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Over 200 applicants so far for repatriation – How long will it take?

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Philip Goldson International Airport

Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2020. 12:59 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Already, there have been more than 200 applications since the repatriation process form went live on the COVID-19 website on Wednesday.

And quite a few are demanding to come home as soon as possible – and sooner than that if possible.

But the repatriation process for Belizeans will not be achieved over night.

According to C.E.O. Lou-Anne Burns Martinez, the process can take a few days or even a week. Martinez is asking for Belizeans to be patient and to fully complete the application.

“We respond very quickly. As soon as we get those applications in we have a team who are reviewing and sending email to say that we are confirming that we have actually receive you applications. From the process between the applications and the selections of the groups who can come in I don’t think it will be a terribly long process because we are trying to move as quickly as possible but it is not going to be twenty-four hours. Expect to wait a few days. It may be a bit longer than that depending when we decided maybe a week or more. I can’t say at this time. To be fair we really have to access and this is the reason we ask for the applications so that we can get a kind of a view of where our people are spread out over the world. What are their situations? How desperate are you? What is your condition? Are you a student who is finished and really you are in a situation where you are running out of money and can’t afford to be where you are anymore? What are the current COVID numbers where you are? How are you trying or planning to return home because there are different routes as well? So what are your plans? All of these things have to be considered.”

Where possible, Burns Martinez said those who can pay their own way home may be asked to do so.

On Friday, May 22, an existing repatriation flight is leaving Belize on United Airways and it is possible some Belizeans can return on that flight, but that is not guaranteed and there will be others, and it is most important to get it right.

 

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