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Jun 25, 2020

A Reopening Date for P.G.I.A. is Finally Set!

Dean Barrow

While the tourism industry weeks ago reopened for domestic tourism, the big news today when Prime Minister Dean Barrow gave a press conference is the long awaited date for the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport.  After several weeks of anticipating a proposed reopening, a new date has been set and with it comes a raft of health and safety procedures to be implemented in the weeks leading up to the August fifteenth resumption at the P.G.I.A. and hotels.  Despite a boom in the number of COVID-19 cases in cities where Belize’s international flights will originate from, government has finally agreed on the date, but with stringent measures that require visitors, and returning citizens alike, to be tested prior to or upon arrival at the P.G.I.A.  The rationale, according to PM Barrow, is that continued closure of the country’s only international airport does very little from the perspective of safety.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“After the most careful consideration, after the most searching examination, after the most intense debate we are able now to announce a firm reopening date for the PGIA, the Philip Goldson International Airport.  That date, ladies and gentlemen, is August 15th, 2020.  I want to repeat that the decision has not been an easy one.  In our region, cases of the novel coronavirus continue to surge.  In the U.S., our greatest source market for tourism, the number of states experiencing substantial jumps in the rates of infections is alarming.  Particularly concerning is that Florida seems likely to become the new American epicenter and California and Texas, two of the states from which there are also direct flights to Belize, are among those seeing a pronounced resurgence of the virus.  In the circumstances, and with the experts confirming that no end to this sea of corona troubles is in sight, it seemed to us futile that waiting any longer would provide a more favorable launching pad for our tourism restart.  So we fixed on our August fifteenth date.  We decided that any further delay would likely gain us nothing from a safety standpoint.”

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