Belize sets date to reopen tourism sector
The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in Belize will begin accepting commercial flights from August 15, 2020.
This was announced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during a media briefing on Thursday.
The PGIA’s opening marks the start of Belize’s third phase of reopening the tourism sector. There are five phases and no date has been set for the remaining stages.
Barrow said the decision to reopen Belize was not an easy one given that their major source markets for tourists, such as Florida, are seeing an increased coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
“In the circumstances and with the experts confirming that no end to this sea of corona troubles is in sight, it seemed to us futile to hope that waiting any longer would provide a more favourable launching pad for our tourism restart,” Barrow said as he explained the reason for reopening the airport.
“Any further delay would likely gain nothing from a safety standpoint.”
The Government has created a protocol to protect citizens which include the testing of all people landing at the airport.
Karen Bevans, Director of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), announced tourists will not have to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
But all visitors must book stays at approved locations, register with the Belize Health App and observe social distancing guidelines.
On arrival, passengers must verify information on the Belize Health App, their temperatures will also be checked.
Guests will also be advised to take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19 three days before their arrival.
Bevans said testing will help speed up the process.
More details on the safety protocols can be accessed at www.belizetourismboard.org