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Sep 29, 2020

PCR Testing Protocol for Persons Leaving Belize

Marvin Manzanero

On Wednesday, the National Oversight Committee will be taking members of the media on a walkthrough of the Philip Goldson International Airport to view protocols on the processing of international tourists and Belizeans returning home given the COVID-19 pandemic. Belizeans with a negative status can isolate at home while visitors will proceed to the Gold Standard Hotels. But what about those persons who are leaving the country for medical reasons, education or essential travel? Doctor Marvin Manzanero breaks down what has to be done in order to get that mandatory test result to take with you on your journey.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“It seems everybody that’s leaving now is asking a PCR test is done on them. The PCR test that we are doing; we are routinely doing it on Thursday for people that are leaving. So if you are out of Belize City, you will have to get swabbed either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday depending on your local public health facility.  That sample needs to get to get to Belize City Thursday morning, processed the same day and then we give out the results Thursday evening, early Friday morning. Belizeans who are requiring a PCR test, who are travelling for essential reasons should submit copies, if they are students, of the school they are going to and where they are going to of course. Belizeans who require medical services outside of Belize should also be able to submit that so that we can consider those. We are not routinely doing PCR testing on Belizeans who are leaving for other reasons nor do we do it on the spur of the moment. And I am saying this because we just got an email from somebody who is saying that they leave tomorrow for Honduras so they want an expedited test because it has to be seventy-two hours before you go. It cannot work like that; it does not work like that. This is the third or fourth time that we have explained under which conditions we are doing it and we are trying to accommodate everybody, but it is not as easy as people are assuming, I guess, it is.”

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