Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2020. 9:32 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Late today, the Ministry of Health issued Advisory/Update no. 8 on Covid-19 and confirmed that Belize still does not have any confirmed case of COVID-19. However, the Health Ministry decided to step up its travel advisory and restrictions to control the potential spread of Covid-19. Given the growing public health concern, the National Surveillance Committee “is hereby advising on the following measures for travelers with immediate effect coming to Belize”:
The Advisory is making it clear that “all nationals coming from an area with ongoing transmission who land in Belize and appear with cold or flu-like symptoms will be placed under self-isolation upon arrival and all cost related to that will be the responsibility of the traveler”.
In addition, the Ministry is highly recommending that “all travelers coming to Belize purchase travel or health insurance before coming to Belize” and that this insurance should cover the length of their stay while in Belize. Travelers who are leaving Belize are also advised to purchase travel or health insurance before departing the country.
The release did not go as far as to ban Belizeans from traveling to areas where there is active spread of COVID-19 but rather it advised that the necessary personal precautions be taken. And for Belizeans returning from areas of active spread, the advisory notes that “your travel plan may include a 14-day self-quarantine”.
The Ministry is also strongly advising that non-essential travel to any country that has local spread of COVID-19 should be avoided.
According to the release “for now, these countries include China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Singapore, and South Korea. These new recommendations have been implemented as a part of an immediate prevention measure based on our most recent development on the spread of COVID-19”.
Additionally, the Ministry of Health has suspended all duty leave travel for its staff and Cabinet has also agreed to suspend all duty leave across all ministries.
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