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Oct 16, 2020

No Quarantining for Travelers with Negative Test Results

Dean Barrow

At today’s press conference, the PM also said that a negative COVID-19 test result presented upon arrival or determined following a rapid test at the P.G.I.A., will now free visitors and returning Belizeans from having to quarantine for a ten-day period.  It comes after government realized that the mounting number of persons affected by the disease locally is disproportionate to the number of persons arriving with negative results that are still required to self-isolate.  It’s a sigh of relief for the hotel sector, whose guests will no longer be restricted to their hotel rooms once they are in the clear as well as for returning Belizeans.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It also struck us that since these people that are coming in via the PGIA, now that there is the reopening, since they come either with a negative PCR test that’s no older than seventy-two hours or are tested at the airport and are only allowed to enter the country once they are negative; it’s inconsistent to say to them, “You need to quarantine for ten days” when there are masses and masses of untested Belizeans who are able to move freely about.  It doesn’t make a great deal of practical sense to us and hence the decision to switch from what is supposed to be or what is currently mandatory, the breach of which is punishable by court action, we thought the time had now come for us to move away from that regime and to go to moral suasion and this ramping up, as I said, of this public relations campaign.  In other words, the people who come who will not be obliged to quarantine will be advised that for their own sake, they are going out into the Belizean community where there are masses of untested people, some of who might be positive without knowing it, and for their own sake they might want to, in fact, voluntarily observe the ten day quarantine given that as well, that while they would have been sure to be negative upon arrival, there is a slight chance, an infinitesimal possibility that they could become positive in the ten days following their arrival with their negative tests or in the ten days following a negative test in terms of the results of a rapid antigen test done by our authorities at the airport.”


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