So many of you have been waiting for the news of when the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) is reopening so that you can reschedule or start planning.
Barring any unforeseen dramatic events, our Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced yesterday that PGIA will reopen August 15th. At this time, a decision regarding the reopening of land borders is still off the table. The current primary focus with the opening of our international airport is ensuring the health and safety for all. As a result, travel will be tightly monitored.
We were given details for a comprehensive plan – see live video on GOB Press page. Also discussing the way forward were Ministry of Health CEO, Dr. George Gough, and Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero; Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans; Prime Ministers Office Director of Technology, Michael Singh; and Ministry of Human Development and chair of National COVID-19 task force Judith Alpuche.
Currently, American Airlines, Avianca, Delta possibly United Airlines are international flight options. As for in-country, expect your travel to be fun, safe, and a bit different than the old days.
Registration, reporting, and geofencing tracking will be mandatory via the Belize COVID travel app. If you are not familiar with the term, according to WIKI, Geofencing is a location-based service in which an app (or other software) uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence. Think of it as a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.
Also required, in-country wearing masks for travelers. As for Resorts, Hotels, and Tour Companies they are to meet the new COVID gold standard of 9 checkmarks for health and safety. They must also be full service in order to take international bookings. You will need to use their airport pick up and drop off services and you will not be free to roam Belize at leisure for the time being. They are trying to create a “safe corridor” keeping travelers to set routes and places allowing for easier contact tracing and limiting community involvement. A bit sad as that is why most people come here; to enjoy the Belizean community.
Click through to learn more read the Belize national guidelines for reopening accommodations.
All Belize travelers must download the Belize Health App (coming soon) to your mobile phone. After confirming your accommodations and registering everything on the app, you will get a QR code for use upon arrival in Belize.
For fast track arrival plan on coming with a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test within 72 hours of arrival. In some cases, it is a bit longer timeframe (4 days) so be prepared to stay clean after you test negative. You will also be required to upload your results in advance on the Belize COVID travel app.
Those who come tested will still be subject to minor screening including temperature checks, and health app verification.
Anyone coming untested will require you to get yourself in a potential log jam here and get tested at your own (undetermined as of yet) expense when you land. They will be testing about 12 at a time. On the odd chance, you test positive then you must be willing to pay for a 14-day quarantine at an approved place.
All traveler luggage will be sanitized.
While on your Belize vacation, you must adhere to all health and safety protocols which include: mask-wearing guidelines, sanitation procedures, and personal distancing policies. You will also be required to check in daily on the Belize Health App. As mentioned above, you must remain at your chosen accommodations during your stay. For this reason, choosing a nice jungle lodge, like Banana Bank Lodge and Ian Andersons Caves Branch with lots of room to roam onsite is an ideal compromise. Or Victoria House on Ambergris Caye.
In case you are wondering, the country currently has four active COVID cases. To date, we have handled 23 positive cases of coronavirus in Belize, including two resulting deaths.
For condo owners wanting to return, you must be willing to be 14-day quarantine upon your return.
You may want to get on Matrix Airfare Search and or Google Flights. Google offers flight search tools that make it easy to find the best flight fast. Google Flights can be a great way to find the cheapest tickets not easily discoverable on other sites. Note: Google does let you to actually book the flight, but shows a list of options and gives you links for corresponding booking sites.
If you have a layover while on your way, check out this website. Around Airports makes it easy for frequent travellers to find businesses around airports that are nearest to them.
- Belize Announces Hospitality Sector Health and Safety Protocols.
- APSU professor experiences pandemic up close in Belize.
- Here’s how much it costs to buy out an entire luxury hotel during the pandemic.
- Tripadvisor launches Travel Safe, travel tools to give you peace of mind for when you’re ready to start planning.
- EXPOSED: Moody’s predicts up to 50% drop in tourism.
But do not let that worry you, even with our complicated reentry, below are a few pictures of ordinary island life to help.
First off everybody’s favorite; landing in San Pedro. So many shades of blue in Belize. That day the water was close to classic blue the Pantone 2020 color of the year in some spots. I am a fan of deeper rich blues as you can tell by my navy logo.
Afternoon traffic on Back Street. Although you may not be able to see it while here you can always find it and other great island pictures on tacogirl.com downtown San Pedro based blog.
Looking for lunch? A must-have is the Coconut crusted pork chops from Hungry Grouper. I scored large this week by getting a special order and it was so crispy and yummy. Normally comes with rice but I was not hungry enough so I asked Argyle to skip it.
After a Wednesday afternoon errand to Tropic Cargo, I decided to make a quick stop for a few veggies on my way home. Love that she walked around the corner to her house to get a knife so I could buy half the cauliflower.
I also love that minding the family business this is one way to learn math and life skills during COVID.
Before vegetables, was my Mobile Market order, they deliver weekly by air. This week I got meatballs, maple whiskey sausages, shredded pork, sausage patties, and premade dough balls. The limes came in a separate box.
Now back to the beauty in my neighborhood and a view. 😀
I love living on the lagoon side of town.
Peaceful sunset sky before Saharan dust which you will see later.
Boats parked in my neighborhood.
Quiet walk along the lagoon at dusk – Nurse Shark St.
Saharan dust cloud sunset from the Thunderbolt dock.