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It is unfortunate that the Office of Director of Health Services recorded 10 deaths in Belize on Friday, November 13, 2020. The Corona Virus Pandemic keeps strengthening day by day as, on average, over a hundred cases are reported daily. Yesterday, 385 samples were processed with 119 cases positive for SARS-CoV2 confirmed; this is a positivity rate of 30.9% for that day.

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Despite of the COVID-19 Pandemic and recovery efforts after Hurricane ETA, Belizeans in impressive numbers voted in the country’s general elections, ousting the United Democratic Party and welcoming the People’s United Party. By 9:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 11, 2020, UDP Party Leader Patrick Faber conceded defeat and sent a congratulatory message to Johnny Briceño.

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Press Release, Oceana Belize, Belmopan, Belize - In a landmark step to protect livelihoods and strengthen marine conservation, the Government of Belize, on Thursday, November 5, 2020, passed the Statutory Instrument 158 of 2020 titled Fisheries Resources (Gill Net Prohibition) Regulations 2020, banning the possession and use of gillnets in Belize’s marine territorial seas, Exclusive Economic Zone and internal waters. This legislative step thus, renders all gillnet licenses invalid.

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The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) this week announced the release of the Belize Travel & Tourism Statistics Digest 2019, a digitally interactive publication produced by the BTB in an effort to provide the Tourism Industry with the latest reports on tourism trends. Tourism has developed into one of Belize’s main industries and has become the country’s number one foreign exchange earner.

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American Airlines, which announced plans to offer COVID-19 testing for flights to Jamaica, Hawaii, and the Bahamas in September, said it would expand its pre-flight testing program to encompass Belize, Grenada, and St. Lucia. The move comes as the airline seeks to help travelers comply with the entry regulations the three countries have imposed amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

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A total of 477 COVID-19 samples were processed on Monday, November 3, 2020, with a record number of 166 cases identified, a positivity rate of 34.8%. Zero cases were announced for Ambergris Caye. This spike comes just after it was announced over the weekend that the National Oversight Committee (NOC) has been dissolved. The committee was in charge of making major decisions during the Corona Virus Pandemic.

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On Sunday, November 1, 2020, the National Garifuna Council of Belize launched its November Celebrations 2020 and Virtual Calendar of Events. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, National Garifuna Council has decided to host several virtual events that focus on Garifuna identity, spirituality and perseverance, while honoring the contributions of past and present Garinagu and highlighting the vibrant Garifuna culture, language, music and dance. 

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With Belize now open to leisure tourism amid great optimism for a gradual increase in visitors in the upcoming high season, essential infrastructure is now in place to allow Caye Caulker Village artisans to serve their customers in a pleasant environment. On Friday, October 30, 2020, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation, officially handed over the brand new Caye Caulker Craft Market to Seleny Villanueva-Pott, Chairlady of Caye Caulker Village.

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The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is pleased to share some exciting and timely news. Belize has won the 2020 TripSavvy Editors’ Choice Award for Industry Leaders. TripSavvy is one of world's top-10 travel information sites, reaching 2 million+ travelers.  

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Press Release, Government of Belize Press Office - Belmopan. October 26, 2020. 6:00 p.m. - The National Oversight Committee (NOC) met this morning for its weekly consideration of Belize’s COVID-19 situation. The NOC took special note of Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr. Marvin Manzanero’s report of October 26, 2020 and was concerned at the 332 new cases occurring over the past week. Even more alarming was the fact of six more deaths, including the first pediatric fatality.

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The University of Belize, Belize’s national and premier degree-granting University, hosted its Twenty- Seventh Commencement Ceremony on October 24, 2020 at 6:00 pm. The University of Belize honored 1,192 Graduands at the Associate, Bachelor and Master levels as follows: Bachelor’s 543Associate’s 536 Certificate 83 Diploma 27 Master’s 3

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On Saturday, October 24, supporters around the world tuned in as Oceana hosted its first virtual Annual General Meeting for its dedicated supporters, or ‘Wavemakers’, on Facebook live. Honored with Oceana’s 2020 National Wavemaker of the Year with San Pedro island resident, 16-year-old, Carina Paz.

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Press Release, Belize Tourism Board, Belize City, Belize (Monday, October 20, 2020) - As Belize moves forward to fully reopen and rebuild our tourism industry, the health and safety protocols for tourists continue to be reviewed and updated. At a press conference held on Friday, October 16, 2020 further relaxation of the restrictions on movement of visitors were announced by the Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow.  The following are the updated protocols that are now in effect for the tourism industry:

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A negative COVID-19 test result presented upon arrival to Belize or determined following a rapid test at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) will now free visitors and returning Belizeans from having to quarantine for a 10-day period. Prime Minister Barrow said that the government has realized that the mounting number of persons affected by the disease locally is disproportionate to the number of persons arriving with negative results that are still required to self-isolate. This is the latest decision by the government of Belize in order to boost the tourism industry.

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Section Five of Chapter Nine of the Representation of the People’s Act lists the qualifications that allow persons to vote in the Belize elections. These include that the person must be a Belizean, a Commonwealth citizen residing in Belize for 12 months or more, must be 18-years and over.  The Act also lists who is disqualified, but is silent about any infectious diseases.

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Southern fishermen, Lowell ‘Japs’ Godfrey and Neville Smith, honored as advocates for the sea - On Wednesday, October 14, Oceana formally recognized two outstanding Belizeans as the 2020 Ocean Heroes during its first ever virtual award ceremony. This year’s winners are Placencia fisher turned seaweed farmer, Lowell Godfrey and Punta Gorda fisher and businessman, Neville Smith.

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The Human Rights Commission of Belize issued a press release today stating that it joins the family of Marisela Gonzalez and other members of the public in their resounding calls for justice in the violent and tragic death of Marisela Gonzalez. The release went on to say that, “Violence against women is universal and cuts across socioeconomic and educational backgrounds. While domestic violence is overwhelming condemned in rhetoric, and prohibited under the laws of Belize, violence against women in the country remains disturbingly widespread.

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David Gonzalez, has been detained at the San Pedro Police Department pending murder investigations on the death of 28-year-old Marisela Gonzalez. The semi-nude, lifeless body of Marisela was discovered on Marina Drive, Monday, October 12, 2020, about 9:15a.m., 50 yards from Marina Drive on the road heading to the dump site area.

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-Press Release, Belize Tourism Board - Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards earlier today, with Turneffe Island Resort being awarded the coveted title of Number One Central American Resort. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is elated that, quite impressively, a total of five Belizean hotels received top honors for Best Resorts in Central America:

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Like the community of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve relies on tourism to finance its management. In spite of having zero revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020, Hol Chan has continued carrying out its daily operations in the Reserve. After six months of no revenues, like most businesses on the island, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve is suffering; they are reaching out for assistance with a GoFund Me page.

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