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Apr 21, 2020

When Does Belize Reopen Its Economy?

John Briceño

The losses triggered by COVID-19 to the business sector are enormous and the road to economic recovery will be a long and arduous journey. Many businesses will have to rebound even as thousands of Belizeans are unemployed. The more stringent lockdown will be lifted on Saturday which coincides with when a peak is forecasted. Opposition Leader John Briceño says that reopening the economy in the weeks ahead can be done systematically with the right precautions being taken to ensure that there are no outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country.  He recommends that the airport should be re-opened down the road in early June.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“By Saturday, the two weeks hard lock down is coming to an end and so that next week we can start to open up the economy step by step slowly, to make sure that we don’t make any mistakes.  This week is going to be a critical week that we have to look at very closely to see if there will be more people that come up with the virus.  We believe that it’s the peak, according to Dr. Manzanero, is going to be between the twenty-fourth and the twenty-sixth of April, which is this week and if we don’t see any surge of people with the virus, then we can look at opening up the economy.   Things as they are right now, I believe that we can start to open the airport by June.  Now certainly it’s not going to be like before, we have to put in certain precautions at the airport only at this time.  But as a government, we need to give a signal that we are prepared to open so that then that would allow American Airlines, Delta, Copa, United, Southwest, all of these airlines that fly to Belize could start to program their flights that they are going to start to fly to Belize and hopefully we can start to get some tourists to come to Belize.  It’s not going to be an overnight work, it’s going to take some time, but again we need to be bold but cautious because we have to ensure that the health of our people comes first.”


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