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May 12, 2020

A Guideline for Hotels/Resorts Going Forward with COVID-19

Ted Tejada

The tourism industry in Belize collapsed as soon as COVID-19 began to spread in the region. As early as January of this year, hoteliers began experiencing cancellations in reservations and by March, hotels and resorts were empty as guests returned to their countries of origin. The industry has been at a standstill and the nine percent head tax paid to G.O.B. has run dry and so have revenues collected by the agro-productive sector for which hoteliers are major clients. According to President of the Belize Hotel Association, Ted Tejada, as local tourism is reopening, the association has shared with its members international guidelines to ensure safety for employees and guests since COVID-19 is here to stay.  Tejada says that the document takes into consideration best health practices; it is in the process of being approved by the Belize Tourism Board.


Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“We have developed policies and procedures for the hotels, the Belize Hotel Association, which we are sharing with all our members and saying this is a guideline. We created one, but it is still in the phase of draft for let’s say a hotel in the beach, there are activities that might not be included in that draft; that hotel on the beach needs to be include. Social distancing; sneeze guards at the front desk. The way the maids are going to clean the rooms; they will have to wear masks, gloves; identifying the high touch points in a hotel. Just imagine, when you enter a hotel, you are given a pen and paper to register; you are now putting whatever residue in your hand on that pen or that paper. So we are training our front desk staff how to sanitize these after meeting a guest. Checking people’s temperature; number one thing that we need to do. The body tells you if you have an infection. The minute an individual is at thirty-nine degrees Celsius, we know that this individual has some sort of infection. For example in this hotel, we have set four rooms here at the Biltmore which becomes the room of isolation. The minute an individual has over thirty-nine degrees, we know this individual will be assigned to that room. The minute an employee comes in, we check the temperature and if it is thirty-nine degrees Celsius; that employee will not be allowed to enter the property of the hotel. He will be notified and sent home where he needs to contact the Ministry of Health and do the proper testing.”

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