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Jul 10, 2020

Are We Prepared for the P.G.I.A.’s Reopening?

Marvin Manzanero

The Philip Goldson International Airport is scheduled to re-open for international travel on August fifteenth. This will allow visitors to enter Belize and jump-start the tourism industry and by extension support the recovery of the economy. There is the fear, however, that the arriving tourists will bring COVID-19. The Ministry of Health, in coordination with different agencies, has designed a plan on how tourists will be managed from the time they book their travel to Belize. But what happens when a tourist feels that his rights are being violated? Recently, in Antigua and Barbuda, several tourists were threatening legal action over the current mandatory coronavirus testing protocols upon arrival to the islands. Some of the tourists there did not follow mandatory quarantine orders and booked flights to return to their home country.  Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero says that the public health at this time is supreme and tourists will follow mandatory quarantine protocols at their own expense.

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

If you are arriving with COVID from your home country, the overall public health measures trumps whatever situation you may have. I mean you are talking about the overall health of a country so I don’t know that that’s, I have read but I don’t know if that is a valid situation. Belizeans are more entitled and whatever we say is what must go. I know that a part of what Antigua is going through has been sent on to the relevant persons here so we can review, make sure that things are amended so that those things don’t happen to us. Maybe people should start talking the drastic measures that countries such as Mexico have. Mexico clearly articulates that foreigners have no opinion in the national say of what happens in Mexico. That is the law. You can’t say anything as a foreigner once you are in Mexican land in terms of policies and government decisions are taken.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Is there any expectation that there will be another lockdown after August fifteenth if we see a drastic increase of COVID-19 as we have seen in other countries?”

 

 

Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“That’s far down the road, Hipolito.”


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