity. So not because we are easing up these things means that it's just a free for all, we have to be also responsible on our own to ensure that we do what is right."



Bars And Nightclubs May Reopen Next Month

And while gatherings are allowed, bars and nightclubs still remain closed. But they may not stay that way for long. The Minister explained that they're looking to change that in a month's time - but of course, there will be a vaccination requirement.

Hon. Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Wellness
"Those remain closed for the time being, we are in the process of looking at what will be the next step, as the prime minister rightly pointed out this morning that we are looking at when April 1st comes, if we can then ease that restriction. But again, it will be focused on vaccination, vaccination, vaccination. So I will tell the young people one time that want to go to the nightclub, you don't get vaccinated, you won't be able to go to that club. It's the onus of the owners of that establishment that also need to ensure that when we do so that they ensure that people who enter that facility are vaccinated. It is not there yet, come April 1st, we may get there, but it will be with the certain conditions that it can only be for people who are vaccinated to be able to enjoy that freedom of going to the nightclub. I won't go, because I don't go to nightclubs but those who want to enjoy can go there and enjoy at their own freewill."




Channel 7


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