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Belize restricts border, shuts airport to travelers

Chetumal, Q.R. — UPDATED MARCH 24: The government of Belize has decided to close its northern border for travelers, although it will continue to be open for shipments. The move is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Through a statement, the neighboring government highlights that to date they remain COVID-19 free, something they want to preserve. The Belize government says only Belize nationals, residents and diplomats can enter the country and may be subject to a 14-day quarantine.

The government also says its Phillip S.W. Goldson International Airport will suspend operations for commercial flights starting Monday, March 23, after the departure of its last scheduled flight and remain open only far cargo planes.

Crowds of 25 or more are restricted, including funerals, weddings and social events. This rule does not apply to places of employment. After a 30-day period, the government will make an assessment.

The travel restrictions also apply to people wishing to leave the country.

UPDATE: On March 23, Belize health officials announced their first positive case of coronavirus. They report it is that of a 38-year-old woman who traveled to the United States, making stops in Los Angeles (California) and Texas.