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Friday Recap: New Regulations on Testing, Lobsterfest 2021 and A New Beer

My longest title ever?  Probably!  Happy Friday.  It’s also a national holiday in Belize today – the first January 15th official public holiday celebrating Belize’s greatest statemen and first Prime Minister, the Honorable George Price.  (This site has a good history and some great pictures of Price and his family)  The US is easing into a long holiday weekend with Martin Luther King Day on Monday.

Here’s what’s been on my mind and on my screens.  I’ll sprinkle in pictures that I took over the last 2 days just to…entice you.  Because even if you don’t have a trip planned – you absolutely should be thinking:

WHEN THIS IS OVER, I’M GOING TO BELIZE!

International Travelers Now Required to Provide Negative COVID Tests before Entering US as of January 26th

The travel world is abuzz with the seemingly sudden announcement that just as travel was starting to pick up a tiny bit a new hurdle to travel has been put in place.

First by Canada – who has been pretty consistent on the side of caution.  (Returning to Canada now requires both a negative PCR test AND 14-day quarantine upon arrival into the country)

Now the US, as of January 26th, will require a negative RAPID test before boarding an international flight back to the US.  This is feasible – and the Belize Tourism Board is working to make it even more doable.  Especially for those traveling to more remote locations in Belize.

This does NOT need to be a load of unneeded stress on your vacation

My last post listed 3 locations in San Pedro currently doing the test – prices ranging from $190bzd to $250.  And the Tourism Board is working to make this MORE ACCESSIBLE.

We will wait to see if there is a reduced price – since I am hearing people balk at the cost.

Just a note:  I haven’t been able to find too much on costs in different spots yet – all countries are scrambling to figure out these complicated logistics but this blog from Costa Rica says that prices are pretty similar to Belize.  About $100US to be testing.

Questions about Lobsterfest 2021

I’ve received a flurry of questions about lobster fest in San Pedro.  Lobster Season opens in Belize on Jun 15th  and San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Placencia all celebrate.  Well…until we had a global pandemic where large gatherings were no just inadvisable, they were and are illegal.

San Pedro’s Lobsterfestival is a week long event culminating in a huge block party with food booths, live music, dancing, and my fave…the steel drums!  (Here is the 2019 Festival)

I do not know the answer to this question:  Will San Pedro hold the Lobster Festival block party this June but my guess?

Caye Caulker’s Lobsterfest is SOOOO Good Too

It will be a modified event.  YES, there will still be LOTS of lobster available at restaurants and bars around San Pedro.  And I bet there will be a bunch of mini-events.  But I’m not sure we are going to be at the LARGE gathering point yet.  Either here or in the US?  You guess is as good as mine!

The first round of vaccines is not due in Belize until later in the Spring…

But HUGE block party or not…won’t you be happy to just be eating lobster in Belize?  Yum.  June is SUCH a sweet spot – it’s both lobster season AND conch season (officially ends June 30th though SOMETIMES it closes early).  And…shhhhh….I like conch even better than lobster.  Either way…it’s a great time to visit Belize.

It’ll probably be a few months before we hear any official announcements.

New Beer coming out of Orange Walk Belize

When you think Belize Beer – you think Belikin.  For years, it was the only beer available in Belize.  (You’ll hear various stories/rumors why that was the case…)

There are also lots of regulations here restricting trade – laws and high duties to restrict the importation of many foreign goods.  Including beer.  (Mexican beer here is CONTRABAND)

Things loosened a bit when Belize entered into a trade agreement with CARICOM – and we started to see beers from around the Caribbean being imported.

Some bigger names like Heinekin and Red Stripe and some…not so big.   LIke Parbo beer…the test of Suriname 🙂

I just saw this beer last week in a grocery store.  Huh.  A tequila flavored beer originally made in France but now produced by Heinekin.  Strange.

But now…a HUGE brewery has been built by – as the local news says – Chinese nationals.  It’s in the village of Carmalita just outside of Orange Walk town and it’s producing it’s first beer.

Here is one posing in Caye Caulker.  Pirate beer.  The Chinese-Belizean Company is called Caribbean International Brewing Co.

They invited the media to a press conference (ummm…HELLO?!?!?!)

You can watch the 40 second clip now.

Note also that there is a micro-brewery in Placencia Belize – an offshoot of the Hobbs Brewery and brand in the US.  

When this is all over?  I’m headed to Placencia!  I SO want to check this spot out.

 





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