BELIZE CITY — Belize has designated Aug. 15 as the official reopening date of the Philip Goldson International Airport, kicking off the latest phase of its five-phase reopening plan.
The opening of the airport, part of phase three, will open entry for chartered flights, private aviation and limited reopening of international leisure travel with approved hotels only.
The opening of hotels will be done in a phased approach, with the first grouping to include those that have achieved the Tourism Gold Standard Certificate of Recognition, a 9-point safety program for hotels, restaurants and tour operators, and are able to provide full service to guests. This means that these hotels are able to provide all amenities so as to contain guests on property and minimize the opportunity for guests to interact within the local community. A list of Gold Standard-approved hotels will be available at www.travelbelize.org in the coming weeks.
All passengers travelling to Belize will be required to adhere to strict health and safety measures implemented by the Government of Belize, including the following:
PRIOR TO ARRIVAL
- All passengers are required to download Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding their flight. A QR code with a unique ID number will be returned to the passenger and will be used for contact tracing while in destination.
- Passengers are also encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize. Passengers who provide certification of a negative test result within 72 hours of travel will be allowed immediate entry into Belize via a ‘fast track’ lane.
AT THE AIRPORT
- Passengers who do not provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure to Belize must test upon arrival, at their expense. A negative test result will then allow entry.
- Passengers who test positive for COVID-19 at the Belize International Airport will be placed in mandatory quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days at the passenger’s expense.
- All visitors to Belize must wear a mask during the entire landing, deplaning and arrival process, and while inside the airport.
- All visitors must undergo temperature checks using non-contact digital infrared thermometers or Thermal Imaging Cameras.
- All visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines in all queues for health checks, immigration and customs inspections.
- All visitors must follow and respond to the contact tracing guidelines to facilitate appropriate and rapid response from health officials should COVID-19 symptoms develop.
- The Philip Goldson International Airport has implemented barriers and sneeze guards between passengers and Immigration & Customs officers, hand sanitizing stations throughout the terminal building, and floor markers placed six feet apart to promote social distancing. Passenger luggage will also be sanitized prior to transfer into the terminal building.
- Entry into the terminal building will be limited to only ticketed passengers.
- Face masks are mandatory at all times while in the terminal building.
As part of the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program, hotels and tour operators have also implemented safety protocols to ensure the wellbeing of guests and employees. Some of these new standards include the following:
- Social distancing and the use of face masks while in public spaces
- Online check-in/out, contactless payment systems and automated ordering/booking systems
- Hand sanitizing stations across the property
- Enhanced room cleaning and increased 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
- Smaller tour groups to provide a more intimate tour experience
- Sites and parks will manage tours by appointment to limit the number of persons on site
- Enhanced sanitization of tour equipment
Preparation for the return of visitors via land borders and cruising are still underway, with reopening plans to be announced at a later date.
According to government officials, Belize recently celebrated over 50 days of being COVID-19-free, a milestone that’s being credited to proper management and containment efforts during the height of the pandemic.
For more details on safety protocols go to https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/.