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Rumours abound but curfew on Christmas Eve and Christmas night remains 12 midnight to 4 a.m.

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Posted: Friday, December 24, 2021. 5:49 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: There are rumors circulating, especially on social media, that curfew has been rolled back to 7 p.m. However, this is not so and the curfew on Christmas Eve and Christmas night remains 12 midnight to 4:00 a.m.

Statutory Instrument number 151 of 2021, the Public Health (Reform) (Prevention of the spread of infectious disease) (COVID-19) Regulations, 2021, provides among other things for a curfew to be imposed starting on December 6 from, respectively, Sunday to Thursday, during the hours of 11:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. of the following morning, and from Friday to Saturday, during the hours of 12:00 a.m. (midnight) until 4:00 a.m.

At the time the S.I. was promulgated, it was indicated that it would be revisited in January, despite calls from the Opposition and others to drop the curfew right away because it appeared not to be working at a time when Belize had hit the peak of the third wave of COVID-19. Since then, cases have dropped significantly and even deaths which were occurring at the rate of four, five and six a day have dwindled.

The curfew is imposed per section 4(1) “For the purposes of preventing, controlling, containing and suppressing the spread of the infectious disease COVID-19 and maintaining peace and public order…”

It is further noted that minors shall be confined to private property beginning after 8 p.m. and continuing up to 4 a.m. except that minors (under 18s) are allowed in public with a parent or guardian between 8 and 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 8 p.m. and midnight a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Otherwise, no person shall be out and about during this time except for those on duty among the security forces, Customs and Excise Department, Department of Immigration Services only, public utilities, any frontline health care provider on duty working for the Ministry responsible for health (including hospitals which are statutory bodies), or to any person who possesses a pass badge issued by the Minister responsible for home affairs or a person authorized by him.

Any other commits an offence and shall be issued a violation ticket in accordance with Part VII of the regulations.

So if you still need to conclude your shopping, you have up to midnight to do so (though most stores will close much earlier) and we advise you to stay safe out there and continue to adhere to the other regulations on social distancing, mask wearing and others.

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