Islanders report a quiet holiday weekend in San Pedro Town

Monday, September 13th, 2021


The long holiday weekend, which started on Friday, September 10th, to honor the 223rd anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye, was expected to see plenty of movement by people celebrating the historic event. Authorities were concerned about the spike in COVID-19 cases, and before the holiday, they warned the public not to participate in mass gatherings and social events. In San Pedro Town, several stakeholders reported a slow weekend with fewer people visiting restaurants and other similar establishments across the island.

Businesses said it was quiet in places such as Secret Beach and the usual big crowds were absent. According to some residents, one reason for fewer people out was a Tropical Wave starting on Friday that brought heavy rain and thunderstorms. Another reason given is that some islanders opted for a change and visited the mainland.

According to some stakeholders, their business has slowed down on the island over the past weeks, and they believe it has to do with the 9PM curfew. Many tour operators and even restaurants have seen cancellations.  Another reason why activities on the island were quieter than usual for a holiday weekend was the stern warning issued by the Belize Police Department to revelers. The police outlined a regulation still in effect, ‘Regulation 7(1) of the Statutory Instrument No. 74, provides for restrictions against any social event, in numbers of more than ten persons at a time, who are not of the same household. In addition, Regulation 9(1) (a) provides for restrictions against any private gathering, which includes any person from outside the immediate household. Regulation 9(1) (b) also provides for restrictions against any recreational event.’

Police patrols across the island making sure establishments adhere to the health regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have increased. In the case of restaurants in San Pedro, which tend to get a lot of activity, they are allowed to host 75% of their capacity, must have good ventilation or outdoor dining areas. They should serve alcoholic beverages with food only and observe social distancing. The current law also mandates stores/shops not to sell alcohol after 6PM until further notice.

The last COVID-19 report indicated the total of cases nationwide nearing 1,400. In San Pedro, the unconfirmed data shows the number of cases threatening to exceed 100. Islanders are asked to continue being cautious as the tourism industry is very fragile, and if cases get out of control, the government will be forced to take drastic measures.


 

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