BELIZE CITY, Mon. May 11, 2020– By the end of today, if no one in Belize tests positive for the novel coronavirus, 28 days will have passed since there has been any new confirmed case of the virus in the country.
While we are not yet out of the proverbial woods, so to speak, the 28-day milestone is important, because it will bring an easing of some of the State of Emergency restrictions as the country’s economy continues to stir into life slowly.
On the other hand, if the virus re-appears in a second wave, that would lead us right back to the severe restrictions that have characterized the first State of Emergency (SoE) that government implemented in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Friday, during remarks made at his virtual press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised that government would ease some of the SoE restrictions.
“Now, as you know, there is still no new confirmed COVID-19 case, and Monday will be the 28th day; we will reach that 28th day marker, provided this position of no new positive cases holds through this weekend. If it does so, and we do reach that 28-day milestone, we can promise you a further relaxation of some of the remaining restrictions,” he said.
The National Oversight Committee will meet as usual on Monday, followed by Cabinet on Tuesday. They will be asked now to provide for greater cross-district movement, “particularly so as to enable a domestic tourism push,” Barrow explained.
Although government has moved cautiously to re-open the economy, and most businesses have been allowed to open, there are still restrictions in place preventing gymnasiums, spas, bars and casinos from operating.