Posted: Friday, March 25, 2022. 10:53 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: During the opening ceremonies held on Thursday evening for the Spanish Lookout business expo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Eamon Courtenay, hinted that most, if not all, of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted next week by Belize’s Cabinet.
Courtenay noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the Belizean people, first with the extent of infections and deaths, and second on the economy and jobs. Just over 517,000 people have been tested, including repeated tests on the same individuals and on foreigners. Up to March 23, 2022, Belize has had 57,203 cases of COVID-19, of which 56,218 or 98.3 percent have recovered and 654 have died.
Belize’s economy was also severely impacted with a 16% fall in GDP recorded in 2020 and 65,000 people lost their jobs during the pandemic.
“It is important ladies and gentlemen for us to appreciate that as a result of this pandemic we have suffered the worst economic crisis in our country in recent times. Personal rights and freedoms had to be seriously curtailed in the public interest. By any measure the cost of COVID-19 was substantial,” the Foreign Minister said.
Courtenay gave a sneak peak at the decision saying “…without telling secrets out of school, tune in for the announcement from the Cabinet next week. Perhaps our freedoms will be restored again, finally.”
Some of the main COVID-19 restrictions still in place are the requirement to use masks indoors and in public buildings, physical distancing and capacity limits for churches, sporting and other event facilities, and the need for a negative test prior to entering the country.
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