Belize is finally open! Well…much-more-open as of Monday October 19th and it seems like the right time to welcome those who are looking to travel…to welcome them to beautiful Belize!
Belize has been working hard to make these decisions…the careful juggling act between very tough choices (you guys know them – economy almost entirely based on tourism and…a quickly spreading very much unknown virus) with data this is often limited and quickly changing so….
Before I get down to the nitty-gritty, this: No country is doing this exactly right. It’s impossible! No matter what: Please get to know and be respectful of all laws, rules, and regulations that Bellize has placed, regardless if you agree with them or not. Masks, in particular, are the law. As a guest in another country, it is necessary to be responsible travelers and tourists, especially during a pandemic.
Here is what you need to know to travel to Belize right now as a short-term visitor, a tourist.
Belize officially opened our one International Airport (Philip Goldsen International Airport, PGIA) on October 1st, 2020. But new easing of regulations were announced last week and as of Monday, October 19th, here are the new graphic from the Belize Tourism Board outlining the regulations. (Here is their COVID-19 information page.)
Bring a negative 72-hour PCR test to be fast tracked through arrivals or pay $50US for a quick test at the Belize international airport.
Enjoy Belize. While you are recommended to remain within the “Safety Corridor” (your Gold Standard lodging and tours), you are now able to move freely – to rent a car or a golf cart and move freely.
You can head to town, you can drive out to Secret Beach…
Easy-peasy, right? Easier for sure!
Here are some answers to questions you may have – and ones that you don’t 🙂 The more information that you have, the better!
Can I Drive/Bus/Walk to Belize – Are the Land Borders Open?
Not at this time. Belize’s land borders remain closed. The only point of international entry is through the PGIA (Belize’s one international airport.)
Belize COVID-19 Entry Requirements
The requirements are outlined above in the simple graphic. Bring written documentation from a negative PCR test taken within 72-hour of departure (for fast tracking) or take a rapid test at the Belize International airport for $50US.
There is no restricted list of countries/no travel bans when it comes to COVID-19 (Americans are more than welcome!)
There are no quarantine requirements if you test negative.
Is Belize the most magical country in the world?
Ok…I thought I’d sneak that in but…YES! What Makes Belize So Special?
Current COVID SItuation in Belize/Is Belize COVID-free?
Belize is not COVID-free. (The only countries that can boast this status are floating out in the middle of the Pacific or…just not reporting…that’s YOU North Korea!)
Belize has been reporting about 30-60 new cases a day for the past month and we have seen a total of 45 deaths as of October 21st. (Remember that Belize has a very small population – about 350,000 people total)
You can see new cases reported – and the breakdown by district on the Office of Director of Health Services’s facebook page or look at numbers and trends here.
How do the Locals feel about this re-opening?
The tourism industry IS the economy of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Placencia and many other parts of Belize. The complete 6-month shut-down has been extremely painful to individuals and businesses- to everyone.
Overall, people here are very eager to welcome tourists and restart the economy, to welcome USA-Americans, while maintaining a healthy level of caution around masks, hand-washing and social distancing.
Belizeans, I find, are now pushing for a faster re-opening.
What Is Open in Belize Right Now During COVID-19?
Restaurants can open – tables are limited to 10 person groups and must be 6 feet or more apart. This includes favorite bar-restaurants like Palapa Bar, Sandy Toes, Carlos and Ernie’s and more. Restaurants-bars at Secret Beach should be open.
Many of your favorite places are open, some are still in the process or are in the planning stages.
Bars, Nightclubs and Casinos
Businesses that fall under these strict categories are still closed. Just to repeat – many of your favorite bars are actually bar-restaurants and are open (see just above).
Supermarkets are open and most have a hand-washing and sanitizing area before entering. As with all public spaces, masks are required.
Renting a Golf Cart or A Car
Tourists are now able to rent a vehicle and move around freely.
Tours and Activities
It is encouraged that you book your tours through your Gold Standard Hotel.
What Should I Pack – I’M GOING TO BELIZE!
Don’t worry – I’ve got you covered….your bathing suit and sun lotion and Your Belize Packing List.
If you have any questions at all about any of the regulations and/or protocols – please contact your Gold Standard Lodging. And refer to the Belize Tourism Board’s website for any specifics.