It’s a looong holiday weekend in the USA – Happy 4th of July! – and Ambergris Caye is bustling with visitors. It’s amazing. Fantastic.
We are also just starting Lobster season – July 1st was the official first day. And fishermen were out early bringing in a huge catch for the restaurants of San Pedro. The weather is hot, humid and beautiful.
A low-key Lobsterfest is happening on Ambergris Caye – many smaller events and no big block party. Keep up with the schedule on the facebook page for San Pedro Lobster Festival.
And…COVID cases are on the rise in Belize.
Here are the most recent updates from the Ministry of Health.
First, remember that Belize is a tiny country by population. Around 375,000 people. The population of our entire country is about the size of Bakersfield, California or Aurora, Colorado. Or…the second largest city in El Salvador, Soyapango. Or Stoke-On-Trent in the UK. Relatively small cities. And no matter where you go in Belize, you know people. It’s awesome and at many times, kinda crazy. As of last week, less than 10% of the population is fully vaccinated.
Last week, the GOB (Government of Belize) held a press conference to update the country and encourage all to get the vaccines which are available are spots through out the country.
Currently, everyone is getting the Astrazeneca vaccine. The US just provided Belize with an ultra-low temp freezer so there are more to come.
Laws that were already in place (paraphrased by me):
- All must wear a face mask or other face (nose and mouth) covering in public – those under 6 years old are exempt (but you will see little kids wearing them in Belize all the time)
- Social distancing/physical distancing laws are in place
Additional measures were added (including a tweak on the curfew) and go into effect today, July 4th, 2021:
- Curfew is 10pm during the week and 11pm at the weekends – Thursday to Saturday (it was midnight)
- Restaurants remain at 75% capacity, open air, and 50% with free air flow. Now closed restaurants must close.
- Church services at 50% capacity for maximum of 1 hour
The term “front line worker” has been explanded to include those on the economic “front” and all have been strongly encouraged to get vaccines. If they chose not to get vaccinated in July, they will need to present a NEG test to their employeers bi-weekly. (We are waiting for the exact wording in a new statuatory instrument/law)
And San Pedro got out there! The line to be vaccinated on Friday was around the block. You can check out the pictures here.
The Belize Government is proceeding as if the DELTA variant is in Belize (samples have been sent to the US for confirmation)
Also, a 2 week mitigation lock-down is in effect for 3 villages in Belize’s far south who are experiencing a rapid rise in cases. Conejo, Midway and Barranco (each with populations around 150-200 people). Each household will be receiving a stipend. You can see the Press Release here.
For all restrictions and rules on entering Belize – see the Beliize Tourism Board’s information page.
Note: Our leadership has been fairly open with the fact that they do not want to close the country. We can not afford to do this. So mitigation measures are again being implement. And a new vaccination campaign to encourage ALL to get vaccinated. To make it work – we need to work together.
It’s an impossible balancing act – between sicknesses and the economy. Everyone is an “expert”, everyone has an opinion. Talk to your doctor if you have questions!
And Belize, let’s get back to normal – we NEED to work together on this one.
That’s all – carry on. Belizeans enjoy your Sunday safely and USA – Happy Birthday!