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Cabinet Brief: Executive approves new regulations on Omicron variant, free testing for returning students

Posted: Thursday, December 2, 2021. 10:04 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: A statement from Cabinet indicates that fully two-thirds, 67 percent, of Belize’s adult population has been at least partially vaccinated, “an indication that the nation is moving in the right direction.”

As of November 29, 209,176 persons or 48.6 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine (including children over 12 and adults) and 194,398 or 45.1 percent have been fully vaccinated. More than 319,108 vaccines are available.

Nonetheless, there continue to be challenges, including the recent discovery of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, reported to be more infectious and faster-spreading than even the Delta variant or the original.

Cabinet gave its approval for new regulations to be implemented for persons from countries where this new variant has been detected who are entering Belize through the airport and through land borders and seaports of entry. These will be a part of the updated Public Health Regulations which will be released later this week. Many countries from the European Union to Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States have banned travel to South Africa, where the variant originated, and neighboring countries.

Also, Cabinet also approved free testing for all students returning home during the month of December through the land borders.

As the holiday season draws near, Cabinet continues to encourage those not yet vaccinated to do so, and reminds Belizeans who have been fully vaccinated for more than five months, that booster shots are now available. The public is reminded to maintain physical distance, wash hands regularly, and wear a mask or face-covering in public.

 

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