A recap of the last 30 days.....30 days ago - things had been looking up a touch...the island was hopping with domestic tourists, we were looking forward to re-opening the international airport on August 15th, and hotels were all working on obtaining the necessary "Gold Standard" to reopen safely for tourists. There were a lot of social and fun events occurring, and there was a feeling of getting back to some normalcy. There were concerns about some individuals crossing the Mexico border for duty-free shopping, as there are places where this border crossing can happen, that cannot be monitored. There was a concern that this may have been one place where some individuals were possibly picking up the virus and then bringing it back into Belize (the international borders are all supposed to be closed except for repatriating residents.)
About a month ago, some clusters of positive cases started to show up on the mainland, and then started to show up on Ambergris Caye. After a series of tracing, it was found that hundreds of new positive cases were occurring, and it also led to some hospitalizations and deaths. Here is the most current count of where Belize is at with COVID:
Ambergris Caye had to go back into quarantine about a month ago, due to the increase in cases on the island. We got out of the quarantine last night at midnight, only to find out this afternoon that we were thrust into another crisis, as this morning it was reported that a hurricane is predicted to hit Belize on Thursday (in 2 days).
This past month has been a particularly difficult bummer as the island worked SO hard to build back up to prepare for tourists. The airport reopening was pushed back from August 15th, to the recent date of October 1st (the Prime Minister reported that "barring a hurricane" we will open, so we shall see....) Right now it is a quite unsettling to see the below projection showing that the eye of the storm is headed right for the middle of the country.
Hotels are working on getting the "Gold Standard" to be able to prepare for safe tourism - but - most are concerned that the restrictions on tourists, such as not being able to leave the hotels at all without a Gold Licensed tour guide - are going to severely limit any real tourism. This is considered the Phase 3 of 5 phases that the Belize Tourism Board has been working on, and on Phase 4, tourists will be able to stay where they like and move about the country as they want. We do not know yet, when Phase 4 will be announced. As of today, it is reported that the October 1st opening will still be Phase 3, but this could change. Here are some relevant links for those wanting to follow the BTB's changes for tourism:
Please visit the Belize Tourism Board’s page at any time for the most up-to-date information about Belize’s cleaning protocals, latest tourism news, and regulations for tourists entering the country. This information can change quickly. Here are FAQ's about travel to Belize.- HERE is a link to the cleaning standards Belize has adopted for post-COVID travel.
- HERE is a link to the “Gold-Standard” Hotels that have adopted the enhanced cleaning procedures.
- HERE is a link to the matrix to follow when entering the country.