Disclaimer: The travel rules and official government instructions are changing rapidly during the pandemic times and this article might NOT be up to date within a matter of hours. Therefore, you should always double-check the information with local authorities or your embassy in a given destination. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel during pandemic.
Belize reopened its border on the 1st of October to all countries (including the USA). Downloading a health tracking app and submit a negative COVID test on arrival is required!
Belize is a Central American country with miles of coastline and many islands loved by all sorts of travelers.
It has tropical rainforests, Mayan ruins, magnificent underground caverns, and friendly people. Until the Coronavirus hit, Belize was a popular tourist destination.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has deeply affected Belize’s economy. They were supposed to be one of the first countries reopening borders to tourists in Central America but then a huge spike in positive COVID cases appeared.
The progress of the coronavirus will determine when the country can re-open.
Who can travel to Belize?
From, Sept. 3rd, most likely travelers from elsewhere in the Caribbean will be allowed as well as tourists from Canada, the United States, and the European Union.
However, it’s best to check the travel site once the country has re-opened to verify this information.
What are the required safety measures for traveling to Belize?
The following stringent safety measures will be required when Belize re-opens:
All those entering the country must have taken and passed a Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Philip Goldson International Airport.
Upon arrival, shoes will be sanitized and temperatures checked.
While those who tested negative for the virus will be allowed to enter the country, they must check in with the Belize Health App daily.
Those who did not take the required test will be given a rapid test. This will cost $50. They will be quarantined until the results are known. If they test positive, they will continue to be quarantined at their own expense for 2 weeks.
These measures are in addition to the common-sense precautions all travelers should be taking such as wearing masks and washing their hands.
Belize imposes rigorous safety procedures on local businesses
The government of Belize has imposed rigorous safety procedures on local businesses to keep both its citizens and travelers safe.
Tourists will find that hotels, bars, and restaurants will have strict new sanitation regimens. Guided tours will allow fewer people. This will help to maintain social distancing guidelines.
To find out the latest information regarding local safety procedures, check this advisory before your visit.
Coronavirus timeline in Belize
Update: as of the 27th of August, Belize has 760 COVID cases and 11 deaths caused by COVID. Therefore, reopening borders on the 3rd of September looks promising.
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Belize had its first case of the Coronavirus on March 23rd and a second case on March 25th.
In response to the early cases of infection, the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, acted decisively. On March 23rd he grounded all passenger flights, though cargo flights were still allowed. An exception was also made for Belizeans abroad who wanted to return home
He declared the State of Emergency for Ambergris Caye on March 25th. Residents of the island were put under quarantine. Schools throughout the country were closed and public gatherings were banned. Border security was tightened.
On March 30th, a state of emergency for the country was declared and in early April borders were closed to all travelers including Belizean citizens. A curfew was imposed from 8pm to 5am.
Unfortunately, cases began to rise again. By July 14th, there were a total of 39 cases and by July 21st there were 43. While originally Belize was planning a phased re-opening starting on August 15th, this has been postponed.
Top reasons to visit Belize
Belize is a haven for water sports. You can go deep-sea fishing, sailing, and kayaking. Shark Ray Alley near Ambergris Caye allows you to swim with sharks and rays.
Then there is the scuba diving. The Belizean Barrier Reef system is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world. One of its attractions is the Great Blue Hole, which was made famous by Jacques Cousteau.
Belize is also a haven for nature-lovers. There are lush rainforests. The Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary has a jaguar preserve. Visitors here may not see these elusive cats but they will find tapirs, howler monkeys, and tropical birds galore as well as other wildlife.
The Maya mountains provide many hiking trails to climb and lovely waterfalls to swim under.
Zipline tours appeal to adrenaline junkies while cave tubing provides a different type of adventure. Tourists relax on an inner tube as they float through magnificent underground caverns.
History buffs will enjoy visiting the many Mayan ruins. They can learn how to make chocolate the way the Maya did or visit the Belize Spice Farm for a culinary adventure.
The open-air markets in most towns are fun places to shop. Mingling with locals and bargaining are easy because the official language is English and the currency is pegged to the US dollar.
For those who enjoy music, Belize has a unique musical genre thanks to the Garifuna. Their music blends Afro-Caribbean and traditional Mayan influences.
Unfortunately, due to a recent spike in Coronavirus cases, Belize is not yet open for tourists. However, the government is doing everything they can to arrest the development of this disease.
Their priority is to keep both their citizens and visitors safe. Travelers eagerly await a chance to visit Belize when it is safe to do so thanks to its rich culture, pristine beaches, and diverse natural wonders.