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‘Borders have been full of activity since they re-opened,’ says Minister of Tourism

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Posted: Wednesday, February 9, 2022. 12:11 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: The country’s land borders opened officially on Monday, February 7, allowing Belizeans to travel to Guatemala and Mexico. It has been two years since Belizeans have been able to do so, and many people have been taking advantage of it since Monday, according to Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Anthony Mahler.

“We’ve had a constant flow of people crossing the border both days, at both borders,” Mahler said.

“It has been steady. We had about 1,200 on Monday and I think yesterday we had about 1,500.”

He stressed that authorities at the borders have been working to ensure that the increased movement is monitored and that health and safety protocols are being adhered to so the process of crossing, either way, becomes seamless. Mahler also said that he looks forward to a day where all these protocols will no longer be necessary.

He went on to acknowledge that the re-opening has come with some challenges, including fees for crossing being charged on both sides of the border, including a mandatory COVID-19 test that costs around 300 quetzal (just over $78 BZD).

Mahler also noted that some 300 students who live in Guatemala but study in Belize are still unable to come across for face-to-face class, stressing that at-length discussions are happening at the Cabinet-level about these and other issues connected to the re-opening of borders.

“We had an intense discussion in Cabinet yesterday with regards to the way forward living with COVID and the Minister of Health and Wellness should bring a paper to cabinet next week to lay out the protocols or requirements that we will need as we continue to open up the economy,” Mahler added.

 

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