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Government says Belize to reopen October 1

Belize City, Belize — Belize’s Philip Goldson International Airport will reopen on October 1, 2020, marking the resumption of the country’s tourism sector after months of closure due to COVID-19.

Originally scheduled to reopen in August, the airport was forced to delay its reopening due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases. According to Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, the new date will launch the third phase of Belize’s five-phase reopening strategy, which will allow for a limited reopening of international leisure travel with only approved hotels.

In preparation, the government has implemented the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program, which recognizes tourism-related businesses that have adhered to strict health and safety standards.

Hotels that have achieved the Tourism Gold Standard will be the first to reopen in the county, while the gold standard tourism sites will be the only ones tourists will be able to visit during this reopening phase.

Travelers heading to Belize must download the Belize Health App and complete the required information within 72 hours of their flight. They must also perform a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of the trip and verify the negative test result upon arrival. Those who do not undergo a test prior to arrival or who test positive will be quarantined at the expense of the traveler.

Luis G. Montero Maldonado, Honorary Consul of Belize in Quintana Roo, added that beaches, parks and sports centers will also begin to operate with controlled activity. He said that Américan Airlines and United Airlines have already confirmed the reestablishment of their flights into Belize.

He emphasized that only last week, approximately 40 Mexican businessmen who are established in the Belize free zone obtained permits from the Belizean government to enter the country and verify the conditions of their businesses. He noted that the reopening of the airport has nothing to do with the reopening of trade on the border with Chetumal.

Until now, Belize has permitted only cargo flights and commercial courier shipments as well as emergency medical flights approved by the Ministry of Health in accordance with the Department of Civil Aviation, to enter the country.

There was speculation on the Mexican side of the border at Chetumal that Belize may not reopen, continuing to keep their border closed until the end of the year after the country saw a 61.6 percent spike in coronavirus cases among residents.

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