Since the other coronavirus discussions on the forum have turned political, this new thread is intended for non-political posts about coronavirus on topics such as hospitals and other testing locations, business and school closures, locked down areas, travel restrictions, where to get food, medications and other necessities, etc... Please also use this thread as a place to support one another in these uncertain and stressful times. There are expats on this forum (many of whom read and don't post) who are living alone and very far from family. A few kind words can make a difference in someone's day. If you want to debate the politics of how the situation is being handled in your country and other countries, keep that on the other thread.
I lived in NYC on 9/11 and remember with humbling clarity how New Yorkers and Americans came together at that time. That event changed me forever and thinking of it always bring tears to my eyes, but the kindness of strangers is what I remember most. When you look back at this time one day, you will remember the kindness of strangers. Please be kind.
Please respect the following guidelines to ensure that this thread relates to the current crisis and is as helpful as possible:
Provide relevant information that is helpful to one another. Avoid digressing to topics not related to the coronavirus outbreak.
Personal attacks and aggressive fact checking do not help anyone at this time. Politely disagreeing to try to correct information you think is incorrect is obviously acceptable.
Absolutely cheer each other on and provide the level of encouragement all of us will need to get through this difficult time.
Please continue to share information that only expats on the ground in your area can know. This is vital. To that end, we have also created an expat coronavirus report that will help expats relay what they are seeing and make relevant recommendations.
United Airlines is negotiating with the Government of Belize to operate a possible repatriation flight for U.S. citizens and family members departing Belize City on Saturday March 28, 2020. If you would like to depart on this flight please make a reservation directly with United Airlines at www.United.com or +1 800 864-8331. Please note that flights are subject to change.
For passengers making reservations for this flight: If you are currently in an area under mandatory quarantine you must contact American Citizen Services by email at [email protected] For other questions concerning this flight, also contact American Citizen Services by email at [email protected]
If you have not previously done so please enroll in STEP at https://step.state.gov/ and provide your name and contact information to: [email protected] so we can contact you as soon as we have any updates.
Your email message should include the following information:
Your full name as spelled in your passport
Information we can use to contact you now – a current phone number and email address.
Your date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY)
Your passport number, and its date of issuance and expiration. If it is not a U.S. passport, please note the country that issued it. Please also note any non-U.S. citizen immediate family members traveling with you.
Please note your current location (city and country) and any special needs you may have, such as medical issues.
Travel Alert – U.S. Embassy Belmopan, Belize (27-MAR-2020)
Event: There are currently still seats available on United Airlines Flight UA1406 departing Belize City on Saturday March 28, 2020 at 16:49 pm and arriving in Houston, TX at 20:26 pm. United Airlines is providing a repatriation flight for U.S. citizens and family members departing Belize City. If you would like to depart on this flight, please make a reservation directly with United Airlines at www.United.com or by calling +1 800 864-8331 or +501 614-8067 or +501 614-2613. Please note that flights are subject to change.
The Judiciary of Belize – Response to COVID-19 Preventative Measures
Belmopan. March 27, 2020 – 6:30 p.m.
The World Health Organization has declared the threat of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to be a global pandemic and The Ministry of Health has mandated early intervention measures to address the seriousness of the pandemic.
In light of the Belize Press Office, Press Release dated March 26, 2020, the Judiciary is taking measures and implementing strategies to safeguard the health and safety of judicial officers, officers of the court, staff members, and the general public, while at the same time maintaining a functioning judicial system and access to justice.
The following measures will apply to the courts and offices of the Supreme Court of Belize, the Magistrate Court countrywide, the Family Courts countrywide, and the General Registry Office.
SUPREME COURT - CRIMINAL CASES
1. All jury trials are suspended with immediate effect until further notice, and all jurors are excused.
2. Video link conferencing will be utilized whenever possible for bail hearings and adjournments for persons on remand.
3. Where persons must attend court in person, the guidelines with regards to gatherings and social distancing will be enforced.
SUPREME COURT - CIVIL CASES
4. Urgent applications to the court will be addressed remotely or by written submissions.
5. Except for urgent applications to the court, hearings and trials for civil matters are suspended with immediate effect until further notice.
6. Where persons must attend court in person, the guidelines with regards to gatherings and social distancing will be enforced.
7. Arraignments of persons charged will be conducted daily by a Magistrate.
8. Adjournment dates for persons attending court may be given by telephone or email.
9. Where persons must attend court in person, the guidelines with regards to gatherings and social distancing will be enforced.
10. Any queries or concerns can be addressed to [email protected] or by calling 227-7164.
11. Only urgent applications/cases in the family court will be addressed.
12. Where persons must attend court in person, the guidelines with regards to gatherings and social distancing will be enforced.
13. Any queries or concerns can be addressed to [email protected], or by calling 227-4107.
14. Practice Directions with more detailed information will be issued and enforced to reflect compliance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and the official Government Press Releases.
1. The amount of persons allowed in the Registry office has been restricted, implementing the guideline on gatherings and social distancing.
2. Persons at the cashier window will be allowed one at a time.
3. A Drop box is stationed at the entrance of the main office to facilitating the dropping off of documents, hence minimizing the amount of persons gathered at the office. Specific Guidelines are to be followed thereafter.
4. The Law Library will be closed until further notice.
5. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in the offices and courtroom for courts users.
6. Any queries or concerns can be addressed to [email protected], or by calling 227-7377.
These measures are in effect from March 27, 2020 until further notice.
Belmopan. March 26, 2020. The Government of Belize, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and in an effort to mitigate the negative impacts that could result from a potential community spread of the deadly virus enacted Statutory Instrument Number 38 of 2020 on March 25, 2020.
This Order made by the Quarantine Authority of Belize, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by section 6 of the Quarantine Act, Chapter 41 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, outlines a set of immediate measures to be implemented by the Government that are deemed as necessary to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
This Order shall apply to the country of Belize with the exception of Ambergris Caye, which is governed by the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) (Ambergris Caye) Regulations, 2020, provided, however, that on the expiration of the period of emergency pursuant to the Proclamation declaring a state of public emergency in Ambergris Caye, this Order shall apply to the entire country of Belize.
These measures, referred to generally as the QUARANTINE (COVID 19 EMERGENCY MEASURES) ORDER, 2020 include the following:
1. Limitation of gatherings of ten persons or less
Subject to the provisions of this Order, no person shall gather in numbers of more than ten persons at a time, anywhere in Belize, whether in any public place, public space or on private property provided that a gathering of ten or more persons on private property is allowed where persons are residents of that property. Except for residents of private property, persons in a gathering of ten persons or less shall maintain a distance of no less than three feet between each person.
2. Social distancing
For the purposes of this Order, every person shall practice social distancing.
• Notwithstanding the restriction and limitation on public gathering, the provision of public transportation by bus is limited to the seating capacity of the bus. • Every bus operator arriving at a terminal in Belize shall park the bus, instruct the passengers to disembark and oversee the sanitization of the bus by personnel on site at the terminal. • Prior to boarding any bus at a terminal, every passenger shall wash and sanitize his hands at the conveniences provided at the terminal.
4. Closure of businesses
The following establishments shall close until further notice– • casinos and gaming establishments; • spas, beauty salons and barber shops; • gymnasiums (gyms), sporting complexes; • discotheques, bars, rum shops and night clubs; • restaurants, saloons, diners, and other similar establishments, provided that restaurants, saloons diners and other similar establishments may operate to offer take out services only; • any other establishment or business designated by the Quarantine Authority by Notice published in the Gazette.
5. Social distancing protocols
Every business establishment allowed under this Order to operate shall¬: • ensure that all customers and staff maintain physical distancing of no less than three feet (3ft.) in or outside their business; • determine the number of persons that may be permitted in the establishment at any one time; • within twenty-four hours of the commencement of this Order, place distance markers three feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand on a line at a check out point; • within twenty-four hours of the commencement of this Order, place distance markers three feet apart on the outside of the establishment, indicating where customers must stand while waiting to enter the establishment.
6. Restriction on social activities
No person shall host nor attend– • a private party which includes any person from outside of the immediate household of the house occupant; • a recreational or competitive sporting event; • a wedding which hosts ten or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer; • a banquet, ball or reception; • any social event; • any other ceremony of public worship in any facility or public place which involves the participation of any member of the general public or a congregation; • a funeral, except ten members of the immediate family and at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff; or • a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organization.
7. Closure of markets and other public places
In the interest of public health and safety, the Quarantine Authority may by Notice published in the Gazette, declare the closure of any market or other public place.
8. Reporting of suspected COVID 19 to Ministry of Health
A person who develops flu-like symptoms and who reasonably suspects he may have had contact with someone who has travelled to a country affected by COVID 19 or is infected with COVID 19-
• shall immediately inform the Ministry with responsibility for health; and • go into self-isolation in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry responsible for health. • Every person, upon entry into Belize from any port of entry, shall (1) immediately inform the Ministry with responsibility for health of their entry into Belize; and (2) go into self-isolation in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry with responsibility for health.
9. Employers to grant permission
• An employer shall have a duty if satisfied that an employee is able to discharge the duties of that employee from the employee’s place of residence, to grant the employee permission to do so without imposing any adverse consequences to the employee in respect thereof. • An employee whose assigned tasks can only be discharged at the place of employment is required to attend for work at that place unless otherwise permitted by the employer as a part of the employer’s measures to combat the risk of transmission of the COVID 19 at the place of employment. The grant of permission to an employee under this paragraph shall not count against the leave entitlements of that employee unless otherwise agreed between the employer and the employee.
10. Offence and Penalty
A person who contravenes or incites a person to contravene any provision of this Order, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months or to both fine and imprisonment.
11. Duration of order
The Order shall be valid until revoked by the Quarantine Authority.
Anyone having any questions regarding this Order, may contact the Ministry of Health in Belmopan at 0-800-MOH-CARE (0-800-664-2273), or visit www.covid19.bz for more information.
Event: On Monday March 30, 2020, The Prime Minister announced his intent to request that the Governor General declare a 30-day State of Emergency in Belize. The State of Emergency will take effect on midnight Wednesday April 1, 2020 and includes a nightly curfew from 20:00 pm to 05:00 am. The purpose of the measures is to ensure that everyone in Belize complies with social distancing practices in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. A list of essential services and workers is being finalized. Banks and markets will remain open and people are encouraged to only leave their homes for reasons such as food shopping or other essential travel. We urge everyone to help prevent the spread of this pandemic. The public is urged to practice good hygiene by washing hands and following the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and the Government of Belize.