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10-person limit lifted from restaurants; churches remain closed

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 19, 2020– During the recent virtual press conference held on Friday, October 16, by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, it was announced that the 10-person restriction on the number of customers allowed to dine inside restaurants would be lifted by a new Statutory Instrument (SI).

As of Monday, October 19, restaurants will be allowed to serve more than 10 persons on their premises, provided that the square footage in the establishment allows for it.

The six-foot social distance regulation will remain in place, and restaurant owners will need to ensure that tables are properly demarcated to remain compliant with the law.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow said, “You have to have the tables set apart so that you observe the social distancing protocol, and you can’t have more than ten persons at any one table; ten persons of the same party can be at the same table together, but that number can’t exceed ten.”

In the same breath, the PM announced that churches, notwithstanding the relaxation afforded to restaurants, would remain closed.

He said that small churches are unable to adhere to the protocols and that the “aerosolization” produced by choir singing and loud sermons at the podium could result in increased infections.

“Do understand, though, that this kind of thing is always under review. The Belize Council of Churches has a representative, has representation on the NOC in the person of Rev. Andella Moore, and you can rest assured that she is extremely conscientious in trying to ensure that, in fact, churches are not left behind whenever we contemplate any kind of liberalization,” Barrow said.

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