The government announced new regulations under the public health and safety act. The changes go into effect on 1 February 2021, along with some other small adjustments in the regulations. The Ministers of Health and Wellness and Home affairs held a joint press conference to outline the new regulations.
Michel Chebat, Minister of Health & Wellness: “The government is now able to lift the inter-district ban that we placed in the Corozal and Orange Walk districts and we are now able to modify some of the containment measures that were put in place to contain this disease.”
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “Curfew is now going to be from 10pm to 5am. So, it’s no longer going to be 8pm. Curfew starting February 1st Monday will be at 10pm and will go to the following morning until 5am. This curfew applies to adults only. The curfew for minors continues in effect from 6pm until 5am the following morning. Gyms can now open and they are to operate at a 50% capacity at any given time. Similar to restaurants gyms can also operate but at 50% capacity. The gyms, like restaurants must be properly ventilated. Gym owners have an added responsibility that they are required to keep a log of the names, contact number and temperature of persons who are attending the gym. Similarly, churches can now operate to the public and the capacity likewise for churches is 50% at any given time. In addition to that, we are asking by regulation that the service does not go beyond 1 hour in time. So if you are having a service at 9am it has to be finished by 10am. Of course you can have another service in the evening, but again it will be restricted to a 1 hour church service.” (Image above Turtle Inn coconut trees on the beach Belize courtesy Astrum Helicopters).
The updated COVID-19 regulations, approved by Cabinet, will become effective as of February 1, 2021, for 30 days. The adjustments are as follows:
- Lifting of the current inter-district travel restrictions for Corozal and Orange Walk districts. This lift will be revisited if necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19.
- Curfew has been readjusted and is now from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. for adults. The curfew for minors remains the same from 6:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
- Gymnasiums are allowed to open with not more than 50% capacity per hour and must operate by appointments only. The gyms must have proper ventilation, mandatory cleaning after use of each machine, and ensure proper logging and temperature monitoring of users.
- Churches are allowed to have service with up to 50% capacity. Services should not exceed one hour.
- Food vendors are allowed to operate in public spaces and must comply with health and COVID-19 protocols, including having markers to indicate six feet physical distancing.
Also present at the press conference was Ms. Elisa Montalvo, Solicitor General in the Attorney General’s Ministry, who provided additional details on the new measures.
A detailed electronic copy of the Statutory Instrument will be shared when gazetted.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness informs the public of its upcoming Vaccine Education Campaign as well as its Expanded Rapid Testing Campaign in efforts to reach out to high-risk institutions and businesses. The Ministry’s officials will be conducting door-to-door rapid testing and emphasizing COVID-19 prevention measures.
Additionally, the Ministry urges the public to continue to wear a face mask properly in public, maintain consistent physical distancing, avoid social gatherings, and wash and sanitize hands often. Stay at home unless conducting essential business.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness reiterates its message, “Do not let our guards down. Let us join forces in the fight against COVID-19.”