Visitors who’d set their sights on a seaside adventure in Belize will be required to purchase an official travel insurance policy. This mandate will remain in place for 21 days and intends to cover emergencies related to medical conditions, evacuation, and quarantine lodging. By Eshita Srinivas
Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, thousands flock to Belize every year to photograph howler monkeys, take in the stunning sights of the pine forests, explore caves, and engage in scuba-diving and snorkelling. In order to make these activities possible during the pandemic, the Belize Tourism Board has announced that starting February 15, all international visitors will need to purchase an official travel insurance policy.
The Belize travel health insurance can be bought prior to departure or at the airport
Although it is recommended that travellers purchase the official travel health insurance before their departure, provisions have been made to make purchases at the Philip Goldson international airport, as per the official update. The policy costs USD 18 (INR 1,337) and will cover up to USD 50,000 (INR 37,16,155) in COVID-19 medical expenses and up to USD 2,000 (INR 1,48,646) for quarantine lodging, should that be required.
In addition to this, it will cover trip cancellations, emergency evacuations, and any other medical conditions, and will remain in effect for 21 days. In a report by Breaking Belize News, the tourism board added, “The new travel health insurance mandate underscores Belize’s commitment to health and safety, enhancing travel confidence and giving visitors peace of mind to schedule that well-deserved vacation for 2022 and beyond.”
At the moment, travellers are already mandated to test negative for COVID-19, regardless of the vaccination status, in order to enter the country. A negative RT-PCR test taken no longer than 96 hours from the time of arrival in Belize or an antigen test taken within 48 hours is accepted, while at-home test kit results are not. At the airport, the cost of a test on site is USD 50 (INR 4,386). Those who test positive will need to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. Children under the age of 5 are exempt from this.
Loop Caribbean News reports that while in Belize, visitors have been asked to stick to hotels and tour operators whose COVID-19 safety policies have been approved by the government. This list is consistently updated and includes 700 accommodations and 250 tour operators at the moment.
These mandates do not apply to Belizean nationals, permanent residents, flight crews, and travellers with QRP or long stay status.