New measures starting October 1st now ban the use of certain face masks/coverings

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

A set of regulations to combat COVID-19 will come into effect on Friday, October 1st, under a new Statutory Instrument (SI). Some of these new measures will prohibit neck gaiters, commonly known as buffs, or any type of mask exposing only part of the face. The SI also mandates anyone accessing government-owned buildings to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. This also applies to persons working at these places. If they are not vaccinated or cannot produce a negative test, they will not be allowed to enter for work. You can view the total SI here:

According to the SI, vaccination proof or a negative test will be required for persons entering a courtroom as a juror, witness, party to court proceedings, or in furtherance of compliance with an order of court, like to pay a fine. To make a police report at the police station and even be remanded or serve a sentence.

This requirement also applies to accessing any public medical institution, government office, or office of a statutory body. The San Pedro Town Council has informed the public that they will be enforcing these rules, including adequate face coverings. Those working in these government spaces shall also produce proof of immunization or a negative PCR or rapid test every two weeks. Failure to adhere to this regulation will subject them to disciplinary actions.

The only exceptions will apply to children under the age of 12 and persons seeking emergency medical treatment. In this case, when the patient is admitted, they may be tested once hospitalized during that emergency visit. The same applies to anyone detained and taken to a police station. If the individual is arrested and charged, they will be tested for COVID-19.

One of the new amendments deals with enforcing the use of face masks that do not cover large areas of someone’s face. Face masks should only cover the mouth and nose. No fishing face masks, buffs, ski masks, or any closed tube of fabric or other similar faces, neck, or head covering that resembles any of the types mentioned above will be allowed. Business operators are advised not to allow persons with these types of masks inside their premises. They have the right to prescribe the variety of masks allowed for entry at that particular establishment.

Anyone in breach of these measures will be issued a violation ticket.

The new SI did not offer changes to the current curfews. A 9PM to 4AM curfew currently is in effect for Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, and Placencia. In comparison, the rest of the country is subjected to a 7PM to 4AM curfew.



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