Belize reopened for tourism on October 1, 2020. To ease travel to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, a four-step system is introduced for travelers that are ready to plan their next trip to Belize.
From the rainforests to the sea, to the mysterious Maya world, Belize has a range of adventures no other country of its size can offer. Not to mention, friendly, unforgettable people who are more than happy to help visitors truly discover how to be.
Belize, formerly the colony of British Honduras, is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean (only the Caribbean Sea to its east), and the only one in the region with English as its official language. The country is located between Guatemala to the west and south and Mexico to the north. Belize’s network of highways and readily available flights within the country make it convenient to explore.
So you may tell want to hear the new four-step system, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the details!
Belize created a new Tourism Gold Standard program.
1- Before you travel
- Book travel to Belize at approved Gold Standard Hotels.
Download the Belize Health App and complete required information within 72 hours of your flight to Belize. Traveler will be given a unique ID when completed. The app is available for both iOS (for iPhone and iPad) . Have an Android device? Download the .apk file here until the app is available on Google Play.
- Watch the Belize Health App tutorial below for details:
- Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel.
- Follow all protocols of airlines and airports in the originating city.
2- Arrival in Belize
- Disembark the plane and proceed to Hospitality Meet & Greet.
- Proceed to Health Screening and testing
- Verify certified COVID-19 PCR test Results
a. NO TEST
You need to head to the testing area. You will need to get a swab test at a cost of $50 inside the airport’s testing area and self-isolate at their accommodations until results come back from the ministry of health. Visitors will receive their test results at their Gold Standard hotel via the Ministry of Health.
If travelers receive positive results during their trip, they will be placed in a minimum 14-day quarantine at their hotel—at their own expense—until the ministry of health gives them clearance to leave.
b. (-) TEST RESULT
If you provide a negative test result within 72 hours of flight, you can proceed to immigration and customs.
3- Immigration & Customs
- Immigration check. People should keep an eye on social distancing in the queue.
- After the check, you can proceed to the baggage claim.
- After baggage claim, you can proceed to customs. They may ask you to place your bags on luggage scanners for customs control.
- The final step here is to continue to your next transportation; either a domestic flight or ground transportation with approved Gold Standard Providers.
4- Your Stay in Belize
- Arrival at Gold Standard hotel within the Tourism Safe Corridor.
- Belize health app will check in daily (by Unique ID)
- If you show symptoms, the ministry of Health may ask test and may place you in quarantine. And departure upon health clearance.
Gold Standard Hotels
With the safety of travelers being top priority, visitors to Belize during Phase 3 of the country’s tourism reopening plan will stay at a certified Gold Standard Hotel that has been approved for reopening. These hotels are operating within a tourism safe corridor and have adapted new behaviors and procedure while ensuring minimal impact on guest experience.
Popular hotels such as; Hopkins Bay Belize in Stann Creek District, Island Magic Beach Resort in Caye Caulker, Victoria House Resort & Spa and Xanadu Island Resort in San Pedro Town include in the certified Gold Standard Hotel list.
Visitors to Belize must possess a passport valid for at least three months after the date of arrival and a return ticket with sufficient funds to cover their stay. Visitors are given a one-month stay, after which an extension can be applied for with the Immigration Department. Visas are not required for citizens of the United States and its territories, Canada, United Kingdom and its territories, European Union, Caribbean and Central American Countries.
Hospitals: There are three hospitals in Belize City; one public and two private. There are also hospitals and health clinics throughout the country.
Water: Potable water is available in most areas of Belize, but it is advisable to ask, and if in doubt, to drink boiled or bottled water.
Vaccinations: No vaccinations are required for entry, but anti-malaria tablets are recommended for extended stays in the jungle.
As of October 1, nonstop flights are available to Belize from Miami via American Airlines and Houston via United Airlines. Delta Air Lines will resume nonstop flights to BZE from Atlanta on November 20. You can use the search widget under the article for the most recent flights and prices.
Car: Depending on the course taken, the route through Mexico to Belize can be anywhere from 1,350 to 2,000 miles. Any visitors trying to drive into Belize from Guatemala or Mexico must obtain a temporary importation permit at the point of entry. Permits are only valid for one month and can be extended by applying to the Customs Department. Guatemala reopened its borders with Belize in September 2020. Travelers should check the latest updates during the pandemic about border closures.
To receive a permit, visitors must present the following at the point of entry: travel documents and identification, proof of ownership (vehicle registration), proof of insurance (available from any of the companies at the borders rental documents for vehicles rented in Mexico or Guatemala).
There are four major highways in Belize, including the Northern, Western, Southern and Hummingbird highways.
The following are road distances from Belize City to various destinations within the country:
- Belmopan: 55 miles
- Benque Viejo: 81 miles
- Corozal Town: 96 miles
- Dangriga: 105 miles
- Punta Gorda: 210 miles
- San Ignacio: 72 miles
Bus: Belize is bordered to the north by Mexico and to the west and south by Guatemala. Routes are offered from the U.S. border cities to Belize via Cancun, Mexico City and Chetumal. All buses connect with the Mexican cities with the border City of Chetumal. Regularly scheduled buses from Belize run to and from Chetumal to Belize City, stopping in Corozal and Orange Walk as well. Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio can also be accessed by bus from Guatemala City. Buses travel from any of these major Belize cities to almost any destination within the country.
Water Taxis: There is a regular schedule of water taxis traveling between Belize City and Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel, and St. George’s Caye. There is also a ferry from Corozal Town to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Furthermore, any hotels and resorts located on the other cayes either have private water taxis, or can arrange transport for guests.
Cruise and Private Vessel Ports of Entry: Cruise and private vessel ports of entry include the areas of Belize City, Corozal, Dangriga, Big Creek, San Pedro and Punta Gorda.
WHAT TO SEE & EXPERIENCE IN BELIZE?
THE BELIZE BARRIER REEF
As the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, this protected reef offers U.S. travelers the rare opportunity to view amazing underwater life via scuba diving or snorkeling without having to travel to the other side of the world.
Important archaeological sites and artifacts offering a window into ancient Maya life have been unearthed throughout Belize, and visitors may experience this mysterious world firsthand.
SOFT OR EXTREME ADVENTURE TRAVEL
Whether your clients prefer gentle adventures like hiking or extreme, heart-pumping action like rafting or deep caving, Belize has it all.
From jungle lodges to hiking to zip lining, Belize offers an array of rainforest experiences, putting visitors eye to eye with its abundant wildlife while proactively preserving this fragile ecosystem.
ONE DESTINATION, INFINITE EXPERIENCES
Belize is roughly the size of Massachusetts, and it’s easy to explore its diverse corners in one trip. For clients who want an irresistible mix of experiences—from underwater adventures to seaside relaxation to rainforest explorations to historic and cultural discoveries—Belize has it all.
Ready for your next trip to Belize?