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Parliament meets today to extend State of Emergency

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Posted: Monday, April 27, 2020. 8:51 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: The House of Representatives, in a quorum, meets this morning in Belmopan.

Its sole purpose is to debate the extension of the state of emergency regulations for a period of 60 days once expired on April 30.

Instituted on April 1, the regulations were intended to limit, as much as possible, the spread of COVID-19.

They cover the regulation of business activity, social distancing and other rules.

Eventually they were augmented with increasingly tougher regulations that kept the country in lockdown for most of April.

After a quick rise to 18 cases and 2 deaths between March 23 and April 13 in the Belize, Cayo and Corozal Districts, no new cases have been reported.

But the Government wants to take no chances that new cases could be reported.

The Opposition, to be represented by three parliamentarians, favors an extension by 30 days; the Government wants a 60-day extension.

Whatever is approved today goes to the Senate on Tuesday and then to the Governor General for assent. The SOE can be lifted at the Government’s discretion if its goals are achieved beforehand.

We will have coverage from the National Assembly coming up later.

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