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May 29, 2020

No Date for International Flights as Yet

The Prime Minister also outlined that the re-opening of the P.G.I.A. hinges on rapid testing.  All appeared to be in place, but on Thursday, the International Air Transport Association is now insisting on rapid testing that is to be administered by the airlines before boarding by passengers.  The airlines fell in step, so for now, the resumption of commercial flights will not occur until those rapid tests have been certified for use.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“According to IATA, that could not work now, and Belize should wait on the development of a reliable rapid test that would allow for the airlines themselves to administer a pre-boarding test. After that the dominoes started falling. The carriers changed their tune, and it became clear that they would not fly to Belize if we insisted on travellers coming armed with a negative test result. I repeat, though, that our paramount safety concerns mandate our holding firm on that requirement. Long story short? I am in consequence of all this today unable to confirm July first as a firm reopening date for the P.G.I.A.  If IATA holds its position that is seemingly mirrored now by the airlines, we will not be able to reopen until there is mass availability of approved rapid tests. Now, of course, in the meantime, if there are chartered carriers that would want to come to Belize on condition that their passengers would in fact be able to present a negative test result upon arrival, we would reopen for that sort of a purpose.”

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