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Apr 30, 2020

G.O.B. Announces Stiff Penalties for Anyone Crossing Borders Illegally

Dean Barrow

While the stringent measures over the past two and a half weeks will be relaxed as of May first, government is tightening up considerably on other infractions.  Travel to Guatemala and Mexico, where the number of COVID-19 cases continues to balloon, is not allowed. Persons caught illegally entering these countries will be dealt with severely and will be subjected to a fine and confinement.  Insofar as reopening the tourism sector, PM Barrow says that government is anticipating a universally approved rapid test which can be used at the respective points of entry for persons coming into Belize.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is then, critically important for us to grasp that ultimately everything depends on our observing the physical distancing and other rules.  Thus, it is that we are actually increasing the penalties for particular breaches.  As just one example, those caught using the illegal crossings to go especially into Mexico and Quintana Roo, where the proliferation of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed, will, upon conviction, go straight to jail for three months.  A second conviction will result in a one-year prison sentence.  We are hoping soon for the internationally certified rapid tests that will help us to do two things: increase our own local testing capacity, and enable us effectively to test visitors so that we can re-open our all-important tourism industry.  In the meantime, though, let us understand something.  We will never be able to test every single Belizean.  Furthermore, the science suggests that that is simply not necessary.  What the international benchmarks, from WHO and others, say is that there is no exact number of tests to aim for.”

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