And while Belize is having its internal political changes within the Ministry of Health there are external issues brewing against Belize. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has placed Belize on a level four status for Covid-19. Level Four is the highest level one can reach and is a rank that signals American tourists to stay away from Belize. The warning was issued on December 2 advising travelers to avoid all travel to Belize as it may increase the chances of getting and spreading Covid-19. The media spoke to US Embassy’s Charge d’ Affaires Keith Gilges to see what his take is on the level four placement and if he feels it was warranted.
Keith Gilges, Charge d’ Affaires, United States Embassy: “I don’t control what the CDC does or doesn’t do so they are looking at a series of parameters around the world and offering their best guidance for travelers and at this point if they’ve made that determination you know I have not seen what they’ve said about it. Listen, we all know that COVID is highly contagious and it’s tough. We are experiencing a remarkable surge in COVID in the US right now as well so I can’t speak to what CDC has done you know that’s their guidance, that’s what they put out. I do know that the flights are continuing there are programs and policies in place and I certainly don’t see that tourism or the flights from the US to Belize have been the vector for the spread that we’re seeing in Belize because there’s a pretty rigorous program in place for folks showing up to have taken tests before they get here, you can get test rapidly now I think coming on line very soon should be rapid Antigen tests at various facilities around so people can take tests once they’re here. But again we look forward to particularly a vaccine coming online we can get past all of this and we can get that tourism going that is so important for Belize’s economy and so important for the relations between our two countries.”