Leader of the Opposition Patrick Faber says he is not opposed to the reopening of the Corozal Free Zone. He says his concerns on the issue has to do with the safety of Belizeans and the government not seeming to be prepared to handle it.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Opposition Leader: “We have not heard the details of what security measures, safety measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of our people. We’re told that over one thousand Belizean workers will return to the Free Zone and they made the point that it is less because it was at one point about three thousand people but there is no concrete plan. Nothing has been shared with us and we are within days of the reopening of that Free Zone and if that is the case there’s going to be yet again a serious outbreak of COVID-19.”
And while Faber says the government is not prepared, Minister of Enterprise Jose Mai who has been at the head of the reopening reported otherwise during a meet with the media today.
Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Minister of Enterprise: “We have met not with the people from the Chetumal Free Zone we’ve met with the media in Chetumal they had invited us to a press conference similar to this asking our plans to open the Free Zone. The Free Zone is scheduled to open, Cabinet has made a decision, on the first of February. At this moment we are reviewing the measures that are being put in place to ensure that people that come into the Corozal Free Zone may not be infecting or may not be COVID positive people and that may spread the virus in Belize. So all the measures are in place, the Minister of Health has a great team working with the Corozal Free Zone, Customs, and the police, all the line departments to ensure all the measures are in place. Once we can certify all the different businesses they will open. Every business has to be inspected and certified for opening so we’re trying to make it as safe as possible.”
The Corozal Free Zone is set to reopen on February 1.