Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Travelers entering Belize through land borders must be COVID-19 tested at their own expense

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The spike in COVID-19 cases in Belize has forced the government to increase preventative measures to contain the importation of the virus into the country by travelers. All visitors entering the country via the land borders on the northern and western official entry points will be administered a COVID-19 test at their own expense. The Ministry of Health and Wellness advised that no external PCR or rapid tests will be accepted.

The ministry announced this new measure on Wednesday, September 1st, after Cabinet approved it. The new regulation is not aimed at causing an inconvenience but must be a requirement to protect and safeguard the Belizean people.

The land borders, north with Mexico and to the west with Guatemala, reopened on May 31st. At that time, travelers were required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken three days before travel or produce results from an approved rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours.

Cases in Belize have amounted to 1,132, with deaths now at 362. A total of 21 persons have been hospitalized as of September 1st, and six remain in the intensive care unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City.

The Government of Belize continues its COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country.  Vaccines are now available for people ages 18 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is currently being administered to children/students ages 12-17. It is recommended that persons who are due for their second dose visit any public health facility. The public is also advised that even after being fully vaccinated, the law mandates they continue to wear a face mask properly when in public, maintain social distancing, avoid social gatherings, and wash and sanitize regularly.

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