The Prime Minister made a blunder last week when he announced that a private flight carrying Texans arrived into the country in July to look at condos in San Pedro Town. It was widely speculated that this flight was the cause of the index case on Ambergris Caye. In making the statement the Prime Minister did indicate that he did not make checks with the Department of Civil Aviation and later found out that the flight he spoke of may not have landed at all in Belize. A few days later Aviation Minister, Manuel Heredia, clarified that no such flight landed in Belize after all. Today the Department released the data on all the flights that entered Belize in July. The majority of these forty four flights were repatriation flights, cargo flights, technical stops, and medical evacuation flights. One flight was for diplomatic purposes from Florida that arrived on July 21. There were also three business flight from Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Florida and Houston. The media asked the Leader of the Opposition for his views on these flights landing in Belize despite the airport closure.
Hon. John Briceno, Opposition Leader, People’s United Party: Well as long as they follow the safety protocol that the Ministry of Health has instituted then they should be allowed and one of them was that they should be quarantined and then that you have to take the proper test to ensure that you do not have the virus. Once that is done I think anybody should be allowed to come into the country as we are doing right now with the repatriation of citizens coming back home.”
According to the Department of Civil Aviation, flights originating from the US and other aircraft that are registered in the country are mandated to be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast; an equipment that allows for the tracking of the movements of that aircraft. The data collected from this equipment is readily available on public websites.