By Aaron Humes: To those worried that Belizeans will take any dropping of restrictions as a “free-for-all” and wind up returning us to those same levels of restriction, the Minister of Health and Wellness, Kevin Bernard, said personal responsibility is essential to continuing to live with a disease that has infected tens of thousands here and killed more than 600.
“We had the curfew and there was a peak and spike in Omicron; there was a spike in Delta. We’ve had three waves, so far; four waves. So, I don’t see that dropping the curfew will give any significant effects. I will take that question and turn it around to the Belizean people and say, it’s about you, it’s about we. Protecting ourselves, doing what is right; making sure we are wearing our masks, we are keeping our distances, we are not socializing in huge crowds, and at the same time we are respecting the rules and regulations set out by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. If we do that, we will continue to see a reduction in these numbers,” the Minister told reporters in discussing plans to lift the curfew.
It has been pointed out elsewhere that the curfew technically expired on February 15 and so the point may be moot; the Minister himself acknowledged that Belizeans are known to socialize and go out, but few risk being out after curfew hours. Once out though, it is up to them to be responsible for themselves.
As to enforcement of regulations, Minister Bernard told us that a COVID Enforcement Unit as envisioned by his predecessor Michel Chebat is now in place, assisting police in enforcing the regulations as it relates to businesses; the courts are doing brisk business with offenders as well. But the responsibility remains on each individual not to run afoul of the law.