Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Establishments not adhering to COVID-19 safety regulations will be penalized


As COVID-19 cases increase in San Pedro Town, health officials urge business establishments such as restaurants to adhere to the recently passed safety regulations to avoid penalties. The new Statutory Instrument regarding the COVID-19 laws only permits open-air restaurants to offer dine-in services. Those restaurants with only indoor dining can only offer takeout or/drive-thru/ services. Failure to abide by this rule can lead to the closure of the establishment.

This penalty applies to restaurants and any establishment that fails to implement the regulations to decrease the spread of the virus. The proper wearing of masks and set markers measuring social distancing inside their premises is mandatory. According to Health Inspector Christina Sanchez, during an appearance on Reef TV, there is the idea of creating a task force to visit businesses across the island. Any establishment found in non-compliance will be served to the point of being closed.

Causes for COVID-19 spike on the island

One of the reasons shared by the health inspector on the island is the limited information available to the residents about the disease’s reality. People are becoming lax and not taking the necessary measures. Sanchez stated that COVID-19 has not gone away and stressed the importance of following health protocols. Another problem cited is people are not using the hand hygiene stations outside shops and stores. These businesses are asked to enforce these measures and not allow anyone into their establishment unless they have proper hand hygiene.

Sanchez added the island needs a strong community participation component to fight COVID-19 infections. Without a collective effort, cases will continue to spike, and the vulnerable will die. The virus does not move alone; people move it; thus, establishments and people, in general, are asked to follow the necessary precautions to curb the increase in positive infections. Ambergris Caye has flattened the curve before, and health officials are hopeful that if the island community works together, the high number of infections can be contained.

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