Pressure is increasing to open the Belize International Airport, but Belize continues its firm continuation of the State of Emergency though to the end of this month. Any decision on relaxing the State of Emergency must be approved by The National Oversight Committee which is co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.
More than fifty hoteliers have signed a letter to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition asking that they open the international airport on July 1 saying that if Belize wants to continue to be a top tier Caribbean and Central American destination, travelers need to know so they can plan. The head of the Belize Hotel Association said “We need all the mechanisms for checking, rapid tests, guarantees that guests coming are not infected but we want to speed up the process and see what is the best way possible”.
The Belize Tourism Industry Association notes that while estimates vary, approximately 40% of Belize’s GDP is from international tourism. The association stresses that there can be no recovery of the economy without the recovery of the tourism sector.
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry warns of the looming foreign exchange crisis brought on by covid-19. The Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, is working extremely hard to ensure there is no foreign exchange crisis. Mr. Barrow announced funds are coming from the Inter-American Development Bank financial package with more to come from Taiwan, the World Bank and OPEC Fund to a total of US$ 100 million such that the reserve position surpasses the traditional three months of import cover. His latest innovation is a first-ever US dollar denominated Treasure Note that was launched on June 5. The US$ 30 million proceeds will augment official Central Bank reserves while the maturity is tailor-made to span the crisis.
Belize after being covid-19 free for weeks now has one reported case. A Belizean returning on a cruise ship as part of an established procedure was tested and found to have the virus. Contact tracing is underway.
The Prime Minister of Belize avows thаt tоurіѕm wіll bе bасk іn by the start of the high season and says he hopes it will be back much earlier. Belize is not yet ready tаkе thе rіѕk оf rеіntrоduсіng СОVІD-19 bу ореnіng uр thе bоrdеrѕ wіthоut rаріd reliable tеѕtіng. If the world is not able to find fіnd reliable rаріd tеѕts, Веlіzе wіll hаvе tо tаkе thе rіѕk оf rеіntrоduсіng СОVІD-19 bу ореnіng uр thе bоrdеrѕ, оr “lіtеrаllу dуіng” frоm thе аbѕеnсе оf еаrnіngѕ nоw rаіѕеd bу tоurіѕm аnd оthеr lосаl есоnоmіс асtіvіtу