Update: Belmopan 5 August – Today at a press conference held in Belize City, it was announced that due to a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in three districts, there will be a delay in the reopening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA).
Prime Minister Rt. Dean Barrow said that although the airport will not reopen, the weekly repatriation flights for Belizean nationals abroad will continue, including the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
The best-laid plans of government and the Belize Tourism Board were dashed on the reef of a surge of COVID19 cases over the weekend of 2 – 3 August. A confluence of events two weeks earlier that included a grand slam fishing tournament organised by the Grand Caribe hotel, apparently led to a surge of COVID19 cases on Ambergris Caye. The fishing tournament brought together locals, expats and tourists – many of whom were seen not wearing masks and not adhering to social distancing protocols.
The event on San Pedro that is being closely looked at is the Grand Caribe Fishing Deep Sea Classic Tournament three-day fishing extravaganza that happened on the 18th and 19th of July. Other mass gatherings being examined include weddings and church assemblies. Orange Walk’s Team ‘Nuh Worry Bout Nothin’ took home the grand prize at Grand Caribe’s fourth annual Deep Sea Classic fishing tournament. Held at Grand Caribe Belize north of San Pedro Town, from Friday July 17th to Sunday July 19th, the tournament saw a total of 30 teams participating and competing for over $25,000 BZ in cash and prizes. Other top winners following the three-day fishing extravaganza was San Pedro’s Team Real Deal in second place, and Team Stir it Up took third place.
Director of Health Services Dr. Marvin Manzanero “The fishing tournament on July 19th and 19th was three weeks ago, so we would anticipate that the secondary contacts of whoever may have been exposed there, if they are going to develop signs and symptoms, would have been just about the middle of this week unto early next week. If we are able to identify that then I think that we are going to have to classify that as a potential super spreader event that is the term we are going to use because one person that is how you can spread things across a country, across all geographic locations. Similar with the wedding situations we are just starting to get all that information. If people are coming from all across the country then those can be super spreading events if you will.”
Previously the Prime Minister held a press conference to announce the date for the tourism re-opening at a virtual press conference. (Image Credit Belize International Airport Elaine)
Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize
“We are able now to announce a firm re-opening date for the PGIA. That date ladies and gentlemen, is August 15, 2020.”
Please Help Support Local Journalism In Belize
For the first time in its history, Belize.com is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support us during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1995 we have tirelessly provided independent information and local news on Belize for locals, tourists and expats. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy information on Belize, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the information you rely on. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.Donate