Know As Much As You Can Before You Go + Also Knowing It’s a Fluid Situation
I’ve been getting SO many questions about the planned re-opening of the International Airport in Belize – scheduled for August 15th.
Yes, the airport is re-opening (as of now) but there will be many protocols and restrictions for those arriving.
The Belize Tourism Board has been slowly releasing information and updates like the answer to question #53 – perhaps the one that I get the most often:
53. How long will these protocols (testing, social distancing, restricted movement, etc.) be in place?
- The Government of Belize and officials of the Ministry of Health continue to monitor this very fluid situation. At this time, we are unable to indicate how long these protocols will be in effect. The protocols have been implemented to protect the health and safety of both Belizeans and visitors to our country, and adjustments will be made as new information is received.
You can see answers to 63 questions under the TAB: Reopening of Belize Airport on August 15th FAQs
Are there still open issues? YES. I think the key to all of this is: THIS (the pandemic) IS A VERY FLUID SITUATION. Numbers in our bordering countries and in the US are rising…
(Article in NYTimes today: CEOs Including Marriott and Delta Much More Cautious and Less Optimistic than 30 Days Ago)
There is new information, new numbers, new treatment, new areas practically every day. And Belize is very committed to the safety of her people first.
There are so many things to consider locally: Our healthcare system could be VERY quickly overwhelmed by more than a handful of serious cases …many families live with elderly relatives, often in relatively small, often one bathroom spaces. We also rely very heavily on tourism. (Moody’s lists us both – the Bahamas and Belize – as economies that rely HEAVILY on tourism) It’s SUCH a difficult balancing act – on that sometimes requires pivoting.
Last week, I read this article from Travel & Leisure: I Visited Cancun Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic — Here’s What It Was Really Like and though Cancun is SO different from Belize, I think they ask really good questions.
I would ask these of my hotel.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are headed to Belize to stay solely at a more remote jungle lodge or at an island resort or a fishing lodge where you will be out fishing every day, being “stuck” at your resort all day is not stuck at all – it’s exactly what you had planned. Just make sure to stay in touch with your hotel so that you know what to expect.
Yesterday I received a comment on one of my posts from someone who traveled to the Bahamas this month:
I was just in the Bahamas 7/3-7/7 with 3 others. We all had to get tested within 10 days of travel, to obtain a Health visa which was a nightmare until the 11th hour. Nothing was open, restaurants /bars/ excursions all cancelled. We had swimming w the pigs in Exuma booked and paid for- canceled day before our departure. We stayed at the RIU – out of the 5 restaurants they have, only one was open. Antibacterial and masks were everywhere. Temperature checks, often. We were trapped in the hotel the entire time. I would wait to travel. Baja Mar and Atlantis are closed until October.
Know before you go.
And just a few days ago, the Bahamas – after opening the borders/international airport on July 1st to all visitors who had a negative test within the last 10 days – announced that they would CLOSE to American tourists – All arrivals from the US.
They are most certainly NOT doing this because they dislike Americans. The Bahamas NEEDS tourism – but they are cautious about the limit of cases that they can deal with in their small country.
I guess my summary of this scattered post is this: the situation with COVID and our borders is very fluid. If you are traveling to Belize, know before you go – ask questions! Please try to understand that Belize is doing her best to protect her citizens.
Ask questions and be flexible…
Will I need to wear a mask? Yes. Will I be able to visit that favorite restaurant in town that I loved on my last trip? No not in this phase. And so on…