(PRESS RELEASE) – Belize’s health officials have been effectively managing the COVID-19 outbreak with support from the public. Belize has a total of 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 9 of which have fully recovered, and it has been 16 days since the last confirmed case.
A total of 995 tests have been administered so far. While the country remains under a State of Emergency (SoE), there has been an ease in some restrictions over the past few days.
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting all segments of Belize’s population, primarily people living in poverty situations. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) recognizes that it is imperative to reach out to help those in need. On this premise, BTB’s staff has come together to donate towards community outreach initiatives in several areas of the country. The first outreach was carried out last week, resulting in food packages being distributed to 100 families in Calla Creek village, Cayo district. The staff effort will continue over the next few months, with projects anticipated to be carried out across the country.
While dealing with the present social and economic impact of this pandemic, Belize remains optimistic that the industry will rebound and we are employing a strategic, proactive and inclusive approach to accelerate recovery. Most recently consultations were held with a wide cross-section of tourism stakeholders, as their input and participation will be vital to the restoration of the industry once travel resumes.
On Friday, April 24th, 2020, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), hosted a virtual meeting which had the participation of approximately 100 tourism stakeholders. The objectives of the meeting were to identify the financial and technical needs of the tourism industry during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery period; advise stakeholders on the level of support currently available; and determine how best to fill the gaps. The information gathered from the meeting will enable the DFC to reach out to international lenders for financing that can be tailored to suit the needs of industry stakeholders.
Additionally, the BTB has been actively engaged with the travel advisor community. One of main engagement tools has been the creation of a Facebook group called “Belize Travel Advisors & Friends”. The group aims to bring together members of the trade to educate on the destination, and for members to simply connect on the basis of Belize travels. On Friday, April 24th, a Webinar was held for stakeholders to discuss the strategies planned to keep the trade engaged and preparations for welcoming visitors back when travel is safe again.
The public is encouraged to continue practicing social distancing, avoid being in public places unless absolutely necessary and, when doing so, practice good hygiene. Any questions, concerns, information or clarification should be channeled through the Ministry of Health at 0-800-MOH-CARE. Persons can also contact the Ministry via its Facebook Page ‘Ministry of Health Belize’ or visit www.covid19.bz.