Hon. Andre Perez, Area Representative of Belize Rural South and Minister of The Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, met last night with key island departments and stakeholders in San Pedro to discuss a joint plan in preparing San Pedro and Caye Caulker communities as Belize prepares to open its land borders.
Hon. Perez’s main objective is to chart a way forward in preparing his constituency for the further influx of visitors to the islands as Belize slowly phases the opening of its land borders. One of the main objectives was a dialog with the attendants to identify goals to make it safer and more efficient for visitors/tourists as they enjoy their stay on both islands.
Attendants got the opportunity to express their concerns and bring forward ideas that the task force can target as the island prepares to bring back tourism on its feet in Belize. Issues raised included, among others:
- Lack of Health facilities
- Proper PR from government workers
- Looking after the needs of tourism workers
- Upkeep of streets and roads
- Improving environment of neighborhoods
- Testing employees for Covid-19 on a regular basis
- Lack of government offices in Caye Caulker
Belize has not set a date for the opening of the country’s land borders as government is looking into the right time to commence a phased opening and take the proper precautionary measures to mitigate another wave of the pandemic. At the moment COVID-19 cases in both bordering countries of Mexico and Guatemala are still high. Hon. Perez stressed that preparation is key to safeguard our nation and his initiative to bring together a task force is crucial.
Moving forward, the said task force was created with members of the Health Department, Port Authority, Immigration, Customs, Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), Coast Guard, San Pedro Police Department, Border Control, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), Tax Department, Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Fisheries Department. All these island departments were representing at the meeting and members expressed their complete solidarity to make the task force successful in preparing both San Pedro and Caye Caulker.
The open discussion was chaired by Minister Honorable Andre Perez and Chief Executive Officer, Kennedy Carrillo. A meeting has already been scheduled for the task force to commence planning and action.