Beautiful Belize Opens Today for Canadians, Other Visitors
Following the border closure due to COVID-19 safety measures, Belize today (Oct. 1, 2020) reopened for international leisure travel.
As the health and safety of both travellers and locals are a top priority for Belize, the country has introduced a Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program and tourism safe corridor. The Gold Standard Recognition Program aims to certify accommodations and tour operators that have adapted new behaviours and health and safety procedures while ensuring minimal impact on guest experience.
Tourism officials told Canadian Travel News that a covid test is required 72 hours in advance of travel, and quarantine is only required if the test returns a positive result. Full health details for visitors can be found here.
In this first phase of reopening, only Gold Standard hotels approved to reopen within the tourism safe corridor will be available to travellers; the safe corridor is a temporary measure and will minimize the interaction between tourists and the local community to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“We need to think of our citizens as well; and these new measures protect them while also setting the stage for the safe return of international travellers to enjoy the Belizean experience and support our tourism industry,” said Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism at BTB.
The Tourism Gold Standard program is a nine-point system designed to enhance Belize’s health and safety standards by implementing new procedures, including the mandatory use of face masks, social distancing, contactless guest solutions, enhanced room cleaning, daily staff and guest health checks, and restricted capacity for restaurants and tours.
More on Belize’s reopening protocols can be found here (https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/ ) along with the approved Gold Standard hotels. New properties are added daily, so travellers are encouraged to visit often for updates.
The Gold Standard seal is an outward sign to assure travellers that tourism entities have implemented the proper health and safety protocols to protect guests. While in Belize guests should look for the Gold Standard certificate or Safety seal to ensure that their accommodation and/or tour operator has implemented the enhanced health and safety measures and has been approved for reopening.
“There’s no question that promoting this kind of safety precaution is absolutely essential for destinations that are reopening to commercial travel,” said Bevans. “While we’re hopeful that Belize’s tourism industry will rebound, we know that the only way to do so is by combating the pandemic on every front and protect our citizens and visitors.”