And that’s one more down. After imposing some of the strictest entry rules in Central America, requiring either proof of vaccination or a negative test, and routinely issuing quarantine orders for those who tested positive on arrival, Belize is finally removing all of its Covid entry requirements, returning to a pre-pandemic state of normality.
According to the Belize Tourism Board, the lifting of the measures has immediate effect. This means that, from this moment forward, tourists will not be subject to Covid travel rules arriving in Belize. This is great news both for vacationers and long-term travelers country-hopping across the increasingly popular Central America.
Here is everything you need to know about Belize’s latest policy update:
No Vaccination, No Testing – Entry Is As Easy As It Was In 2019
Belize is one of trendiest places to be in the Americas right now. Home to a vast jungle where some of the best preserved Mayan-era monuments can be found, including the landmark Caracol ruins, and an immaculate Caribbean coastline with turquoise waters and sandy beaches, the small nation is ready to reclaiming its status as a tourism powerhouse.
More than two years into the pandemic, Kevin Bernard, Belize’s Minister of Health and Wellness, has decided it is time to move on to the ‘next level’, one where the public is responsible for assessing Covid risks on their own, including whether they should wear masks, be vaccinated, or practice social distancing.
As Bernard stated, ‘it is now everyone’s personal responsibility to decide whether they want to be vaccinated or not‘, and that includes foreigners landing in Belize, who up until this week had been expected to comply with vaccine and testing requirements, as well as purchasing mandatory health insurance.
Luckily, since July 12, all of these prerequisites stopped applying.
Which Rules Have Been Scrapped And Which Ones Were Extended?
Bernard remarks that, now that ‘weaker variants’ of Covid are circulating and a majority of countries are jumping on the reopening trend, ‘the time has come’ for Belize to join them in taking the ‘pressure’ off of its health system, as well as easing rules at the border. In sum, none of the following are needed for travel to Belize:
- No vaccination or booster certificates
- No pre-departure testing, including for the unvaccinated
- No post-arrival testing
- No post-arrival quarantine, irrespective of immunization status
- No Covid health insurance
Flying from any departure points in North America into Belize City, or crossing any of the land borders with neighboring Mexico is as easy as it had once been, making this exciting country a strong contender for your next trip abroad. Direct flights are available from every major U.S. city, including Chicago, L.A., Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami and Orlando.
Despite the relaxation of health-related rules, the country’s authorities have reiterated that international visitors must continue booking their stays at a ‘Gold Standard’ hotel – namely one of the governments’ approved accommodation providers. The full list is available on the Belize Tourism Board’s official website.
Why You Should Still Get Insured Ahead Of Traveling To Belize
Even though insurance has ceased being an official requirement, it is our duty to remind you it remains a necessity. You wouldn’t think of traveling to another country without sufficient funds to cover all your expenses, the right amount of clothes or any of your travel essentials, so why are so many people treating insurance like it’s a waste of money?
In case you haven’t heard yet, air travel is in absolute turmoil right now, flight delays and cancellations having become the new normal. This includes airports in the Americas. Needless to say, purchasing insurance ahead of flying is a must, unless being stranded abroad or having travel plans ruined is not a big concern for you.
Even though they removed insurance as a precondition for travel, Belizean officials are aware insurance is still markedly important in the current volatile scenario. In fact, they are encouraging all travelers to get insured as an ‘extra level of protection’. You can find more about travel insurance fit for your trip to Belize here.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com