Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2021. 8:53 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: As clarified by our friends at the San Pedro Sun, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 106 mandates this Sunday, September 26th and October 3rd that free movement across the country will be restricted, including San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, and Placencia, which are exempt from the countrywide 7PM curfew. The only movement allowed will be for essential services. The government has resorted to this measure to contain the increase in COVID-19 cases all over Belize.
The confusion was clarified by the Attorney General’s Ministry and area representative Andre Perez.
Essential service is defined as emergencies, purchasing groceries, fuel, and seeking medical attention. Employees in the tourism industry would be allowed to head to work. It is recommended that people working in those establishments such as hotels, security guards, and medical wear their uniforms and carry identification so authorities can recognize them as members of essential services. Traveling to and from the Philip Goldson International Airport will also be allowed; thus, Belizeans returning to the country and tourists can still travel on these Sundays.
Businesses allowed to operate are limited to those providing essential services. These include fuel stations, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical and veterinary institutions, public transportation companies, and hotels and resorts catering to their guests.
Another clarification is Regulation 18 that accommodated restaurants with proper ventilation in Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Hopkins, and Placencia, to operate up to 75 percent of their seating capacity. This will not be allowed during these two Sundays, and individual restaurants not attached to a hotel should be closed. Excursions such as snorkel or diving day trips are also discouraged during these two Lockdown Sundays.
The current SI is expected to last for two weeks to flatten the numbers of COVID-19. The public is asked to abide and stay at home on these days/dates to suppress the rate of infections as the country goes through another COVID-19 wave. The government does not foresee a national lockdown, as in 2020; however, more drastic measures could be taken if people do not adhere to regulations. After October 3rd, the current efforts could be eased or get stricter. It all depends on the number of cases after this extreme measure.
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