A Belizean woman in Bermuda is eager to come home to Belize but is having difficulty doing this via the repatriation process due to the high cost of the hotel quarantine. Rose Lambey left Belize on March 5 and got stuck in Bermuda when Belize went under a complete lockdown. She has applied to come home and was approved but the cost to quarantine has crippled her progress. She has suggested quarantining at home in Belmopan where she lives alone. She says she is willing to cooperate with the police and health officials. Lambey is asking the Government to work with Belizeans who are unable to meet the demand for the quarantine fees required.
Rose Lambey, Belizean: “The money that you have to pay for the hotel is about one thousand five hundred and something dollars and honestly, I do not have that and then once you cannot pay that, then you’re not allowed to go home. So my – the information that I would like to ask the authorities if they would at least find another option to give to the Belizeans who need to come home, but there is no other option, so It’s like if you don’t have that money, then you can’t come home. Now the other option that I would recommend was to I could self isolate or they have like a credit or some kind of payment like a payment plan like maybe a 12 month payment plan or we can go home and self isolate because I personally was preparing I personally was making preparation to self isolate because I had already got approval and I informed them that I will be coming to the airport because I couldn’t pay the fee because when the airport opened once the airport opens, then you would be able to go home. So I really don’t understand what is the difference that the airport is closed now you’re not allowed to go home, but if the airport is open you’re allowed to go home. So In my opinion, the only thing I see the reason why they’re compelled or like we’re being compelled to pay this hotel fee. I believe it’s a part of the economic stimulus package that they have to let the hotel make some money, but then I think it’s unfair because we are poor Belizeans. We are out here yes but some of us aren’t rich. The problem is not that we do not want to quarantine because by now everybody knows or for our own self. We want to cry until we have family members as well me personally all of my family members are over 55 60 and so to me we are out here we need to go home so there must be something that we could do to try and get home some other way something to do that you know within the law because it is within the law to self isolate because that is of your own expense.”
To date, there have been over one thousand total applications to repatriate, and only four hundred and fifty-three persons have come back home.