Friday, July 19, 2024

Government retires the curfew; changes to mask-wearing, and COVID-19 border testing 


On Monday evening, February 28th, Prime Minister Honourable John Briceno informed the nation that his government would relax the COVID-19 health restrictions. As of March 1st, the almost two-year curfew will come to an end. Significant changes were also revealed on mask-wearing and border testing.

Briceno addressed the country via a pre-recorded video, saying that it was time to restore personal and economic freedoms while encouraging everyone to act responsibly. According to him, after two years of a public health campaign, vaccination, heavy restrictions, and curtailing social and economic activities, it was time to take this decision.

Following this announcement, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 36 of 2022 was released, citing more changes to the health protocols. The new rules state that a mask will no longer be needed outdoors in an open space. However, masks are required in public buildings, including churches, government buildings, stores, and supermarkets. A mask should also be worn while using public transportation and attending events such as a funeral or wedding.

The new SI also indicates that no testing for COVID-19 will be required for vaccinated Belizeans at the borders when returning to the country. This replaces the law forcing Belizeans to pay $100 for a COVID-19 test if they spend more than 24 hours outside the country. In addition, tourists will not need to test if they can show proof of immunization.

Prime Minister Briceno has hinted that the COVID-19 measures lifted through March, the country could return to normalcy (no more measures) by April 1st. To read more about the new SI, click here

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