Ministry of Tourism CEO says easing COVID regulations can help industry – Love FM
The health measures related to COVID introduced at the start of the pandemic are now relaxed. As of last week, tourists entering Belize are no longer required to carry travel insurance. For tourists and locals, when arriving in Belize by land and sea, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test is required. The easing of measures is seen as a way to encourage more tourists to visit the country. Director General at the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Nicole Solano spoke about it today to Love News.
Nicole Solano, CEO, Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations: “It is no longer a requirement under public health regulations for travelers entering Belize to present tests or a vaccine card upon entry. In addition, they are no longer required to take out the compulsory travel insurance. So those are the two main adjustments for travel and for entry. Generally, around the world, many entry requirements are relaxed. COVID is not gone. It is always with us. There are other biosecurity concerns, but the world is moving towards easing entry requirements. So, Belize has also passed this milestone and this should be a positive thing in terms of tourists traveling to Belize. It’s easier for you to get in. You don’t have to incur any additional expense and it helps us in terms of the number of arrivals we see in the future.
Although restrictions have been eased, there is concern after Belize confirmed the presence of the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain of COVID. For now, Solano says Belize is monitoring the situation but it is still too early to know if compulsory insurance will be reintroduced.
Nicole Solano, CEO, Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations: “Travel insurance, currently, is now optional, so people still have the option of buying it. We don’t know what we will face in the future, so we are monitoring all factors that affect tourism in a health perspective. This may become necessary and these are the decisions we will make based on the advice of the Ministry of Health and based on their assessment of what is necessary to keep Belizeans as well as travelers safe. so the monitoring doesn’t stop. It’s going to continue and we have to be flexible and make adjustments as we go along, as needed. So that’s not to say we’re saying it won’t change. It will really depend on what the future holds and we don’t know that right now.