BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 18, 2021– Last Thursday, the Ministry of Health and Wellness released updated COVID-19 regulations which will extend until the end of 2021 after coming into force later this week on October 20.
Dr. Julio Sabido from the Ministry of Health and Wellness explained that the regulations will be in place until the end of the year in order to offer some form of certainty to the general population.
He said that the length of the nightly curfew period might be reduced by an additional hour come November 1 if there is a 5 to 10 percent drop in the country’s positivity rate.
”Providing that the positivity rate improves and the indicator will be between five and ten percent, come November first to November thirtieth, the curfew should move back to 10:00 p.m.; will start at 10:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 a.m.,” Dr. Sabido said during the bi-weekly Up 2 the Minute, MOHW webinar.
During the social media broadcast, Dr. Sabido explained the various regulations that will be in place.
“So these restrictions, the ones I am going to name right now, are going to last up to December 31, 2021. The curfew remains from nine p.m. to four a.m. Restaurants, saloons, diners and other similar establishments are allowed to operate. They may offer dining-in services by reservations only, but for no more than fifty percent of the seating capacity and for fully vaccinated persons only. Restaurants that have proper ventilation or a restaurant that has an open-air restaurant or an outdoor restaurant, or an alfresco dining restaurant that is allowed to operate may offer dining-in services by reservation only for no more than seventy-five percent of its seating capacity, with fully vaccinated persons only.” Dr. Sabido said.
He added that churches are to be allowed to hold indoor services at fifty percent seating capacity for fully vaccinated persons, who must observe all the public health protocols.
“Pastors are to be made responsible for the adherence of these public health measures and they can be fined for the first offense and closure for repeated offense,” Dr. Sabido noted.
Casinos and similar establishments are to remain closed, and competitive sports will be allowed only for fully vaccinated persons.
As for BPO’s, they will have to continue to have only 50% of their staff in their offices. Those persons will have to be vaccinated.
Owners of public transportation are asked to adhere to the protocols or be subject to fines and cancellation of licenses.
No-movement Sundays have been lifted as a part of these new protocols, which are to be enforced by the proprietors of the various establishments and institutions and through random checks by the COVID-19 Enforcement Unit.