BELIZE CITY, Mon. Apr. 6, 2020– The Easter holidays are the time of the year when Belizeans become tourists in our own country. Customarily, as soon as the annual Cross Country Cycling Race is finished, those who have not yet left the city usually do so.
This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only shut down Belize with a state of emergency which came into effect on April 1, but it has shut down the entire world, as hundreds of millions of people are forced to remain in their homes in the fight against the spread of the virus.
As a result, this year’s Cross Country Cycling Race has been cancelled and Easter travel in Belize will not be possible, since the government has now banned internal travel in the country.
On Friday, April 3, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in a video broadcast, announced the cancellation of Easter.
“Travel across district lines is curtailed, and Easter is cancelled, except, of course, as an opportunity for prayer, reflection and virtual attendance at the religious services that our churches will live stream,” Prime Minister Barrow said in his press statement.
PM Barrow continued, “You all know that our first two cases, one of which led to the infection of a third person, were imported. This fourth one seemingly was not. It, therefore, makes crystal clear the urgency of the heightened vigilance and protective measures that the State of Emergency is designed to achieve.”
“And there is yet more to be done. In the result, I will now, after a word of explanation, announce an additional ramp-up to our emergency regulations. Some days ago, we notified of our decision to place all Belizeans entering or re-entering Belize, under a mandatory fourteen-day quarantine. Since that time, around nineteen Belizeans are now confined in Corozal Town at two facilities,” he went on to say.
“Yet, they keep on coming. This is a stark reminder that our first two cases were brought in from LA and New York. The situation of Belizeans that have been in the U.S. and Mexico simply returning to the country willy-nilly, cannot be allowed to continue. It leaves the door wide open to importation of the virus and this can upend all our war efforts against COVID-19,” he said.
Feature photo courtesy: Belize Adventure