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Jan 14, 2022

B.H.A. Rejects Insurance Mandate for Tourists

The Belize Hotel Association has expressed concerns which it says its members have over the mandatory insurance coverage implemented by the Belize Tourism Board for visitors to Belize.  The B.T.B. announced on Thursday that effective February fifteenth, 2022, all visitors to Belize are required to apply for a mandatory Belize Travel Health Insurance to help protect them against incurred medical and non-medical expenses if they test positive for COVID-19 during their stay in Belize.  But the B.H.A. says while insurance is a good idea, its members had three main concerns.  One is that insurance is already easily available to tourists, so mandating a specific company to provide it is unnecessary. Two, they say the eighteen U.S.-dollar fee will make Belize a more expensive and less attractive destination.  And third, the association said it needs more details on how the process will work.  B.H.A. points out that it is pleased with the component of the mandate that allows for hotel compensation for guests who test positive for COVID-19 and need to extend their stay.  But it says that the reason given for the implementation – to protect our local health system – is not satisfactory.  The B.H.A. states that there isn’t enough evidence to support this reasoning, since the health system being overwhelmed was never caused by tourists overcrowding the hospitals.  Also, it says it has not seen any specific examples of guests that had not been able to meet their medical expenses during their stay.

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