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Jul 24, 2020

Stiffer Penalties for Tourist Who Do Not Adhere to COVID-19 Protocols Coming

Marvin Manzanero

In three weeks, the Philip Goldson International Airport will re-open for commercial flights from the US. Even as August fifteenth has been set as the date for the re-opening it is not a date set in stone because as Doctor Marvin Manzanero told News Five today, the situation is fluid. Border jumpers are posing a serious threat to the health of the public and the economy. And a COVID-19 community spread, can force the government to push back the date. As the day approaches, the tourism industry is working on protocols to minimize risks.  Legislative measures will also be implemented to deal with stubborn tourists and returning Belizeans.


Hipolito Novelo

“Is there any possibility that the soft opening of the P.G.I.A. may be delayed if the border jumper situation, those who are positive for COVID-19 changes drastically in terms of increased cases.”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“Anything can change. That is why the tourist situation might be a more controlled setting than any potential outbreak that you have because even if a tourist comes through that structure layer or corridor if you will you will know where your contact tracing will be. We don’t know with illegal, I mean this cluster right now I don’t know how why it spread that is I a given community.”


Hipolito Novelo

“At what point does it become too much for the Ministry of Health to deal with COVID-19 cases?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“That is a difficult question because it will depend more not necessarily on total number of cases but it depends more on the severity of cases. That is what can overwhelm your hospital settings if you will.”



“Penalties for tourists?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“I hope they are stiff penalties. We have made those recommendations and I hope that it is established by the Sol Gen’s office. But not only for tourist I think for Belizeans who don’t keep the quarantine there must be stiffer penalties.”


Hipolito Novelo

“But would you agree that tourists would resist that kind of oversight?”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Stiff penalties.”


Hipolito Novelo

“But they would resist meaning that they are on vacation; they don’t want eyes looking over their shoulders. They want their freedom.”


Dr. Marvin Manzanero

“Well that needs to be said before they get here. At the end of the day the public health of the people of this country should be the basic factor that triumphs anything else that happens after that.”

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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