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Prime Minister issues warning as new COVID regulations to take effect: “if Belize City does not do its part we may have to lockdown”

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Posted: Friday, August 20, 2021. 10:00 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While a Statutory Instrument has not yet been produced, Prime Minister John Briceno confirmed to reporters that new COVID-19 related regulations should go into effect this Sunday.

As from midnight Sunday, liquor can not be sold in stores from six p.m. Liquor consumption will be limited to restaurants and only with consumption of food.

Speaking of restaurants, in Belize City they will be limited to takeout and half capacity in outside areas – no more indoor dining.

Business process outsourcing establishments have agreed, according to the P.M., to limit half their staff to working from home and the others at the office, and those who choose the latter must be vaccinated, as indeed all BPO workers must be as frontline workers.

Casino capacity will be limited to 50 percent and all employees must be vaccinated.

All of this is in addition to the national curfew which continues from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. daily.

According to the P.M., the Ministry of Health is working as hard as it can to test, vaccinate and answer questions from the public, but there needs to be public buy-in.

“…If people do not do their part, if they do not act responsibly, this is going to continue to spread,” Briceno said, citing public drinking and extensive buying of liquor at supermarkets in Belize City especially; continued partying against regulations with persons from outside one’s own house; and big wakes and repast after funerals as sources of the COVID spread.

The Old Capital saw 21 new cases today and double digit numbers all week but there has been no indication of where the spread has come from.

Though the measures are “drastic” in the P.M.’s own words, they are necessary. “…if Belize City [residents] do not try to help the situation, to control it, we may have to do a lockdown,” he concluded.

We await the formal announcement of the new regulations.

 

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