COVID-19 Update for Travellers
In an effort to keep all travellers to Belize informed, we are providing the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 below. We do invite you to consider postponing, rather than cancelling your vacation, and visiting our beautiful jewel in the near future when these restrictions are reduced.
Kindly take note of our Frequently Asked Questions and all official updates from our Ministry of Health below to keep updated.
FAQs on Travel to Belize during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated May 5, 2020
- WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name given to a new strain of virus of the Coronavirus family. This type of Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes flu-like illness and as well it can affect the airways and lungs. Early symptoms include fever, sore throat and a cough that can appear between 2 and 14 days after being infected. Symptoms can be mild to severe.
- HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF AND FAMILY?
It’s still cold and flu season, and the same practices that stop the spread of these common illnesses are recommended.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Wash your hands with soap and water regularly for at least 20 seconds. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are also effective.
Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home when you’re sick (except to get medical care). Keep sick children home from school or day care.
Cough or sneeze inside your elbow or into a tissue, throw away and wash your hands afterward.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, and manage your stress
If you are sick yourself, stay away from others. Contact your health-care provider ahead of time so you can be safely assessed.
- WHAT IS THE STATUS OF COVID -19 IN BELIZE?
To date, Belize has had 18 confirmed cases, 16 of which are fully recovered with no present active cases.
- IS THERE A VACCINE FOR COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus is new and requires its own vaccine to be effective.
Simple hygiene measures like washing your hands often with soap and water and avoiding people who are unwell can help stop viruses like COVID-19 from spreading.
- ARE ANTIBIOTICS EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING AND TREATING COVID-19?
No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
However, if you are hospitalized for COVID-19, you may receive antibiotics because bacterial co-infection is possible.
- WHAT DOES SELF-ISOLATING MEAN?
Self-isolating means that you need to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people for at least 14 days. The following advice is recommended even if you do not have any symptoms.
Stay at home
Stay away from other people
Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened
Ask friend or family members to assist with getting groceries, medicine, etc and make sure they leave the items outside so that you do not have contact with them
Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection
Clean toilets and bathrooms regularly
Use separate sheets and towels from anyone else in the household, wash and change them regularly
Wash crockery and utensils thoroughly with soap and water
Stay away from your pets – if unavoidable, wash your hands before and after contact
Do not invite visitors to your home or allow visitors to enter
Do not go to work, school or public areas
Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home
- WHY IS 14 DAYS REQUIRED FOR SELF-ISOLATION?
Evidence suggests that the incubation period for COVID-19 is 14 days. During this time, an infected person will begin to display symptoms and will be able to transmit the virus to others if they are not isolated.
- ARE FACE MASKS USEFUL FOR PREVENTING COVID-19?
Face masks have a role in stopping people with coronavirus from spreading the virus but they stop working after a short period of time. There is very little evidence that use of face masks may prevent healthy people from contracting coronavirus. Masks will be provided by the Health Service Authority free of charge to those people entering their premises who have respiratory symptoms.
- WHAT SHOULD I STOCK UP ON?
It is best to prepare in case you need to self-isolate by ensuring you have at least two weeks’ supply of pain relievers such as Tylenol or Paracetamol (acetaminophen), soap or hand sanitizers, tissues, food, water and other items that will ensure your comfort while you are at home.
- WHERE CAN I GET OFFICIAL INFORMATION ON COVID -19?
The public is reminded that the Ministry of Health is the official source of information. Any questions, concerns, information or clarification on rumors should be channeled through the desk of the Information Officer at the Ministry of Health at e-mail [email protected] or phone number 828-4450, 0800-MOH-CARE. Persons can also contact the Ministry via its Facebook Page, Ministry of Health Belize, www.covid19.bz, the Office of the Director of Health Services and the Government Press Office.
- WHAT IS THE STATUS OF SOCIAL GATHERINGS?
Social gatherings, such as wakes and funerals, are limited to 10 persons or less. The only exception to the social gathering rule of ten will be residences with more than ten household members and public transportation.
- ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON BUSES?
At present there are limited bus runs. These bus runs are primarily to transport essential workers to and from work.
- IS THERE A LIST OF BUSINESSES THAT ARE CLOSED AT THIS TIME?
Yes. The following establishments will be closed until further notice–
casinos and gaming establishments;
spas, beauty salons and barber shops;
gymnasiums (gyms), sporting complexes;
discotheques, bars, rum shops and night clubs;
restaurants, saloons, diners, and other similar establishments, provided that restaurants, saloons diners and other similar establishments may operate to offer take out services only;
any other establishment or business designated by the Quarantine Authority by Notice published in the Gazette.
- WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS THAT ARE PRESENTLY IN PLACE FOR BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS?
All business establishment that remain open are required to:
ensure that all customers and staff maintain physical distancing of no less than three feet (3ft.) in or outside their business;
determine the number of persons that may be permitted in the establishment at any one time;
place distance markers three feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand on a line at a check out point;
place distance markers three feet apart on the outside of the establishment, indicating where customers must stand while waiting to enter the establishment.
- ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIAL ACTIVITIES?
A State оf Emеrgеnсу for Belize became еffесtіvе оn Wеdnеѕdау, April 1st аt mіdnіght. Тhе Ѕtаtе оf Еmеrgеnсу wіll bе іmрlеmеntеd fоr 30 dауѕ, in the first instance.
A сurfеw has been implemented frоm 8:00 р.m. tо 5:00 а.m daily.
Оutѕіdе сurfеw hоurѕ approved buѕіnеѕѕеѕ are permitted to open, most with restricted hours. Business which have not been approved must remain closed.
- CAN I STILL TRAVEL TO BELIZE?
At present Belize’s borders and the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport are closed. Effective April 5th all borders were also closed to Belizean nationals seeking to enter the country. This decision was made by the Government of Belize, with unanimous support from the National Oversight Committee, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Belizeans will only be allowed entry into the country if they are returning from seeking medical attention abroad or other emergency trips. This new measure will last for the duration of the national state of emergency.
No restrictions have been placed on incoming or outgoing freight and cargo at the borders or at the Belize Seaports.
All cruise lines have paused operations.