Posted: Friday, June 26, 2020. 1:05 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced yesterday during a virtual press conference that the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) will open to welcome back international visitors on August 15, 2020.
PM Barrow said that the decision was not an easy one since in the region, COVID-19 cases continue to surge.
Barrow said that this will halt the economic devastation that has affected the tourism industry.
And in the need to safeguard lives, Barrow explained that the working team has designed a comprehensive set of protocols to ensure a safe opening.
The centerpiece of the accompanying measures will be the testing of everyone coming into the PGIA.
As Belize prepares to welcome back international tourists, we take a look at other Caribbean nations that are opening their countries to visitors.
On June 1, 2020, Antigua and Barbuda became the first Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country to re-open its international airport amid stringent health protocols.
Passengers were welcomed with a host of new procedures.
On June 4, 2020, St. Lucia began welcoming travelers back as long as they could provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight. A pre-flight health assessment, and temperature checks at the airport, are the norm now as well.
And on June 15, Jamaica began welcoming tourists to the island. The visitors underwent health screenings upon arrival and face masks remained mandatory.
Jamaica is testing all visitors with COVID-19 nasal swabs at the airport.
The Caribbean Tourism sector has undoubtedly been affected significantly due to COVID-19 and the nations are looking at their own economic recovery plans.
Barrow noted that in Belize, unlike other Caribbean nations, visitors will be subjected to a double layer of testing, which will require passengers to submit test results prior to boarding a flight to Belize and will require a second test upon landing. Barrow noted Belize is the only country in the region subjecting visitors to a stringent double-layer testing regime and said it is being done in an effort to safeguard Belize.
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