Changes and Vaccine Mandate
* October update – restaurants may offer dining-in services to immunized patrons, by reservation only, for no more than fifty percent of their seating capacity.
As many of you know from my last Belize Covid Coaster update, we were given two no-movement Sundays, Sept 26th and October 3rd. Other than what our Government deemed as necessary – groceries, fuel, pharmacies, and doctors, we were all just to stay home. The first one went over fairly well, and while I did see people driving around on Laguna Drive (our main road to the bridge), it was definitely quieter than usual.
This coming Sunday, they made one big change – grocery stores will not be open, so make sure you are prepared in advance. Fuel, pharmacies, and medical emergencies are still permitted. Travelers arriving at Philip Goldson International Airport are still able to go to their final destinations.
As for the talks about producing vaccine cards, or a negative Covid test to enter public establishments, a decision has been reached. The vaccine mandate will only apply to Government buildings. Employees not immunized will have to present a negative covid test every two weeks. For the public, they will need to make an appointment and present proof of double vaccination or a covid negative test.
Interestingly enough, I have people already emailing me about New Years parties on Ambergris Caye. It’s pretty much impossible to determine what things will be like 3 months from now, when we are still trying to understand and navigate the new statutory instrument changes. If I was to hazard a guess based on our current situation, it is likely we will still be on some kind of curfew and they will not be ready to allow large group functions as normal.
If they cannot flatten the curve enough and cases keep rising, they will keep doing restrictions like occasional no movement Sundays, and fluctuate curfew times in some areas as needed.
Covid Numbers in Belize
In regards to our Covid case numbers, as of September 30th (yesterday), we had more new confirmed cases than recoveries across the country – 233 versus 191. For San Pedro Town, 17 new cases were reported, and 20 the day before, with a cumulative total of 183 covid cases for the month of September. Countrywide, our current active cases are 2213.
We have 43 people hospitalized, 29 of whom are unvaccinated, 5 have had the first dose only, and 9 are fully vaccinated. For the 11 people in intensive care – 6 are unvaccinated, 1 has the 1st first dose only, and 4 are fully vaccinated. Of the 5 new deaths, 4 unvaccinated and one had 1st dose only.
It’s definitely visible around town and on facebook that vaccinated people are itching to return to normal. Please respect yourself and others by asking before you try to hug, handshake, or cluster together for a maskless group picture. While it may not be the norm, you can still get very sick even with having two doses of the vaccine. Click through to read an islander’s story about her strong case of Covid after being vaccinated.
Stay safe everyone and please respect each other’s space.