BENQUE VIEJO, Cayo District, Wed. Sept. 1, 2021– Since Tuesday, August 31, Guatemalan truckers have been protesting at the Western Border, where they are blocking the entrance into Belize.
The primary reason for the protest is the current requirement that these truckers be tested for Covid-19 each time they cross the border, which sometimes takes place two or three times a week — thus resulting in a considerable increase in the expenses shouldered by these drivers.
Just yesterday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness released a statement reiterating its position on mandatory testing for those persons crossing the border. It also said once more that testing is to be carried out at those persons’ expense.
There are local media reports that a private company, presumably authorized by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, is administering Covid-19 testing at the Western border.
The truckers are now asking for the regulations to be revisited, since they are frequently entering and exiting the country as a part of their business.
This morning, Guatemalan truckers once again blocked the road at the Melchor wide of the border protesting the reiterated MOHW stances of mandatory testing. These truckers who come to the Belize side of the border two or three times a week to purchase ground corn from Spanish Lookout dread having to endure the Covid-19 nasal swap each time the need to enter the country.
They are asking they they be tested just once a week and are willing to pay the cost of the Covid-19 test but does not any the be administered the painful nasal swap.
As of this morning, a Guatemalan truck owner information local media that the blockage of the Melchor road is stopping important construction supplies from entering the country. Persons entering from across the border reportedly pay $100 BZD for each Covid-19 test, $60 in custodian fees and a next $100 in taxi fee for every two trucks according to a truck owner.