Posted: Tuesday, January 26, 2021. 8:50 am CST.
By BBN Staff: The Corozal Freezone has been a topic of hot debate with many Belizeans asking whether or not it should be opened soon. Minister of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise, Jose Mai has indicated that the tentative reopening date for the Freezone is set for next Monday, February 1st, 2021.
Politicians from the People’s United Party and the United Democratic Party both agree that the Corozal Freezone should open; however, they are at odds surrounding the terms of the re-opening.
In one interview last week, Minister Mai re-assured the media that the government is putting certain measures in place to ensure the re-opening does not contribute to an increase the Covid-19 cases in Belize. He said: “Every business must be certified and be ready for opening so we are trying to make it as safe as possible.”
While the PUP agrees that the Freezone needs to be re-opened, the Opposition UDP is not too sure that the government has the correct plans in place. The Leader of the Opposition, Patrick Faber stated in the UDP’s press conference last week that, “We have not heard the details of what security measures, safety measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of our people.” He went on to mention that there are at least 1,000 people who are expected to return to work once the Freezone is re-opened.
Faber further added that, “There is no concrete plan [by the PUP Government]” which seems to be the opposition’s main concern.
To further sum up the sentiments of the Opposition, Hugo Patt, the area representative for Corozal North went on record at last week’s UDP press conference to say it is not that the UDP is opposed to the opening of the Freezone – they are more concerned about the obvious safety risks it presents especially considering that the health system in neighboring Mexican communities is at maximum capacity.
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