In an effort to keep the general public informed, the Ministry of Health has been providing regular updates on continuing developments with respect to COVID-19.
Keep up to date with official news and advisories regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

FAQs Regarding Travelling to Belize

Updated October 6, 2020

  1. What categories of travellers are currently permitted to enter Belize?

View updated matrix  here

  1. Is the Belize Health App mandatory and where can I locate it?

Yes, the Belize Health App is required for entry to the country.  It is  available for download  via APK file for Android (version 1.09 or newer) and in the App Store.  The App can also be downloaded via https://www.travelbelize.org/health-safety.
The App can be downloaded at any time prior to your trip to Belize, but your information should be entered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Belize.   Once complete, you’ll receive a unique travel ID and QR code; it is recommended that you take a screenshot of this to show the Health Officer upon arrival in Belize.

  1. I do not have a smartphone/not travelling with a phone – how will I be able to register for the Belize Health App? 

If you don’t have a smart phone, the App can also be downloaded to a tablet.  You should enter your personal information no more than 72 hours of boarding your flight to Belize, and must have the device with you when you arrive in Belize.  

  1. Where can I find a list of all the countries approved for entry to Belize?

The Government of Belize (GOB) does not currently have any travel bans in place.  We encourage you to visit www.travelbelize.org regularly for updates on Covid-19, as the situation remains fluid.

  1. What specific measures are being taken in Belize to protect visitors from contracting the virus?

Belize is reopening its tourism industry using a phased approach.   This will allow for the industry to re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary, to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors. As we reopen for international visitation, our primary concern is to assure both travellers and residents that Belize’s tourism product is cleaner and safer than ever before.

A series of new enhanced health and safety protocols have been put in place to protect visitors, Belizeans, and our communities.  These include:

  1. Mandatory use of facemasks in public spaces
  2. Enforcement of social distancing measures in public spaces such as restaurants, bars, grocery stores, retail stores, etc.
  3. Introduction of a “Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program” for hotels, restaurants and tour operators. This 9-point program seeks to enhance the tourism industry’s health and safety standards by adapting new behaviours and procedures to ensure both employees and travellers are confident in the cleanliness and safety of Belize’s tourism product. Some of these new measures include

Enhanced health and safety protocols for

Hotels

  • Online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, and automated ordering/booking systems
  • Hand sanitizing stations across the property
  • Enhanced room cleaning and increase sanitization of public spaces and high touch surfaces
  • Daily health checks for guests and employees
  • Designated ‘Isolation/Quarantine rooms’ for suspected Covid-19 cases and action plans for handling suspected employees or guests.

 Tours, Archaeological Sites & National Parks

  • New capacity restrictions for all tourism sites to ensure social distancing can be maintained
  • Smaller tour groups to provide a more intimate tour experience
  • Sites and Parks to manage tours by appointment to limit the number of persons on site
  • Enhanced sanitization of tour equipment

Gold Standard certified hotels and tour operators can be easily identified by looking for the Gold Standard Safety seal

 

  1. Will all hotels reopen when travel resumes?

No.  Hotels and resorts have varying times for when they plan to resume operations.  During this initial phase of reopening, a ‘Safe Corridor’ concept will be adhered to, which provides for only approved hotels and tour operators who have been trained to operate in this new environment to host international travellers.  The safe corridor aims to limit interactions between guests and the local community thereby reducing the spread of the virus. 

Tourists staying within the Tourism Safe Corridor will be provided with a gold wristband upon arrival at the airport; the band is to assist with efficient movement within the corridor during your stay.  Guests are required to wear this band for the duration of your stay.

The first grouping of hotels that will be approved for reopening are:

  • those which have achieved Tourism Gold Standard Recognition, and
  • provide full service to guests, including having transportation to offer pick-up/drop-off services from the airport; access to a restaurant/bar on property or the ability to offer catering services &/or grocery services (for condo-type properties); have a pool or access to beach front; and be able to provide isolated tours, limited to guests of the property only.

A list of the approved Gold Standard hotels approved for reopening within the Safe Corridor can be found on  www.travelbelize.org

  1. If I am unable to take a PCR test prior to traveling to Belize, will I be required to test upon arrival? If so, what is the cost of the test?

Yes.  It is recommended that you bring along a PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight to Belize with a negative result as this will provide for a ‘fast track’ arrival process; depending on the results of your health screening, you may be randomly selected for secondary testing. 

If you are unable bring along a PCR test, you will be required to take a Covid test upon arrival; the cost is US$50.00, and takes approximately 25-30 minutes to receive your results.

Tourists staying at a Gold Standard hotel within the Safe Corridor and arriving without a COVID test, will be tested at the airport and results provided to them upon their arrival at their hotel. Should the visitor test positive, they will be required to submit to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their hotel at their own expense.

  1. If I test positive at the airport, will I be able to get a flight back out of Belize without having to be placed in quarantine?

No.  All arriving passengers who test positive at the international airport will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at the passengers’ expense.  It is therefore recommended that you explore the possibility of acquiring travel insurance prior to your trip to Belize.

  1. Will children (under 16 years old) be required to present a negative PCR test or be tested upon arrival as well?

Yes.  Currently children aged 5 years and older are being tested in Belize.  As the situation remains fluid, protocols are subject to change.

  1. We have a large group traveling to Belize. Will we be able to utilize charter services to transport the group to our hotel?

We recommend that you speak with your hotel to arrange transportation from the airport either with the hotel or an approved Gold Standard tour operator, as only approved transportation providers will be allowed to enter the airport.

  1. What protocols are in place for Belizeans (this category includes Diplomats, Permanent Residents, individuals with valid work permits, Qualified Retired Persons (QRPs), and Belizean diaspora) wishing to return when the airport reopens.

When the airport reopens, all Belizeans, must:

  • download the Belize Health App and complete all required information within 72 hours of your flight to Belize;
  • bring along a PCR test with a negative result taken within 72-hours of your flight to Belize for a ‘fast track’ arrival process. Depending on your health screening, you may be randomly selected for secondary testing.

If your test is negative, you will be able to proceed to your home, but must continue ten (10) more days of self-quarantine as the virus does have an incubation period.  At the end of this period, if you are free of signs or symptoms of the virus, health officials will clear you to move freely within the community.

If you test positive upon arrival, you will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at your expense.

  1. I own a vacation home in Belize.  Can I return during Phase 3, and what protocols will must I abide by?

Yes. Foreign second home owners will be allowed to return to the country during Phase 3.  You will need to:

  • Apply to visit during this phase by visiting covid19.bz and submit proof of home ownership or a letter from the management company (in the case of a condo) that you are indeed an owner.
  • Within 72 hours of your flight to Belize:
    • Download the Belize Health App and complete all required information
    • Take a PCR test, as a negative test result will provide a ‘fast track’ arrival process. Depending on your health screening, you may be randomly selected for secondary testing.   If you are unable to bring a negative PCR test, you will be required to take a test at the airport at a cost of US$50.00 per person.

If your test is negative, you will be able to proceed to your home, but must continue ten (10) more days of self-quarantine as the virus does have an incubation period.  At the end of this period, if you are free of signs or symptoms of the virus, health officials will clear you to move freely within the community.

If you test positive upon arrival, you will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at your expense.

  1. I am traveling to Belize for business/investment purposes.  Are there any specific requirements that I should know about?

During Phase 3, business travel will be allowed, however, an application must first be submitted via www.covid19.bz .  In your application, you’ll be required to show proof of your business or investments in Belize along with a detailed itinerary for your stay (to include who you’ll be meeting with, where, and when).  In addition, you must:

  • download the BeIize Health App and complete the required information within 72 hours of your flight to Belize
  • Book your stay at a Gold Standard hotel or provide proof of owned property, and
  • Bring along a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of your flight to Belize. This is mandatory for business travellers.  Depending on your health screening, you may be randomly selected for secondary testing.
  1. How do I get from the airport to my hotel; are there certified transportation providers?

Yes.  Your hotel may offer airport pick-up services depending on their location.  Only approved transportation providers will be operating when the country reopens.  We recommend that you liaise with your hotel to learn more about how you will arrive at your hotel. 

  1. Upon arrival in Belize, what will the Immigration and Customs process entail?

Enhanced health and safety measures have been adapted to protect both officers and arriving passengers.  Some of these measures include protective barriers to reduce contact between the officers and the passengers, kiosks for scanning of passports upon entry, luggage scanners in the Customs Hall, and safety barriers where inspection of luggage is required. 

  1. How long should I anticipate getting through arrivals?

If a negative PCR Covid test is produced upon arrival, you immediately proceed to the ‘fast track’ arrivals processing.  Time varies depending on the result of your health screening and test results. 

  1. If I am not booked at a Gold Standard Hotel, can I still travel to Belize? If so, will I be required to go into quarantine?

No.  During this initial phase of reopening only Gold Standard hotels approved to reopen in the Tourism Safe Corridor will be permitted to accept international guests. The list of approved accommodations for reopening can be found at https://www.travelbelize.org/health-safety

  1. Am I required to wear a mask; if yes where?

Yes.  By law, all citizens and visitors to Belize must wear a face mask when in public spaces.  

  1. Is there a curfew?

No, not at this time. 

  1. Will I be able to explore Belize on my own, during this phase of reopening?

No.  During this first phase of reopening, visitors will only be able to visit tourism sites on tours with an approved Tourism Gold Standard tour operator.  Tours to sites and parks can be arranged with your Tourism Gold Standard hotel. 

  1. Where do I find out which tourism sites are opened, and book a tour?

We recommend that you speak with your hotel and let them know what you’re interested in doing or seeing while you’re here and they can assist you in booking these activities.  All visits to tourism sites and national parks must be done with an approved tour operator.

  1. What should I do if I start to exhibit symptoms during my vacation? 

If you start to exhibit any Covid-19 symptoms, immediately notify your hotel’s front desk, and they will implement their Covid Response Plan.  Should you develop symptoms, and test positive for the virus while in country, you will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14-days at your expense.  It is highly recommended that you obtain travel insurance prior to departure in the event that you become sick while on vacation. 

  1. If someone at the resort where I’m staying tests positive for COVID-19, would everyone be quarantined for 14 days?

This is dependent on the Ministry of Health’s contact tracing exercise.   The hotel will utilize its communication plan to advise of any necessary steps to be taken. 

  1. Will spa services be allowed?

Yes. However, both providers and customers are advised to refrain from high contact treatments which involve the face, nose, and mouth such as facials, lip scrubs, etc.  Approved Gold Standard accommodations will have safety protocols for this service.

  1. Will visitors be allowed to go out to shop while in Belize?

Guests will be allowed to shop on property, and while on approved tours at site gift shops.  Approved accommodations are also encouraged to arrange visits from local artisans so that you can access other souvenir options. 

  1. If I’m staying at a hotel, must I stay there the entire time or can I visit with my Belizean friends? 

During phase 3 of reopening of leisure travel to Belize, tourists must stay on the hotel property.  You will only be allowed off of the hotel compound if you are accompanied by an approved tour operator for an approved tour or to visit another Gold Standard hotel restaurant with an approved transportation provider (ex. Hotel transport).  Some hotels may choose to host locals and international guests; should your hotel choose to do this your friend would be able to visit you on the property, while practicing social distancing.

  1. 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. 

  1. If we are delayed, can we book a room in Belize City, before departing for our final destination in-country?

Yes.  You can book a room in Belize City for your layover but it must be with an approved Gold Standard Hotel and arrangements must be made with an approved transportation provider or Gold Standard tour operator to transfer you from the international airport to the hotel in the City, as well as for onward transfer to your final destination. 

  1. If we are visiting Belize for an extended stay (12 months) will we still be required to download the Belize Health App?  

Yes.  All visitors (non-residents) to Belize will be required to download the Belize Health App despite the length of your intended stay.

  1. Is a digital copy of my negative PCR Covid-19 test acceptable?

An official email or other correspondence from the facility where your PCR test was taken indicating your result will suffice as proof of your negative test.

  1. If I own a condo at a resort that is approved for reopening in Phase 3, will I be subjected to the same protocols as a tourist, i.e. remain on property, no friends visiting, etc.?

No. You will not be required to adhere to the protocols placed on tourists. Reference matrix for long stay non-nationals.

  1. If several people on the same flight tests positive, what happens to the other passengers who were also on that flight?

Should several passengers test positive from the same flight, the Ministry of Health will activate its contact tracing exercises.  This is why downloading the Belize Health App is a mandatory entry requirement for the country.

  1. Can I visit multiple Gold Standard Resorts during my visit to Belize?

Yes. You can spend time at several different approved Gold Standard resorts during your time in Belize once the transfer to each resort is arranged by the property and carried out by a Gold Standard approved tour operator or transport provider.

  1. If a passenger arrives with a negative test but exhibits some mild symptoms like a cough or sneezing, will they be permitted through, retested at the airport or sent to quarantine?

All passengers arriving at the international airport will undergo a health screening.  If a passenger arrives with a negative Covid PCR test but exhibits symptoms of the virus, health officials will do a secondary health screening (which may require testing at the passengers’ expense) prior to clearance for Immigration & Customs processing.

  1. Will passengers also be tested when they depart the country?

No. Passengers are only tested upon arrival to Belize.

  1. What accommodations are available for passengers waiting to be tested?

The Ministry of Health has established a testing area at the international airport just outside of Terminal 2.  The clinic can accommodate 8 passengers at a time for testing, and is air conditioned with restroom facilities.

  1. Where can get I get a Covid PCR test?

You will need to contact your local health authorities to find the nearest Covid testing facility as well as to determine the approximate timeframe for receiving results.

 

FAQs for Stakeholders

  1. How can I submit an application for my property to be considered for the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program? 

The application form for the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program can be found at https://belizetourismboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Tourism-Gold-Standard-Program-for-Accommodations_FInal-1.pdf

You will need to provide all required information in the form and submit a self-declaration indicating that the property has implemented all 9-points required.  Additionally, to be able to open your property to receive international guests during Phase 3 you will also need to complete a separate application which declares that you are able to offer an ‘all-inclusive’ service to guests.

  1. Are hotels expected to invest in a transportation system for airport pickups thereby replacing the services already offered by existing licensed tour operators?

No. Hotels are encouraged to partner with approved Gold Standard tour operators during this initial phase of reopening to provide airport pick up services and tours for their guests.

  1. Will hotels which reopen during this initial phase be allowed to accommodate both local and international guests?

It is at the discretion of individual properties to decide if you will accommodate both local and international guests during this time.  The enhanced health and safety protocols being implemented are to protect both Belizeans and visitors, and once adhered to will mitigate the risk associated with spreading Covid-19.

  1. Will smaller accommodations that use a charter service or a tour operator to transport their guests from the airport or take them on tours, now be required to provide these services themselves?

No.  Once an accommodation provider does not have the ability to provide transfer services and tours themselves, you can partner with an approved Gold Standard tour operator.

  1. How does a local, independent tour operator fit into these new protocols, and the post-Covid travel environment?

All licensed tour operators will be given the opportunity to apply to be a part of the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program.  Once the operator meets the criteria of the program, they will be approved, and listed as an approved Gold Standard provider in all of the BTBs marketing efforts.  During the initial phase of reopening, Gold Standard Tour Operators will also have the opportunity to partner with approved accommodations to offer tours to international visitors.

  1. My property does not have a restaurant, but all units have a kitchen.  Would I be able to qualify for reopening in phase 3?

Yes, Phase 3 of the country’s reopening plan has been expanded to include properties which do not have onsite restaurants, once either of the following can be met:

  • Fully Furnished Kitchen with stocked groceries
  • Agreement with registered local restaurant/catering service 

Please visit https://belizetourismboard.org/industry-sectors/gold-standard-approved/ for more information on the requirements for properties wishing to reopen during phase 3 within the Tourism Safe Corridor. 

The application to reopen can be found at https://belizetourismboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Application-for-Re-Opening-in-the-Tourism-Safe-Corridor_Live_.pdf

  1. Where can I find the approved Gold Standard hotel listing for Phase 3?

The list of Gold Standard Hotels approved to reopen within the Tourism Safe Corridor when the country reopens for international visitation, are available at https://www.belizetourismboard.org/industry-sectors/gold-standard-approved/ .New hotels, and tour operators will be added daily so we invite you to check back frequently to view the updated list.

  1. The hotel protocols indicate that accommodations must “contain the guest on the property, and minimize opportunities for guest interaction within the local community”.  What exactly does this mean?

In Phase 3 of reopening for tourism, movement of tourists will be limited in an effort to contain interaction with the local community.  Approved properties for this phase of reopening will therefore be responsible for ensuring that their guests remain on the hotel property, unless accompanied by an approved tour guide for an approved tour.    You must have a property manager on site at all times to monitor and manage guest movement.  Your guests should be advised of the protocols in place at the time of their booking so that they know what to expect and when they arrive. 

Although limited in scope, this phased approach allows for the industry to re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors.

  1. I only read protocols for Hotels in all your press releases. What is expected from Vacation rental companies?

All licensed accommodations providers – hotels, vacation rentals, guest houses, hostels, etc. are required to implement the new enhanced health and safety protocols in an effort to protect the health and safety of your employees, guests, and the wider Belizean community.

  1. Will resorts that already have full-time residents be allowed to reopen to international guests when travel resumes?

Yes.  If you submit an application for the Gold Standard Recognition Program and for re-opening in the tourism safe corridor and are approved to reopen, you will be allowed to host international guests when travel resumes.

  1. If I host both Belizeans and international guests at my property, will the Belizean traveller also have to abide by the restricted movement protocols when travel resumes?

No, Belizean guests do not need to adhere to protocols restricting movement. 

  1. Can live aboard vessels apply for reopening during Phase 3?

Yes, Live aboard vessels can apply for the Gold Standard Recognition Program to reopen during Phase 3.

  1. If my property is approved for reopening, can I accommodate outside guests at our restaurant/bar, spa, etc.?

Yes, you can accommodate outside guests at these facilities once the proper protocols are adhered to.

  1. If I own a condo at a resort that is approved for reopening in Phase 3, will I be subjected to the same protocols as an international guest, i.e. remain on property, no friends visiting, etc.?

No. You will not be required to adhere to the protocols placed on international guests; please see the infographic here  with protocols relating to long stay non-nationals.

  1. What facility will be used to quarantine travellers who test positive upon arrival, and what is the average cost to quarantine?

Yes.  During Phase 3, the Government approved quarantine facility is the Ramada by Wyndham Princess Belize City.  This is the only approved quarantine facility for visitors who test positive for the virus upon arrival. The cost per day is approximately US$100 and includes 3 meals per day.

Tourists traveling within the Safe Corridor, will be tested at the airport and their COVID test results provided to them upon their arrival to their Gold Standard hotel.  Should a tourist test positive, the individual and the Gold Standard hotel will be notified, to ensure that the proper quarantine protocols are enforced.  The Ministry of Health will maintain frequent contact with the Gold Standard hotel to monitor the guest.

  1. My property also offers golf cart rentals. Can I apply as a Gold Standard transport provider?

Yes.  Your golf cart rental company can apply for the Gold Standard Recognition Program as a transport provider.  However, during Phase 3 you would not be allowed to rent golf carts to international guests as they will not be allowed off property unaccompanied unless on a tour. 

  1. Where can I access the BTB training sessions on the new protocols?

All of the BTB enhanced health and safety protocol webinars for the accommodations sector and tour operators can be found at https://www.belizetourismboard.org/tourism-resources/belize-national-guidelines-for-reopening-accommodations-guidelines/

Belize Travel Health App

                                                                  

Notice to all Android Users: Please ensure that you have downloaded and installed the most current version of the Belize Travel Health App  (Version 1.09 or newer), to avoid technical difficulties.

Traveller Classifications and Entry Requirements for Belize

Belize safe Corridor for Tourists

Tourism Safety Corridor Process Flow Guidelines

Cleared for Entry to Belize 
1.     Transfer to Gold Standard Hotel via approved transportation
a.     Who enters the Safe Corridor?
                          i. All tourists will be provided with a welcome band that will allow them to continue into approved transportation.
b.    Approved transportation includes:
                         i.     Ground
1.     Licensed Gold Standard Tour Operators (See decal here)
2.     Vehicles from a Tourism Gold Standard and Safe Corridor hotel
                         ii.     Air
1.     Local airlines departing from Phillip Goldson International Airport
c.     Departing ground transportation:
                     i.     Approved drivers picking up guests must wait at designated area at airport, with Hotel sign displayed.
                             ii.    Guests’ unique ID numbers (7-10 characters; may be alphanumeric) from the Health app must will be logged prior to departing the airport.
                             iii.   Security will verify that each guest picked up, departs with a safe corridor band.
                d.     Departing air transportation from PGIA:
                              i.     Guests will be picked up by local airline representative to exit arrival lounge and proceed to departure lounge for check-in.
                              ii.     Local airline will log by flight number, all passengers’ names along with their Unique ID from the Health App.
                              iii.     No stops will be made in Belize City
e.    Departing municipal airports to hotel:
                              i.     Refer to Departing ground transportation in 1b.
                              ii.    Airline staff should only permit approved Gold Standard ground transportation to pick-up the guests wearing a Safe Corridor band.
2.     Arrive at hotel for check-in
a.     Validate that Safe Corridor welcome band is on wrist and log guest arrival
b.    Proceed with check-in process
c.     Log guests’ unique ID from the health App
Begin your Belize Vacation
3.     Activities –   Gold Standard Hotels are encouraged to promote a planned schedule of activities and tours to show the guests that they will get around and have a great Belizean experience while here. The only difference is that in order to protect the guest and the staff, the hotel is organizing and managing their movements. See a sample itinerary/schedule HERE which can be customised to your individual property.
a.     Amenities and Entertainment
                      i.     All accommodations within the Safe Corridor should provide amenities such as pool, kayaks, beach or nature activities to provide the guests with some local Belizean experience while on property
                     ii.      Local activities such as drum lessons, chocolate making, and many more, can be arranged to be offered on property
                    iii.     Program Manager should make arrangements for someone to manage the movement of guests and ensure that they remain on property when not on any organized tours
b.     Dining
                     i.     Guests can enjoy dining-in only at the restaurant of the Gold Standard accommodation at which they are staying
                     ii.     Program Manager can arrange for guests to choose from local restaurants’ menu and have food delivered to the accommodation.
                                        Hotel must follow safety protocols for vendors and suppliers as per the Tourism Gold Standard protocols.
c.     On tour
                     i.     Approved Gold Standard Tour Operator picks up guests and logs unique ID number to go on tour.
                    ii.     Accommodation logs guests departing and returning from tour
                    iii.    Tours can only be conducted on an approved marine vessel or vehicle with Gold Standard decals, to pre-arranged Safe Corridor sites.
Departing Belize
4.     Gold Standard hotel must transport guest directly to the Airport or Municipal Airstrip, or make arrangement with a Gold Standard Tour Operator for transportation.
i.  Please revert to section 1 for approved transportation.
                      ii.  Gold Standard Hotels must ensure that guests are handed over to airline
                      iii. Local Airlines must log name and Unique ID of guest for all flights
Enforcement
5.     Breach of any phase
                      i.  Report to TPU contacts listed HERE
                      ii. Anyone with a Safe Corridor welcome band seen or found outside of the Safe Corridor without a Gold Standard tour operator, must be reported to police immediately
                      iii. Penalty for breach exists for:
      • Accommodations
      • Guests
      • Employees

Belize Travel Reopening Plan

The COVID-19 Tourism Dashboard is a summary compilation of key updates and indicators from the Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, the Belize Tourism Board and other third-party data. The purpose of the dashboard is to provide insights for the tourism sector across the following key areas: Public Health & Safety Updates,  Impact on Tourism Sector, Recovery Indicators and Best Practices for Reopening.