Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2021. 6:22 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Guatemalan truck driver Humberto ‘Colima’ Monroy said he’s happy that the border impasse has been solved but hopes that they don’t have to be swabbed every time that they enter.
“Thank God that it was resolved, but they will still swab us, but they will have a meeting on Monday to see what they can do so that they don’t hurt our noses every time we enter,” Monroy said in an exclusive interview with Breaking Belize News.
Guatemalan truck drivers who come into Belize for ground corn at Spanish Lookout had blocked the Guatemalan side of the border at Melchor de Mencos preventing other trucks from transporting other goods such as cement, iron, fuel, plastic for packaging, cement clinker used in the production of cement, and food products like cooking oil and shortening from crossing into Belize.
The truckers were complaining about the number of times per week they have to be swabbed and the price they had to still pay for the accompanying custodian and taxi service.
When the Belize Customs and Excise Department dropped the custodian and taxi requirement today, the truckers gave up their protesting and unblocked the border. Things started getting back to normal at about 11:30 on Thursday morning.
But though the agreement is that they will have to be swabbed every time they enter, Monroy said the truckers are still hopeful that consideration will be given to them because they are fully vaccinated.
Just yesterday Wednesday, September 1, however, the Ministry of Health said that Cabinet decided that all persons coming in through the land borders will have to undergo PCR or Rapid COVID-19 tests at their own expense, regardless if they are fully vaccinated or are bringing COVID-19 test results. The Ministry said that it will only accept tests done at the Belize borders.
Monroy said when they are tested, the swab is pushed all the way into their nostrils and it hurts.
From what we understand the swabbing is a process that does hurt and gives people headaches. The truck drivers however claim that that they sometimes bleed, so they would like to be swabbed only once a week instead of the two or three times that they come into Belize per week.
Monroy said that he is happy that they no longer have to pay custodian and taxi service for the custodian as it was very expensive to be paying $60 for the custodian and $100 for the taxi for every truck. He added that the service was not good enough.
He said he is coming back on Monday and hopes he won’t have to be swabbed every time he enters Belize.
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