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Apr 3, 2020

Belizeans Abroad to be Prohibited Re-entry

Dean Barrow

The National Oversight Committee, a multi-agency taskforce chaired by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader John Briceño, has together agreed that all frontier points and ports of entry must be closed to Belizeans seeking to return to the country.  It’s the latest directive given to the respective border agencies and, according to PM Barrow, will not be walked back for the duration of the thirty-day period that falls within the state of emergency.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“As a consequence, and after obtaining the unanimous support of the National Oversight Committee, the Government of Belize has decided that our borders are now to be closed even to Belizeans seeking to enter the country.  Except in the case of those that are returning from travel for urgent medical attention or some other emergency purpose, no Belizean currently abroad can return to Belize.  This prohibition will, in the first instance, last for the duration of the State of Emergency; and it will begin at 12:01 on Sunday, April fifth. It is, I readily admit, an extreme move.  There is, however, no doubt that it has become necessary as we do everything to head off the swamping of our health system and the serious loss of life that the proliferation of the virus would entail.  I, therefore, ask all Belizeans, and particularly those in the diaspora, for their understanding.  This is the fight of our lives and I deliberately use the metaphor when I say Belizeans must absolutely be placed on a war footing. Our new decision is, as we have checked and double-checked, entirely legal and grounded in the powers contained in the Constitution of the country and under the Governor General’s Emergency Proclamation.  We shall therefore proceed and for the next thirty days our position is irreversible.”


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