Belize is reopening for tourism on the 15th of August
It has been reported by media outlets that, as part of its five-phase plan to restart tourism, Belize will reopen the Philip Goldson International Airport for chartered flights and private aviation on the 15th of August and relax the rules for visitors.
By restricting visitor accommodation to approved hotels, the country will enable international leisure travel to resume in a controlled manner. Nevertheless, all travellers to Belize will be required to comply with health and safety measures mandated by the government as part of its ongoing efforts to remain COVID-free.
Only hotels that have achieved the ‘Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition’, can contain the guest within the property through having access to a restaurant and a pool or beach, can offer an airport pick-up and drop-off service and that can provide a comprehensive service, minimising interaction with the local community, will be able to offer accommodation to visitors.
To achieve the standard, the hotel will have had to implement the ‘Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Programme’, a nine-point health and safety protocol containing new practices and procedures. These include rules around social distancing, the use of face masks while in public spaces, online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, automated ordering/booking systems, hand sanitising stations across the property, enhanced room cleaning, increased resort sanitisation, daily health checks for guests and employees, isolated rooms for suspected COVID-19 cases and action plans to manage suspected infections.
Prior to boarding their flight, prospective visitors to Belize must have downloaded the Belize Health App and inputted the required information. A unique ID number will be returned to the passenger in a QR code and will be used for contact tracing while in the country.
All visitors are encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize. Passengers that can show proof of a negative test result will be allowed ‘fast-track’ access into Belize. Those that cannot show a negative test result will be tested upon arrival. This will be at the passenger’s expense and only if the result is negative will the visitor be allowed into Belize. If the result is positive for COVID-19, the visitor will be placed in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at their expense.
The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitisation protocols as well as installing safety barriers, sneeze guards, hand sanitiser stations and signage to protect airport staff and passengers from infection. Only ticketed passengers and airport staff are allowed entry, face masks must be worn at all times within the terminal building and social distancing rules must be followed. Passenger temperatures will be checked using non-contact digital infrared thermometers or Thermal Imaging Cameras.
Outside the airport, Belize is applying capacity restrictions for all tours, archaeological site and national parks to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Tourism sites will manage tour capacity through appointments and smaller tour groups are encouraged.
It is trusted that this phased approach will ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors as the country will be cleaner and safer than ever before.
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