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National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector

Posted By: Marty

National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector - 06/27/20 11:57 AM

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Re-imagining Travel in the New Norm

We are pleased to share with you the National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector approved by the Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation. These guidelines are based on established international procedures and protocols and serve as the overarching framework applicable for the industry. The recently released hotels and restaurant protocols and the tour operations procedures scheduled for dissemination next week complements these national guidelines.

To view these guidelines, please CLICK HERE.

We thank you for your continued support in the implementation of these new enhanced protocols as we collectively work to safely reopen Belize to international travel.

Yours in Tourism,
Belize Tourism Board
Posted By: Marty

Re: National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector - 06/27/20 12:06 PM

Belize Announces Phased Re-opening Plan for Tourism

Yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize made the official announcement that Belize's international airport (BZE), the Philip Goldson International Airport will be opened on August 15, 2020, as part of the country's five-phase re-opening strategy for tourism. The opening of the international airport will kick-off Belize's third phase of re-opening, allowing for further travel relaxation and open entry for chartered flights, private aviation and limited re-opening of international leisure travel with approved hotels only.
 
Enhanced health and safety protocols for hotels were also approved by the Honourable Jose Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, which serve as the foundation for the destination's newest "Tourism Gold Standard" Recognition Program for hotels, restaurants and tour operators. This 9-point program seeks to enhance the tourism industry's health and safety standards by adapting new behaviours and procedures to ensure both employees and travellers are confident in the cleanliness and safety of Belize's tourism product.  Some of these new standards include: 
 

o  New capacity restrictions for all tourism sites to ensure social distancing can be     maintained 

o  Smaller tour groups to provide a more intimate tour experience

o  Sites and Parks to manage tours by appointment to limit the number of persons       on site 

o  Enhanced sanitization of tour equipment 

 
Although limited in scope, this phased approach allows for the industry to re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors.  As the country re-opens for travel, Belize wants to assure travellers and residents that hotels and restaurants will be cleaner and safer than ever before.  

The Travel Journey 

Travelers to Belize will be comforted to know that based on  proper management and containment efforts applied during the height of the pandemic, Belize was able to enjoy over 50 days of a Covid-19 free environment. Ongoing efforts will offer vacation opportunities with minimal risk of contracting Covid-19 while in Belize. In addition, with Belize having such low population density and being just a short flight away from most major US cities, the destination is well poised for post-Covid-19 travel.  
 
All travelers to Belize will be  required to adhere to health and safety measures implemented by the Government of Belize (GOB) including social distancing, hand sanitization, proper hygiene and the wearing of face masks in public spaces.  
 
Pre-Travel Arrangements 
  1. 1. All passengers travelling to Belize will be required to download the Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding the flight to Belize.  A QR code with a unique ID number will be returned to the passenger, and will be used for contact tracing while in Belize.
  2. 2. Passengers are encouraged to take a Covid PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize.
 
As a part of the pre-travel process, the passenger should start by booking their flight and hotel. Opening of hotels will be in a phased approach, and  the first grouping of hotels that will be allowed to open include properties that:


 

  1. 1. have achieved the Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition, and
  2. 2. provide full service to guests.  This means that these hotels are able to provide all amenities, so as to contain the guest on the property, and minimize opportunities for guest interaction within the local community. These amenities include having transportation to offer pick-up/drop-off services from the airport; access to a restaurant on property; have a pool or access to beach front; and be able to provide isolated tours, limited to guests of the property only.
 
Passengers are therefore encouraged to book Gold Standard approved hotels.  A list of the Gold Standard approved hotels will be available at  www.travelbelize.org  in the coming weeks.
 
Entry Requirements 
  1. 1. Passengers that provide certification of a negative test result from a Covid-19 PCR test done within 72 hours of travel, will be allowed immediate entry into Belize via a 'fast track' lane.  
  2. 2. Passengers that do not provide a negative Covid-19 test, must test upon arrival in Belize, at the passenger's expense.  A negative test result will allow entry into Belize.
  3. 3. Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 at the Belize International Airport will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum period of fourteen (14) days at the passenger's expense. 
 
All visitors to Belize will be required to:
 
At the Airport
The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols. These include:
 
Departure
Residents and visitors departing from Belize will also see new enhanced health and safety measures implemented.  Some of these new measures include:
 
Preparation for the return of visitation via land borders and cruising are still underway and re-opening plans will be announced at a later date. The Government of Belize, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) continue to actively monitor this very fluid situation.
 
For the official Government Press Release please click here.  To access the detailed health and safety protocols, we invite you to visit:   https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/.  For questions or concerns, contact the Belize Tourism Board at  info@belizetourismboard.org



Posted By: Marty

Re: National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector - 06/29/20 05:00 PM

Live: "Ask the Experts:" Remember to ask your questions in the comment section during the live webcast! Joining us today is Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General and Minister of National Security, to discuss the ending of the state of emergency and the regulations to follow.



According to the Attorney General on Ask the Experts, just now, all visitors (either Belizean or foreigner) if they take a PCR COVID-19 test either 48 hours before departure, or on arrival, and pass their tests they can go on their merry way into the wider community.

If they fail the PCR test they will be sent straight back (home).

If they don't have a PCR test and only do the less stringent antigen test they will only be able to go into the tight tourism corridor (ie Gold Standard Hotels).

New regulations will apply from July 1st under the Quarantine act.

If you want to return to Belize before August 15th, if you're a Belizean or PR, those people will be subject to the above processes too.
Posted By: Marty

Re: National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector - 06/30/20 03:22 PM

On, July 1, 2020, Belize will no longer under a State of Emergency that was implemented in March as the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed. After being in complete lockdown, then moving on to phased relaxations of emergency lockdown measures, Belize will now enter a “Post State of Emergency” in which the Ministry of Health signs a Statutory Instrument to bring into effect the Quarantine Authority.

Under this Quarantine Authority all businesses are free to open and the curfew has been lifted, but social distancing and the wearing of masks are being strictly enforced by the law. Land borders will remain closed until further notice, while the Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport is scheduled to open on August 15, 2020.

Other Regulations Coming into Effect Include:

  • Border jumpers rule will apply as was the case during the SoE. Persons caught entering the country illegally (even Belizeans) will be arrested, subject to quarantine if proved positive for COVID-19 and possible sentence of 3 months in prison.
  • Moving with a purpose will be enforced as is spelt out under the ordinary law. The curfew has been lifted but people can still be arrested in the middle of the night if caught loitering or moving about the streets with no purpose.
  • Six feet Social distancing will be enforced.
  • Mask must be worn inside all PUBLIC PLACES and on all public transportation.
  • You do NOT NEED TO WEAR A MASK while eating at restaurants, attending church services, in the security of your home, while exercising, participating in sporting activities, swimming, driving alone or with immediate family in vehicle or riding a motorcycle or bicycle
  • Mask must be worn at place where liquor is being served, however the mask could be removed to either eat food or drink liquor. Social distancing is not required at bars or casinos.
  • Cargo and Emergency medical flights will be allowed to come in after obtaining permission from the Attorney General and Minister of National Security.
  • BPO must continue to operate under the protocols established by the Ministry of Health.
  • Day care centers will be allowed to operate.
Posted By: Marty

Re: National Guidelines for the Reopening of Belize's Tourism Sector - 07/01/20 10:50 AM

Statutory Instrument No. 94 of the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) Regulations, 2020 - QUARANTINE (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID 19) REGULATIONS, 2020.

Statutory Instrument No. 95 of the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) Regulations, 2020 - PUBLIC HEALTH (PREVENTION OF THE SPREAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE) (COVID-19) REGULATIONS, 2020
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