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Jun 1, 2020

Monitoring Regional Reopening to International Visitors

Ted Tejada

As the domestic airlines and hoteliers push for the resumption of international travel, keeping a lid on the coronavirus is not lost on them.  The plan to reopen the P.G.I.A. to international visitors, according to Ted Tejada, includes looking at the processes in other countries such as Jamaica and Aruba where their international airports will resume flights on June fifteenth. Belize’s economy, like many other countries in the Caribbean, is dependent on tourism. 

 

Ted Tejada, President, Belize Hotel Association

“We have to come up with a plan. We don’t just want the airport to open. We need the policies and procedures to put in place. We need all the mechanisms of the checking, of the rapid tests, the guarantees that the guests that are coming in are not infected. We understand that, we have to work with the government with that. But we want to speed up the process and see what is the best way possible. We understand Jamaica, Aruba are countries that are opening on June fifteenth as a matter of fact. So we want to study their cases and what are they doing; why are they opening and we cannot open? So we are working with the government on the test that is required, but definitely we believe that we need to open very quickly, sometime August. Everyone is positive that tourism will come back and it will not only come back, it will come back stronger. We need to do what is necessary to guarantee to our employees, to guarantee to the people and to the guests that are coming in that we are doing the very best to mitigate this virus. We do not want to have a second wave. And I believe that we, as a hotel, are doing everything possible; we have implemented policies and procedures. We need to do that with the archaeological sites, we need to do that with every tour that we do, the shuttles that are going to be shuttling the guests. We need to implements policies at the airport, at the borders when people are coming in. So we need to do them as quickly as possible. Invest in whatever mechanism—facial recognition, thermal cameras—that we can use in order to mitigate the virus.”


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