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Feb 17, 2022

COVID Chronicles: Is it Time to Get Rid of Curfew?

Across the Caribbean, governments are re-examining the need for national curfews to assist in the fight against COVID-19. Just this week, Barbados and Guyana lifted their curfews entirely and Jamaica relaxed their hours. With the recent reopening of land borders in Belize, many here are wondering if ending the curfew will be the next big change, especially as COVID-19 numbers continue to decline. In tonight’s episode of COVID Chronicles, we asked a few folks if it’s time to give the public back their night time. Duane Moody has the story.


Duane Moody, Reporting

For almost two years now, the world has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In Belize, hundreds have lost their lives and tens of thousands more have contracted the virus, but fortunately survived. From the onset when the virus was first detected nationally, the government, in an effort to protect its people, passed legislation to restrict movement – and it has not remained in place. While the parameter of the curfew has fluctuated during the two-years, is it serving its purpose – which is ultimately to reduce the spread of the virus and control the numbers? News Five asked some people in Belize City for their views.



Victoria, Belize City Resident

To be honest, where I live or located, dehn curfew no play no role. So to me if they remove it or stay with it, it still noh make no sense because people stay on the streets a certain time. So to me it noh make no sense if dehn remove it or ih stay cause people always on the street, no matter what.”


Loleta Novelo

Loleta Novelo, Belize City Resident

“For me, it noh matter cause I noh go out anyway. So whether dehn move it or noh move it, it noh really matter to me.”


There are also those who feel that the curfew serves less to curb disease and more as a crime reduction strategy.


Errol White

Errol White, Belize City Resident

“It better ih stay di way ih deh because the crime just di go up.”


Duane Moody

“So you want them to keep a curfew or you want them to remove it?”


Errol White

“The country more peaceful with curfew. Yo sleep better because the thief deh noh really deh out dah night and if dehn deh bout, ih raise suspicion.”


Kevin Arnold

Kevin Arnold, Belize City Resident

“I woulda believe, I hope dehn make the correct proposal to explain that we want the curfew to go back to 7:30 and we need more social distance.”


Duane Moody

“Why, when dehn di try fi lift it?”


Kevin Arnold

“We noh need it to be lifted because if the curfew go later, we will have more violence, more crime, more people wah study lone idleness.”


While Statutory Instrument number fifteen of 2022 imposed a curfew from eleven p.m. to four a.m. from Sunday through to Thursday and then from midnight to four a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, News Five understands that a proposal is being prepared which would remove the curfew completely.


Kevin Bernard

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

“I will say that I have been in discussion with the COVID medical response team and we have highlighted several recommendations and last week, when I was updating the cabinet on the COVID situation in Belize, I was asked to present at the next cabinet meeting, which will be held this week coming, a paper which speaks on the whole issue of living with COVID and with that, how are we going to be phasing out the restrictions that we have set out. One of the first thing the team believes, it’s been two plus years that we have had the curfew – we have seen the benefits of the curfew, but at the same time, I believe it has reached the point where it has become a fatigue by everybody.”


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police [File: February 15th, 2022]

“I don’t have an issue with the curfew being removed.  Certainly, people do have the right to freedom of movement across this country and if it is that the government decides that they want to remove it, I will welcome it.  If they decide they want to keep it, I will welcome that as well.  It doesn’t matter to me.”


Josie Herrera

Josie Herrera, Belize City Resident

“I think dah wah good idea and I think dah wah bad idea because in a sense, yes the COVID di go bout and yo just have to be careful of weh yo di do and the government has to protect ih people dehn.”


Duane Moody

“So remove it?”


Josie Herrera

“Well I dah say no.”


Duane Moody

“Keep it in?”


Josie Herrera



Duane Moody

“Because you think it helps?”


Josie Herrera

“Yes, it helps.”


With all the education campaigns around the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also the sentiment that if the curfew is removed, Belizeans must show a collective responsibility and maintains other public health and safety protocols.



“If the people dehn demand fi remove it and the government the listen, well it’s up to them. Just that people who really take precautions for themselves need to continue social distance and hand sanitize and just noh interact and best thing yo stay home. Just come out when yo need to and then yo go back home. The government got wah part, the officers got a part, but we, fu weself, need fu do what dah di best.”


Loleta Novelo

“I think people done di know now that the sickness is there and you have to protect yourself. So I think that dah all weh dehn have to do dah protect themselves – wash yo hand, sanitize, whatever, use yo mask and that’s it.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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