Starting Monday, August 9, 2021, Belize will no longer be making exceptions for vaccinated passengers to skip testing and will require a negative covid test from all arrivals, regardless of vaccination status.
Belize was one of the first countries worldwide to implement exemptions for vaccinated passengers to skip testing back in February. Now after almost 6 months of allowing fully vaccinated passengers to skip all testing, they are removing the exception due to concerns over Delta variants.
The new testing rule comes as a surprise, as Belize has not seen a considerable number of new cases, hospitalizations, or deaths due to Delta, but some say the rule is being put into place as a precautionary measure to ensure that doesn’t happen.
A press release from the Belize Tourism Board states: “These measures are being put in place in view of the increased risks posed by recent variants of the Covid-19 virus and in an effort to protect both international visitors and the local population.”
The most recent data shows only 13% of the population is fully vaccinated and 20% having received at least the first shot.
No more exemptions for vaccinated travelers
As of August 9th, all passengers will be required to submit proof of a negative test. If the test is PCR-based, it needs to be taken a maximum of 96-hours before arrival, and if the test is antigen-based, the time frame is 48 hours. Children under the age of 5 will be exempt from testing.
If for some reason the test is not valid, passengers will be tested at the airport at their own expense of $50 USD.
Crossing into Belize via open land borders (Northern and Western borders) will require testing done in real-time. Antigen-type rapid tests will be administered to all land border passengers over the age of 5 at a cost of approx. $50 USD. PCR or antigen tests already performed before crossing the land border will be accepted.
Other entry requirements into Belize remain unchanged, like the requirement for tourists to only stay at Gold Standard Certified hotels and accommodations.
Not the first country to remove exceptions for vaccinated travelers
All throughout the spring, we saw the list of countries making exceptions for vaccinated travelers grow, but now as of August 2021, the list is slowly retracting due to Delta concerns.
The Maldives and French Polynesia have both recently made amendments to their entry requirements, removing the easy access they once had for fully vaccinated travelers. Now all passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must also provide a negative test for entry.
As many countries are expecting third and fourth waves into fall 2021, more backtracking on exemptions for vaccinated passengers may be on the horizon.
This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories