The tourism industry has begun picking up some traction since the Philip Goldson International Airport reopened on October 1. The last two weeks have allowed the National Oversight Committee to assess the safe corridor protocols and the quarantine regulations. Both the Prime Minister and the Director of Health spoke on changing the quarantine regulations for tourists which will now see it done on a case by case basis.
Rt.Hon Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “The safe corridors as well will move from being protocols that if breached would possibly see the tourists or whomever being prosecuted we’re going to move away from that. We’re going to move away from that and the safe corridor protocols again will be put into the category of recommendations.”
Dr.Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services: “Recommendations in terms of how many days of quarantine you should keep after you have potentially exposed is steady because the average amount of days after exposure when you’re going to start developing signs and symptoms is hovering between five to seven days so the recommendation is ten days because even if you are positive and asymptomatic after ten days you are no longer going to be an infectious person so that’s the reason why that specific ten day change has been made not only in terms of the safety corridor but even in terms of when we’re asking people to quarantine. It’s based on science.”
As it relates to the arrivals over the last sixteen days the Director of the Belize Tourism Board, Karen Bevans noted today that the change in the quarantine regulations is very much welcomed. She added that there will also be some adjustments regarding the Gold Standard establishments in the country.
Karen Bevans, Director, Belize Tourism Board : “The relaxation in the restrictions are of course great news to the tourism industry but while that is great news we also want to be mindful of the fact that persons are travelling but the consideration on safety or the fact of safety is their number one consideration in choosing a destination. With that said then moving forward we plan to expand the safe corridor to include all tourism gold standard certification business within the tourism industry. As you’re aware we already have the gold standard program for our hotels and tour operators and to date we have received around three hundred applications from hotels with two hundred being approved and uploaded on our website already and tour operators applications we receive one hundred and seventy five with one hundred and forty being approved and uploaded on the website. As you’re aware we already have the tourism gold standard certification program in place for hotels and tour operators the plan moving forward is to adapt that program and offer it to other businesses within the tourism industry including restaurants, tourism sites, we have car rentals and taxis that have already been trained and certified and adding gift shops as well. Once that is done then we plan to encourage all businesses operating within the tourism industry to become gold standard certified. Earlier the Prime Minister mentioned that there are no penalties for non compliance but I must say there are benefits to becoming tourism gold standard certified because the BTB intends to partner solely with Gold Standard certified entities in our marketing.”