Posted: Tuesday, February 15, 2022. 10:32 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Reports on the ground suggest that the addition of required travel health insurance is causing further long lines and delays for visitors to Belize on this, its first day of requirement.
The Belize Tourism Board reports that purchases were made available online at https://www.belizetravelinsurance.com since February 7.
While some complain it is not necessary and have threatened to withdraw their visits to Belize, the Board has not budged, saying it offers another layer of protection against incurred medical and non-medical expenses, especially in the case of a positive COVID-19 test lengthening their stay.
For just US$18 or BZ$36, visitors get up to US$50,000 in coverage of medical expenses related to the treatment of COVID-19 for 21 days including US$2,000 in coverage per day of lodging expenses at a maximum of US$300 per day. The insurance also covers emergency assistance services such as air evacuation and emergency expenses related to pre-existing conditions and trip cancellations and expenses incurred by COVID-19 positive travelers for extended stays.
The Board notes that verification of the purchase takes place on arrival at the Philip Goldson International Airport by the Immigration Department, not by airlines and that purchases can be made on arrival there or at the border points of entry, though it is recommended that purchase be made prior to arrival so that proof can be presented.
Belizean citizens and permanent residents, members of the qualified retiree program, foreign homeowners, long-stay non-nationals, military personnel, Peace Corps volunteers, airline crew, and persons not staying in Belize for more than 24 hours are exempted (the latter typically includes cruise ship passengers).
The Board says the “new Travel Health Insurance mandate underscores Belize’s commitment to health and safety, enhancing travel confidence and giving visitors peace of mind to schedule that well-deserved vacation for 2022 and beyond.”
Please visit www.travelbelize.org/health-safety/ for more information on the Belize Safe Travel Requirements and the insurance scheme.
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