BELMOPAN, Belize – Prime Minister John Briceno says he will support a move to lift the curfew imposed here as part of the efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has killed 645 and infected 56,256 others since March 2020.
“I think I was one of the first that said, way back when I was co-chair with former prime minister (Dean) Barrow, that we have to learn to live with COVID. I realise that COVID is going to be here to stay and so in cabinet, we’ve been looking at ways and at the same time following the science as to how we can lift some of these restrictions,” Briceno said.
Health and Wellness Minister, Kevin Bernard, has said he will be presenting to Cabinet later on Tuesday a paper calling for an end to the curfew and the easing of the other restrictions.
He said he hopes to make the announcement later this week on the changes to be made.
“This week, I am taking that paper to Cabinet. So I am prepared thereafter, at the end of the this week, to make my presentation to the media as to what we are going to do, what are the restrictions that we are going to lift and those restrictions we are hoping will take effect on the first of March,” Bernard said.
“As you look at trends around the world, you’ll see where other bigger countries are easing and some of them getting rid of restrictions completely. I don’t personally think we are at that stage yet in Belize where we are going to get rid of our mask and certain things.
“I think the mask mandate must remain for a while and that is the recommendation coming from my medical response team and also from my personal medical advisors that I have. I do support the removal of the curfew completely, I do support that we need to open up for sports, we need to open up for some events with restrictions, of course, with certain limitations,” Bernard said.
The minister warned at the same time, “our people need to go back to some level of normalcy in this country after two years with”.
Prime Minister said that the curfew has been in place “for too long” even as he acknowledged that “it was necessary.
“But there comes a time. COVID is going to be here and fortunately, the Omicron variant is not as serious as the Delta and so we believe that it is time to look at how we can open up, easing up restrictions, easing up on the curfew and finding ways on how we can better work and operate in Belize, as they call it, living with COVID.”