NEWS

2021 in Belize: A Year of Hope, Reminiscence, Optimism & Safe Travel

10 February 21

We hope you are all continuing to stay safe and well as we watch 2021 unfold. With a population just short of 400,000 in tiny Belize, tourism is a major lifeline. More than half of the people have had their standard of living gravely impacted and since the resumption of international flights on October 1st, many have benefited in some way from the extremely welcome return of visitors.

Amidst the current dialogue surrounding ethics and travel, here in Belize, visitors who are comfortable traveling are firmly welcomed. With “Gold Standard” certified accommodations, tour operators and transfer services operating in accordance with stringent procedures, laws surrounding mask-wearing, social distancing and operating protocols for outdoor restaurants and bars, we are open for business, safely.

Down Under, Tailor Made by Absolute Belize

Traveling Safely

We know that health and safety are now at the forefront of the decision-making process regarding travel and where to go in 2021. We’ve traveled around Belize to experience firsthand the safety measures that hotels and businesses have put in place. The resorts we recommend—such as Matachica on Ambergris Caye, the Lodge at Chaa Creek in San Ignacio, and Turtle Inn in Placencia—have standalone casitas, cabanas, or villas and have obtained Belize’s Gold Standard certification.

On our yacht charters, the captain and first mate are tested prior to your arrival; while aboard the boat, they do daily temperature checks, wear masks, and sanitize regularly. Our private guides and drivers wear masks and have daily temperature checks, and vehicles are sanitized before and after use. Most restaurants are open-air and have been set up for easy social distancing. In light of the fluid situation with COVID-19, we have adapted our cancellation policies depending on the hotel a traveler chooses: The Lodge at Chaa Creek, for example, will give a full refund up to 15 days before arrival and a full credit if your trip is less than two weeks out.

We remain committed to ensuring your travels are safe and as flexible as possible based on these changing dynamics.

Optimism, Celebrating Our 10th at AB
Our 10th Anniversary at Absolute Belize wasn’t quite as expected, but we counted our blessings, put hope into the universe and delayed our celebrations until we can safely do so.

We will be sharing our top 10 things that we love the most about our ‘garden of Eden’ Belize. We’ll cover everything from remote atolls, cultural experiences, divine dishes, our most exhilarating escapades and some insider tips from our expert knowledge bank.

Keep an eye out for our Instagram stories as Rachael and Patricia take you along on-site visits, weekend getaways and personal travel trips with all the insider info on what’s happening in Belize. The first story is coming shortly!

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Latest: Covid Testing Update

27 January 21
Latest Travel Update: Testing options before your departure in Belize
In light of the new entry requirements to the USA requiring all visitors, residents and US citizens to show proof of a negative Covid19 test (PCR or Antigen test) within 72 hours of their departure from Belize, we wanted to provide an update and further information.

In response to this new requirement, testing sites are available at medical facilities countrywide and we will work with the Concierge at your Gold Standard Hotel to arrange testing. The Belize Diagnostic Centre offers a CDC compliant testing concierge service authorised by the Belize Ministry of Health and Wellness in the following locations:
 – Belize City
 – San Pedro
 – Caye Caulker
 – San Ignacio
 – Placencia
 – Hopkins
Testing can take place wherever you are staying by making a prearranged house call. The cost is US$75 per person based on 4 people, or $100 per person for a party less than 4. Test results are available onsite within 30 minutes.

We know that health and safety are at the forefront of the decision-making process on whether to travel and where to go in 2021. Belize is committed to making this new process as seamless as possible causing little disruption to your vacation plans. We are here to assist on the ground with any special arrangements needed.
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Latest Travel Update: New US testing requirements for entry into the US

15 January 21
In light of the new entry requirements to the USA requiring all visitors, residents and US citizens to show proof of a negative Covid19 test (PCR and Antigen test) within 72 hours of their departure from Belize, we wanted to provide an update. The regulation will take effect on January 26th requiring paper or electronic proof. Those who have tested positive within the past 3 months before travel needs to bring proof that they have recovered from the virus and are cleared to travel by a licensed healthcare provider.

In response to this new requirement, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), after consultation with the Belize Ministry of Health and Wellness has confirmed that testing will be expanded and made available to all passengers departing Belize for the U.S. Further details including cost and testing locations across the country are being determined and we will provide a further update as these elements are clarified.

In the event that a guest tests positive and is unable to travel home, we will work closely with guests to organize the best possible services and care on a case by case basis. Guests may remain in their Gold Standard certified hotel (in isolation) with in-room comforts and room service available.

During these challenging times for travelers and tourism businesses, we are extremely grateful for our visitors and our commitment is to ensure the best travel experience possible. We hope to see you soon!

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Belize is Open

21 December 20

The Philip Goldson International Airport has reopened since October 1st, 2020 with enhanced health and safety protocols at the airport, hotels, restaurants and all public spaces.

In order for establishments to open to tourists “Gold Standard Recognition” certification is required which ensures hotels are rigorously following the 9 Step recognition program with enhanced protocols with regards to cleaning, sanitizing, management of inventory, distancing of staff,  regular monitoring and reporting.

Establishments that have already received their Gold Standard Certification include our sister company Belize Sailing VacationsCayo EspantoChaa CreekNaia Resort & SpaPortofino ResortRay CayeThe Ellysian Boutique Resort and Victoria House among others.

A series of health and safety protocols have been put in place to protect visitors, Belizeans, and our communities from the spread of COVID-19.

Below is an overview of the new procedures for travel to Belize:

  • All passengers traveling to Belize will be required to download the Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding the flight to Belize.  A QR code with a unique ID number will be returned to the passenger and will be used for contact tracing while in Belize.
  • Passengers are encouraged to take a COVID PCR test within 96 hours  or a rapid test within 48 hours of travel to Belize.

Entry Requirements

  • Passengers that provide certification of a negative test result will be allowed immediate entry into Belize via a ‘fast track’ lane.
  • Passengers that do not provide a negative Covid-19 test must test upon arrival in Belize, at the passenger’s expense. The cost of the test is US$50.00.
  • Proceed to Immigration and Customs, and then exit the airport via the Safe Corridor using an approved Gold Standard transportation service.  You will receive your test results at your Gold Standard hotel via the Ministry of Health.
  • Passengers who test positive for Covid-19 at the Belize International Airport will be placed in mandatory quarantine until the Ministry of Health provides clearance and must test negative prior to departure.

All visitors to Belize will be required to:

  • Wear a mask during the entire landing, deplaning and arrival process, and while inside the airport.
  • Undergo temperature checks using non-contact digital infrared thermometers or Thermal Imaging Cameras.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines in all queues for health checks, immigration and customs inspections.
  • Follow and respond to the comprehensive, pro-active contact tracing guidelines to facilitate an appropriate and rapid response from health officials should Covid-19 symptoms develop.
  • Utilize the sanitizing stations to sanitize hands frequently and facilitate other health screening requirements on arrival.

Feel free to visit the Belize Tourism Board’s website for frequently asked questions regarding traveling to Belize. We look forward to welcoming you to Belize soon!

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BELIZE POSTPONES TOURISM REOPENING

11 August 20

In a recent press conference the Prime Minister of Belize – Rt. Hon. Dean O. Barrow – announced that due to an increase in local Covid-19 cases it was necessary to delay the re-opening of the Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), which was scheduled for August 15th, 2020.

The health and safety of all international travellers and residents of Belize is of paramount importance.

We are dedicated to safeguarding your trip in the event of circumstances that mean you are unable to travel. There is no global unilateral consensus on travel terms and conditions from hotel to hotel, yacht charter to yacht charter nor airline to airline. In Belize, all of our preferred hotels, boutique retreats, private villas and all-inclusive yacht charters have relaxed cancellation terms and offered more flexibility for rebooking as a whole.

We look forward to welcoming back our guests when it is safe and viable to do so.

In the meantime, stay safe and well, we miss you!

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Whether you want an action packed agenda in the water and the jungle, or simply spend some quality time in a hammock, Belize has something for all tastes and tempos.

Map of Belize, showing our 4 main regions
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