Posted: Tuesday, February 16, 2021. 1:14 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Among the many reasons to come to Belize, especially at this time of year, is to get away from the ongoing lockdown in many states in the United States, Zimbabwe’s Business Day magazine reports via Bloomberg.
Writers say the second wave of COVID-19 related lockdowns has sent refugees to more permanent warmer countries, such as Dubai, the Maldives, and Spain, and here in the Americas, Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, and parts of the Caribbean. (While the magazine claims borders in the former countries are open, that is strictly referring to the International Airport and the Commercial Free Zone and not to land borders).
It will cost some and you cannot completely avoid COVID-19 protocol, but those with lockdown fatigue who can afford it have realized that they can ditch the stress and breathe again, at least for a few months.
In the case of Belize, there are a few examples shared. Melanie Woods, a 39-year-old graphic designer, left San Francisco well before there was a word of a winter lockdown. Since October 1 — the day Belize reopened its borders — she has been working out of director Francis Ford Coppola’s rustic-luxe Turtle Inn resort, where her desk is at a window with a sea breeze.
“I swim for exercise between calls. On weekends, I feel like I’m on vacation. I can snorkel, zip line, swim,” she says.
Belize requires travelers to have a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, which gave Woods peace of mind. The 27-room hotel, located on a beachfront in Placencia, is also almost entirely open-air, making it easy to eat and socialize in distanced outdoor settings. Rooms start at (US)$329 a night, but extended stays reap 20 percent discounts on both accommodations and food; Woods is renting out her apartment back home to offset the expense.
“I probably won’t return until summer, or when I can get a vaccine,” she says.
One travel advisor argues that it’s not all about play: many clients can actually do their jobs better in a different setting. Others who spoke to the magazine from their refuges in Mexico and Hawaii concur, saying they may not return to the U.S. until they can get a vaccine, or in some cases not at all.
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