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WAKING UP TO A NEW BELIZE

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In today’s press conference hosted by Prime Minister, Rt. Hon, Dean Barrow, the Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, stated that 2 of the total number of confirmed cases are currently hospitalized and an additional 23 new cases are expected to be confirmed later today.

In light of this, the following changes will be made effective at 8:00 p.m. tonight.

  • Phased State of Emergency effective 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020
  • Santa Marta, Shipyard, and Guinea Grass Villages in the Orange Walk District, and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye:
    • Complete lockdown for 14 days (quarantine)
    • no one allowed in or out of the island
    • curfew in effect:
      • 8:00 p.m. – 4:59 a.m. (adults)
      • 6:00 a.m. – 5:59 p.m. (kids) – outside of these designated hours, kids allowed in the company of adults during adult curfew hours
    • gatherings now limited to 10 person maximum
    • emergency movement will be allowed on case by case basis only
    • restricted movement for essential services only
    • cargo will be allowed in and out of the island
    • all Government office on the island will be closed
    • Banks will remain open as an essential service
    • grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. – which are classified as essential services – will remain open
    • closure of bars, nightclubs, etc.
  • Rest of the country of Belize, including the remainder of the Orange Walk District:
    • subject to curfew:
      • 10:00 p.m. – 4:59 a.m. on weekdays
      • 12:00 a.m. – 4:59 a.m. on weekends
    • bars, discos, run shops, and night clubs will be closed countrywide
    • Casinos will be allowed to remain open under special circumstances:
      • mandatory use of face masks
      • social distancing
      • no smoking or drinking allowed
    • maximum of 25 persons allowed in social gatherings with emphasis on social distancing
    • public transport will be actively monitored with the following being enforced:
      • mandatory use of face masks
      • will be limited to maximum seating capacity
      • enforcement of sanitization processes
      • social distancing protocols
      • enforcement will not only apply to passengers who are in breach, but now also to operators. This will be enforced on buses/water taxi vessels and at the respective terminals by the Transport Authority and the Belize Port Authority regulatory bodies.
    • harsher penalties for border jumping offenses
      • 6 months jail time for first offense
      • bail will no longer be granted by the Magistrate’s Court, but now from the Supreme Court
      • anyone found in possession of contraband items will now be charged as border jumpers
    • schools
      • teachers who do not reside in any of the lockdown areas as stated in the Orange Walk District and Ambergris Caye are expected to report to work as usual to continue with the planning for the reopening of schools. Teachers who reside in the affected areas are not expected to report to work.
      • keep kids at home as there will be no classes for at least another few weeks
      • do not take children out unless it cannot be avoided

Be sure to tune in at 8:00 p.m. tonight for a special edition of “Ask the Experts” on the Government of Belize’s Press Office Facebook page with the Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte where he will be elaborating on the details of the State of Emergency and other important details pertaining to COVID-19 regulations in Belize.

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