Belize Just Dropped All COVID-19-related Entry Restrictions — What to Know

·2 min read
Passengers waiting for their flights inside international Philip S W Goldson Airport.
Passengers waiting for their flights inside international Philip S W Goldson Airport.

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The Central American country of Belize rolled back pandemic-related entry restrictions on Friday, July 15, becoming the latest destination to do so.

Going forward, visitors to Belize will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter land and sea borders, the Belize Tourism Board shared with Travel + Leisure.

"With the emergence of weaker variants of COVID-19 and with the global trend of restrictions being relaxed, the time has come to take the pressure off of our health systems," Kevin Bernard, the minister of health and wellness for Belize, said in a statement provided to T+L. "We've reached a level where it's now everyone's personal responsibility to decide whether they want to be vaccinated or not."

Travelers will also no longer be required to purchase the Belize Travel Health Insurance plan, but the country will continue to offer it as an optional and "encouraged" add-on. The policy costs $18 for three weeks of coverage.

While the country has significantly relaxed entry rules, international visitors are still required to book a stay at a BTB Gold Standard-approved hotel, according to the tourism board. Travelers can search for a "gold standard" hotel on the tourism board's website.

The move comes months after Belize dropped pre-arrival testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers as well as eliminated mask rules and capacity restrictions at restaurants. Previously, unvaccinated travelers were required to show proof of a negative test taken before their arrival and undergo mandatory testing at the border.

With its new rules, Belize joins several other destinations around the world that have eliminated all COVID-19-related entry rules, like the Bahamas, Grenada, Aruba, Bonaire, Australia, Italy, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Croatia, and the United Kingdom.

Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world (behind only Australia's Great Barrier Reef), along with the Great Blue Hole, ancient Mayan ruins, remote islands, waterfalls, and more.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.