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Special arrangements for evacuation from San Pedro in light of tropical disturbance threat and COVID-19

Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020. 10:37 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: In a late Sunday evening advisory, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) advised the general public to pay attention to a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea that has a 70% chance of development and may begin to affect Belize as early as Thursday. Residents are advised to move early if there is a need to relocate or evacuate.

For the islands, particularly San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, special arrangements are being made for evacuations in light of the islands COVID-19 status. Individuals who want to voluntary relocate from the islands before the announcement of a coordinated evacuation by government “must be cleared through MOH San Pedro” where information will be recorded and checks will be made “against MOH COVID-19 positive persons/quarantine list and a temperature check must be taken prior to departure”.

The NEMO advisory further notes that in the event of a coordinated evacuation of San Pedro and the islands implemented by government, a number of protocols will be followed, including recording names, COVID-19 status, checking quarantine list and taking temperature checks.

According to NEMO, COVID-19 positive persons or individuals under quarantine will be housed/sheltered on the island as a first option for the San Pedro Emergency Committee. However, if there is a need to evacuate COVID-19 person who need shelter, NEMO says “certain shelters in all municipalities will be declared COVID-19 HURRICANE SHELTERS” for these individuals to be housed. For COVID-19 positive individuals who do not need shelter but would have to be quarantined or be in self-isolation, the Ministry of Health will direct how this will be carried out.

NEMO reiterates that if a voluntary relocation and a government coordinated evacuation have to be done, “the wearing of masks, social distance on the vessels and buses etc.” will be required prior to departure as was done during the first COVID-19 wave in San Pedro.


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