On Saturday, March 14, 2020, at around 5:00p.m. Belizean authorities refused the entry of a water taxi traveling to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize from Chetumal, Mexico. The vessel contained 50 passengers, 16 of them European and 34 of other nationalities, all of which had to return to Chetumal due to the COVID-19 break out in European countries.
Members of the Belize Coast Guard, Port Authority and other officials stopped the boat a few miles west of Ambergris Caye before the vessel could dock at the international water terminal. The members of the water taxi were refusing to return to Chetumal, Mexico and remained on the vessel anchored off San Pedro for a few hours.
Contrary to reports that the passengers remained on the vessel overnight at sea outside of Ambergris Caye, Commander of the Belize Coast Guard confirmed that they were escorted by the Belize Coast Guard back to the Chetumal port. The Coast Guard made contact with Mexican authorities who were on standby to receive the passengers onboard a water taxi. The water taxi company also made contact with Mexican authorities to ensure the safety of their passengers before turning back.
According to our sources, the vessel arrived at the port in Chetumal at around 8:30p.m. where all the passengers and boat crew were examined on the vessel by medical personnel before they could set foot on Mexican soil. None of the passengers will be allowed back to Belize, except the boat crew.
It seems that the 16 European nationals had attempted to enter Belize via the northern land border via ADO bus service, but were denied entry to Belize before they attempted to come by sea. The water taxi boat and crew are scheduled to return to Ambergris Caye today, March 15, 2020. Crew members will be examined by Belizean health officials upon their arrival and prompted to take self-quarantine for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
Latest Update on COVID-19 - Belize Ministry of Health Advisory No. 11
Belmopan. March 15, 2020. To date, Belize has no confirmed case of COVID-19; however, the Government of Belize is taking all necessary preventative measures to protect the population of Belize. Given the growing global public health concern and the imminent threat to Belize, the Government of Belize announces the following updated travel restrictions effective today, March 15, 2020:
1. Nationals and persons who have traveled within the last 30 days from China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and Europe will be prohibited entry into Belize. This restricted travel list of countries will be continuously monitored and updated as necessary.
2. All Belizean nationals and residents returning to Belize through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries or an area where community infection and spread is present will be placed under self-isolation upon arrival and expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.
3. Belizean nationals or residents returning to Belize who have been abroad and believe that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to contact their local healthcare provider.
4. Non-essential travel by Belizean nationals and residents to other countries is highly discouraged.
These measures are being taken to protect the health and well-being of the population of Belize in an effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Click Here for More News on Ambergris Today Online