Posted: Tuesday, July 14, 2020. 4:02 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The National Association of Village Councils (NAVCO) has called on its membership to “take the necessary precautions and follow protocols that are in place to protect everyone from the COVID-19 virus.”
NAVCO president Javier Sabido wrote chairpersons of villages to, among other things, avoid mass gatherings and meetings in villages; enforce mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing among villagers, and discourage and report all border-jumpers to the Ministry of Health, and by extension the Police and Immigration Departments.
Two villages in Orange Walk District, Blue Creek, and San Felipe are under lockdown for thirty days after seven relatives contracted COVID-19 after some of them traversed the border. Police and Belize Defense Force have put in a boat and foot patrol along the ‘contraband corridor’ of villages on the banks of the Rio Hondo, Belize’s northern border with Mexico, from Santa Cruz and Douglas in Orange Walk to San Victor in Corozal.
Illegally crossing the border and re-entering to Belize carries a $5,000 fine on conviction, a minimum 14 days in quarantine at one’s own expense, and two years in jail.
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