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Dec 17, 2020

G.O.B. to Announce New Quarantine Regulations on Friday

Kareem Musa

The Government of Belize is expected to announce new quarantine regulations on Friday which will become effective on Saturday.  As you will recall, the most recent Statutory Instrument expires this Friday.  But going into the Christmas holidays with a large number of COVID-19 cases daily has prompted law makers to institute additional measures. This morning, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa appeared on Open Your Eyes where he shared that the public can expect some changes in the law coming into force.  Some of those changes are centered on the fines for violations of the law. For example, failure to comply with facemask will result in a five hundred dollar fine and as we had shared earlier this week, the police will no longer be doing those mass arrests of persons who breach the regulations.  The violations will be ticketed going forward. Here’s more from Minister Kareem Musa:


Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs

“What I can tell you off the bat, because they are still refining some of these regulations for the press conference tomorrow and the intent is to in fact make it come into effect on Saturday, the twentieth of December. But what I can tell you off the bat, one of the very first discussions that myself along with the Minister of Health Minister Michel Chebat had was regarding the police department and police officers having so much contact with members of the public.   At the end of the day what we are seeingfrom the magistracy is that individuals found guilty under these quarantine regulations are being fined somewhere in the vicinity of five hundred dollars, max fifteen hundred dollars. So nobody is being fined this five thousand dollar maximum. So what we have done is to limit the amount of contact and the amount of time that police have to deal with these offenders.  So, it will now be a ticket-able offence. You have the option to pay the fine – the fine will be five hundred dollars so there is a reduction in the fine. We understand the tough economic times but at the same time we can’t put it too low at a hundred dollars or a hundred and fifty dollars because then everybody will be taking off their mask and then everybody will not be observing social distancing in public. So, that is the way forward and if you do not pay your fine then you will be given a court date to attend court to dispute the allegations that have been made and the charges that have been made against you. So, it requires every a radical shift in the way we have been doing things. I think we have been doing it in a very irresponsible manner the way we have everybody piling up at the police stations being detained and then having to go to court.”

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