The Central American nation of Belize will introduce mandatory travel insurance for all international visitors from 15 February, to cover medical and other expenses incurred in the event of a positive Covid test.
The insurance will cost US$18 per person and will cover Covid-19 medical expenses for a cost of up to $50,000, for a period of 21 days. The insurance will also cover quarantine lodging expenses of up to $2,000.
Evan Tillett, Chairman of the Belize Tourism Board, commented: “What we are seeing is that in some cases, guests test positive after they already spent their vacation, and the public health regulation says that it is at the cost of the visitor. A lot of times these visitors don’t have the money to pay for it. So, having the insurance provides a level of coverage, a level of safety, for the guest and for the industry.”
Tillett highlighted that similar policies have already been enacted in other countries, including the Caribbean nation of Turks and Caicos. He added that: “Given the fact of the importance of the tourism sector in Belize, giving 40 per cent of gross domestic product, it’s important that we protect our industry, our locals, our guests.”
Belize currently has recorded a total of 39,890 Covid-19 infections and 607 related deaths since March 2020, and currently has over 6,500 active cases. On 13 January it reported 940 cases, with a seven-day average of 669.