As the global rollout of vaccines combats the threat of COVID-19, nations around the world are beginning to ease border restrictions contingent upon vaccination status. Most recently joining the list is Belize, which released a public health order taking effect on February 28.
The new health order states:
Every person who enters Belize through the airport and provides proof of immunization shall not be required to submit to testing under regulation 25.
* Immunization refers to having received two full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Belize originally shut down borders in April 2020, extending the closure multiple times until reopening in October, under mandatory testing requirements and safety protocols.
The latest update on Belize allows vaccinated travelers to enter the country without testing requirements, so long as the vaccine has been administered at least two weeks prior to arrival.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has likewise updated its Travel Regulations Map to reflect this change. IATA governs the technical standards of international airlines, thus confirming that vaccinated travelers are now able to board a flight to Belize without a test document.
Belize has shown tremendous success in its efforts to control the transmission of COVID-19, having effectively reduced daily new cases consistently since its peak in December. The country recorded six new cases on March 5, facilitating its move to lift restrictions on immunized travelers.
Furthermore, the rapid rollout of vaccines in its prime tourism market, the U.S., undoubtedly played a role in Belize’s decision to join the 12 nations currently open to vaccinated travelers.
Located on the eastern coast of Central America, Belize is largely popular among American tourists due to its Caribbean climate and close proximity.
The U.S. is currently pacing an average of 2 million vaccines administered per day, ramping up from its previous speed of 1.3 million recorded by CDC just last month.
New vaccination facilities are opening up across the U.S. as existing sites expand capacity in response to the country’s aggressive vaccination campaign and the recent influx of doses from Johnson & Johnson.
President Biden made a commitment to administer 100 million vaccines within 100 days in office, landing on April 30th. Accordingly, 85+million doses have been administered to date, with 55.5+ million Americans having received one or more doses of the three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for emergency use in the U.S.
American Travelers to Belize
In allowing entry without testing to immunized travelers, Belize is opening its gateways to the 28,701,201- and growing- fully vaccinated Americans.
American travelers to Belize will need the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card issued by the CDC as proof of vaccination. This entails the type of vaccine, date, and location. The physical documentation allows Americans to bypass the testing requirement in Belize.
Entry Requirements for Vaccinated Travelers
1. COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (applicable to Americans) / government-issued vaccination documentation (applicable to international travelers).
2. Copy of QR Code upon completion of Belize health app within 72 hours of departure.
3. Confirmation of reservation at a certified Gold Standard accommodation.
General Entry Requirements
All travelers to Belize- immunized or not- must download the Belize health app and fill out all required information, within three days of flight departure.
Non-vaccinated travelers are subject to entry requirements under one of the following three options:
1. PCR test in your home country within 96 hours of travel; This enables access to the fast track lane at the airport.
2. Rapid Antigen test within 48 hours of travel into Belize.
3. If passengers fail to present a negative PCR or antigen test, one will be performed at the airport at the traveler’s expense of USD50 and they must then isolate at a government-approved hotel until results become available.
Quarantine Entry Requirements
Not applicable to vaccinated tourists or those arriving with timely negative test documentation.
Travelers testing positive or refusing to take a test upon arrival will be subject to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.
Countries Permitted To Visit Belize
Belize is accepting travelers from all countries, under regular visa requirements.
The below countries do not need a visa to enter Belize.
‘Gold Standard’ Accommodation Requirements
At the current stage of reopening, travelers to Belize must only book ‘Gold Standard’ accommodation.
There are currently 288 hotels, villas, and B&Bs with accreditation. See the full list here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com