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Jun 30, 2021

Minister of Tourism on Cruise Tourism Despite Variant in Belize

Anthony Mahler

In a week’s time, Belize will be welcoming back cruise ships after more than a year.  But is this a wise move in the midst of the discovery of at least one variant – suspected, but not confirmed to be the Delta – of the COVID-19 in Belize? That’s what News Five’s Andrea Polanco asked Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler.


Andrea Polanco

“The World Health Organization, I believe, termed the delta variant to be one of the fittest and fastest in that it is highly transmissible. We know that in about a week’s time or so that cruise is going to return to Belize –does this change anything in terms of opening up for tourists in the country?”


Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism

“The cruise lines will only allow, most of them, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, a hundred percent vaccinated people to go on their cruises; Carnival is working with about ninety-five percent and only a small portion of cruisers will be allowed onboard and they don’t have to be vaccinated; that is for medical reasons, children and for religious reasons. For example, Carnival starts July seventh and we are expecting about two thousand five hundred, maybe three thousand passengers on that ship – they are working with sixty percent. All the people who aren’t vaccinated will be in their own quarter; they will have their own buffet; they will have their own tours; their own tenders separate from the other people. I believe the CDC wouldn’t have allowed cruising to start if they didn’t feel they could do it safely. Now take into consideration, all through 2020 cruising was happening in Asia and other parts of the world and they have done a pretty good job in terms of not having any spread caused by the activity. We have our own protocols in country and they are stringent. The minute we see anything suspicious then that person has to go back on the ship.”

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