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Jun 25, 2020

August Fifteenth is the Grand Reopening

An initial planned date for the reopening of the P.G.I.A. had been set for August first.  But concerns pertaining to the timeline, in respect of testing and all protocols, prompted the prime minister to postpone for an additional two weeks.  But is government truly ready to resume welcoming visitors to Belize and are the next five and half weeks sufficient to retrofit the airport according to the new procedures?


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This thing has been a movable feast you know, we first thought of July first.  That couldn’t work, and then we were all set to go with August first.  Both the National Oversight Committee and the Cabinet had approved August first and I should have announced that, I think, two weeks ago.  I took it upon myself not to do it because after there had been that consensus about the August first date, I heard from the people around this table that they had reservations as to whether we would absolutely be sure to be ready if we kept that August first target date.  I also knew from Dr. Gough that we were having difficulty sourcing the tests and the tests are the centerpiece of the safety protocols.  So I took it upon myself and apologized to both the NOC and the Cabinet afterwards.  I took it upon myself not to announce August first. When I went back to the NOC on Monday and to Cabinet on Tuesday, the greatest obstacle to the August first reopening had been removed, that is the inability, the previous inability to source the test.  That had been taken care of and we knew we could make a start on August first, but what I put to the two groups given that the people around this table had their concerns in terms of the very question you’ve asked, can we really be ready August first?  Is it not better to wait another two weeks so that we can make assurance doubly sure and so that when we do make the announcement which we are doing today, we can be positive that barring something absolutely dramatic, barring something cataclysmic and completely unforeseen and unforeseeable, we will be ready should we not wait and give ourselves that extra two weeks and that is how we eventually got to August fifteenth.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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