Posted: Sunday, November 14, 2021. 5:19 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The announcement of plans to revise the COVID curfew regulations among others last week came in the middle of a torrid two days in terms of deaths, hospitalizations and new cases.
But speaking on the sidelines at the Belize Investment Summit, Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat and Minister of Tourism Anthony Mahler spoke of the “tough balancing act” between ensuring health and safety and encouraging economic recovery by lifting restrictions on businesses.
Said Chebat, “We always try to have a balance and when there is an outcry from the stakeholders we have to stop and look at our policies and review it.”
Mahler pointed out that Belize’s “high season” for tourism is underway and the country is expecting an influx of travelers beginning with the upcoming thanksgiving holiday in the United States, toward the end of November.
He added that it is critical to get people working again as the Government still does not have enough resources to go around: “We take a licking every day with regards to trying to provide assistance for our people and so yes, there has to be a balance between livelihoods and lives in terms of opening up the economy in a safe way, but there are examples all around us, so if more and more people get vaccinated then we should be in a better position going into 2022. We have to get back the economy on track, there are so many businesses on the brink, there are so many people who are on the verge of losing their homes, there are so many people who can’t pay their bills, can’t even feed their children, they can’t send them to school and so it is our fiduciary responsibility to have the balance like I said.”
Beginning on November 22 as confirmed by Chebat, the curfew runs from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. Sundays to Thursdays, and 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Additionally, proof of vaccination will not be required to enter restaurants as there has been an issue with enforcement identified. Eateries must continue to host only half capacity indoors and three-quarters capacity outdoors for the time being.
With more than 300 thousand vials of vaccines available, there is enough for both first-time vaccine takers (still around half the population at present over the age of 12), second-shot seekers and now booster shots for adults, including those with comorbidities, senior citizens over sixty and healthcare workers.
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