Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020. 11:40 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: Belize is closing in on two months under a State of Emergency, the first in our independent history.
And while Belize has done reasonably well compared to our neighbors and gone some 41 days without a case of COVID-19, it can be observed that Belizeans are getting lax in observing many of the protocols associated with the State of Emergency, including wearing a mask in public and social distancing, as well as limiting their time on the street.
Now, there have been public complaints that since there are no cases at present and Belize is reasonably sealed, especially at its borders, Belize can lift some of these ‘unnecessary’ prohibitions on social living.
But now is no time to be complacent, especially for the Police, according to Commissioner Chester Williams.
Police, he said, have found it stressful to balance the right to freedom of movement and engage in private social activity with the restrictions of the State of Emergency. Ultimately, the security forces must ensure that people understand that we are not in the all-clear and we must be cognizant of what is happening in our neighboring countries.
There is always the fear that someone sneaks in and mingles with people and spreads the virus – and the security forces, Williams says, will invariably get the blame.
So while police will exercise their discretion, the regulations are law and will be enforced until the Government says otherwise. And that means, says Williams, that people cannot take things for granted and believe that we can return to regular behavior without understanding there is the potential of a second wave of the virus to come.
The current regulations are expected to run until the end of June.
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