Are the final remaining travel restrictions in Belize about to end?
Reports in Belize this week seem to signal that the country is on the verge of dropping its remaining Covid restrictions.
Various media sources in Belize have reported over the past couple of days that the government is planning to end the existing Covid restrictions in Belize, which all pertain to travel.
Breaking Belize News posted an article quoting Health & Wellness Minister Kevin Bernard telling a radio station that his ministry believed it was time to end all restrictions, and it was now about personal responsibility. Also this week, Love FM Belize posted an article about Belize planning to adjust the rules concerning unvaccinated Belizeans leaving the country.
Prime Minister to review plans for removal of COVID travel restrictions; health travel insurance may still be required
— Breaking Belize News (@belizemedia) June 29, 2022
As it stands, there are three main Covid restrictions left in Belize.
- The first one pertains to citizens of Belize exiting the country. Right now, unvaccinated Belizeans cannot leave Belize at all. Only vaccinated Belizeans can leave the country. This rule makes no sense at all, seeing as unvaccinated foreigners can enter and leave Belize at will.
- The second restriction pertains to foreigners/tourists entering the country. Unvaccinated travelers have to provide a negative Covid test result to show upon arrival. If they can’t do that, they must take a test at the airport at their own expense. Vaccinated travelers need to show proof of vaccination and nothing more.
- The final Covid restriction in Belize is the travel health insurance. This $18 insurance is mandatory for all travelers entering the country, regardless of vaccination status.
The first two of the above Covid restrictions are set to end soon, if reports are true.
Belize will more than likely continue with the mandatory insurance, though. It’s a clear money spinner for the government, which they’re reluctant to give up. Also, according to Prime Minister Johnny Briceño, hotels support the insurance.
“Тhе travel іnѕurаnсе аlѕо соvеrѕ the hоtеl, ѕо іf уоu hаvе а reservation, and that реrѕоn gеtѕ Covid and саn’t соmе tо Веlіzе, уоu, the hоtеl, уоu аrе being соvеrеd bу the іnѕurаnсе, ѕо іt іѕ ѕоmеthing that а numbеr оf hоtеlіеrѕ hаvе bееn quite supportive оf,” said Briceño.
If Belize al least drops the testing requirements for entry, it will become the third country in Central America after El Salvador and Costa Rica to do this.
El Salvador ended its restrictions in November 2021 and Costa Rica did so in April of this year.
Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama still maintain mandatory Covid testing for unvaccinated travelers entering their territories. Vaccinated travelers need to provide proof of full vaccination to enter these countries.
Belize ended its internal restrictions on April 1 when it dropped mask mandates and allowed all businesses to reopen as they were pre-pandemic. In recent months, the ruling about travelers staying in Gold Standard hotels has become a recommendation rather than an obligation.
It’s unclear exactly when we’ll hear official confirmation of Belize ending its remaining restrictions, but we hope to report on this as soon as possible.
We’ll continue this update until all countries are back to pre-pandemic entry requirements. As it stands, only Costa Rica and El Salvador are back to pre-pandemic entry requirements). This latest update reflects recent changes in Nicaragua. https://t.co/ws988F8Jv6
— Central America Living (@VidaAmerica) June 18, 2022