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Dec 21, 2020

Water Taxi Concerned About New S.I.

Statutory Instrument one-seventy-five of 2020 came into effect on December twentieth, with restrictions for not only public, but also private transportation, which it says is for the purposes of preventing, controlling, containing and suppressing the spread of the infectious COVID-19.  It speaks to the mandatory wearing of face masks during travel in public or private vehicles or buses and even water taxis.  Section eighteen of the S.I. says that the seating capacity is limited to fifty percent even for private transportation. That limitation is not sitting well with San Pedro Belize Express, who since the pandemic has already cut down on the number of runs to and from the islands. Marketing Manager Shameka Pennil says that their bottom-line is being affected because the number of passengers is to be reduced, but the amount and cost of fuel per run remains unchanged.


Shameka Pennill

Shameka Pennill, Marketing Manager, San Pedro Belize Express

“It’s definite going to affect us as a water taxi because as you all know, our overhead cost is different from the buses. We are actually more; it is really expensive to operate one specific run. To tell us to operate with fifty percent. For the most part, our normal size boat is about a hundred. So if we go at fifty percent, and we are looking at fifty passengers on that vessel; it is going to be very inconvenient for our customers because if we have seventy or sixty, those persons will have to wait and we will definitely be unable to send out an extra boat to accommodate those customers. So it is very inconvenient to our customers as well as like I said the overhead cost is too expensive to operate at fifty percent.”

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