Swimming and dining out is a go, after SOE regulations further relaxed

Saturday, May 16th, 2020

A relaxation in the regulations of the current State of Emergency means Belizeans across the country can now visit rivers, use swimming pools while at hotels, eat in restaurants with open areas and enjoy the beaches and swim in the sea. This was possible via the introduction of a new Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 72, and after Belize registered no new cases of COVID-19 over a one-month period. The SI came into effect on Friday, May 15th, and islanders on Ambergris Caye took to the beaches to with their families, while restaurants with open spaces welcomed customers.

According to the SI, while engaging in these activities, social distancing protocols must be observed, except as related to parents/guardians and their children or persons of the same party. There should not be a gathering of more than 10 persons, and face masks must be worn at all times, except when swimming or eating and drinking.

The beach strip of the Boca del Rio Area saw several islanders refreshing themselves in the waters of the Caribbean Sea. Adults and children alike took advantage of a beautiful sunny day swimming the evening away.

Restaurants fully open for the first time

Many restaurants had been offering pick-up and delivery services prior to the change in the regulations. On Friday, a few of those by the beach opened, welcoming patrons in their open spacious areas. One of them is  Palapa Bar and Grill over the water, which had everything in place according to what the SI requested. Proprietors Scott and Jodie spoke with The San Pedro Sun and explained that before walking into their restaurant, every customer must wash and sanitize their hands. A washing station is available outside the restaurant, where this can be done.

Tables and menus are sanitized before and after use and customers are seated six feet apart from each other. The wearing of masks is mandatory, except when consuming, and the sale of alcoholic beverages can only be served with food. According to management, they are adhering to all the regulations set by the government and are accommodating their customers in limited groups of 10 persons. They are very happy to be back in business and welcoming their patrons.

Palapa Bar and Grill is open from 11AM to 7PM and reservations can be made upon arrival or by calling 226-3111.


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