Belize lifts all restrictions on cruise travel

The Government of Belize has announced the end of all COVID-19 health protocol requirements for entry into the country, including proof of vaccination, pre-travel testing and travel health insurance coverage. The change, which was announced on July 15, 2022, includes cruise passengers.

But will this have a real impact on cruise requests for different lines? While it is a positive step, the immediate impact may not be as dramatic as hoped.

Belize ends travel restrictions

In an announcement from Belize Tourism BoardAll public health measures for land and sea entry into the country have been suspended, effective immediately.

Travelers visiting the Central American country will no longer need to present negative COVID-19 test results, show proof of vaccination or purchase travel health insurance.

“With the emergence of weaker variants of COVID-19 and the global trend of restrictions being relaxed, the time has come to take the pressure off our health systems.” said Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health and Welfare for Belize. “We have reached a level where it is now everyone’s personal responsibility to decide whether they want to be vaccinated or not.”

Belize cruise port for tender (Photo Credit: CathyRL/Shutterstock)

The government recommends that travelers continue to take the precautions they feel most comfortable with, promoting vaccination as the best protection and encouraging emergency travel insurance.

This relaxation is a welcome sign that various cruise destinations are beginning to adapt to post-pandemic conditions and be more open to universal travel, which can make planning and preparing for a cruise much less complicated.

What does this mean for cruise passengers?

The immediate impact of this announcement, however, is unlikely to change cruise travel protocols, such as pre-cruise testing or vaccination requirements. While several cruise lines visit Belize as part of Western Caribbean itineraries, the small country is never the only port a cruise visits.

Cruise lines must set their health and safety protocols based not on a single port, but as a combination of all the ports a ship will visit on its itinerary. For cruises visiting Belize, this often includes ports in Mexico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and other popular destinations.

Belize Carnival Magic Tender
Belize Carnival Magic Tender (Photo Credit: Kokoulina / Shutterstock)

In addition, cruise lines must comply with protocols set forth by the home ports they sail from. Currently, most Western Caribbean cruises depart from US ports, meaning cruise lines must continue to follow guidelines set by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC has indicated that it is reviewing protocols for cruise ships, although no further details have been provided, nor is there any sign that updated protocols will be released soon. Cruise lines have called review of current protocols after international flight test mandates were lifted in early June.

Belize Cruise

Belize is a beautiful and popular cruise destination, with many ships and cruise lines calling at Belize City, the country’s largest city, every month. Belize City is located on the southern half of the Yucatan Peninsula, approximately 300 miles south of the Cozumel, Mexico.

The country is popular with cruise travelers for its incredible snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, pristine beaches, Mayan ruins, jungle tours, spectacular caves, phenomenal wildlife and much more.

Cruise lines that currently call Belize City on various cruises include Carnival Cruise Line, which is visiting the port via Carnival Vista, the first ship to return to the country in 2021 when sailing resumedand Carnival dream AND Carnival glory.

Celebrity Cruises is sailing to Belize City with Infinity of celebrities, The abundance of celebritiesAND Famous Apexand Princess Cruises is visiting the port via Princess of the Caribbean, Princess RubyAND Princess of Heaven.

Royal Caribbean International also visits Belize City, with Freedom of the seas, The majesty of the seasAND The brilliance of the seas currently including Belize on some itineraries.

These are just a few of the ships scheduled to visit Belize in the coming months. As cruise lines adapt and plan additional itineraries, this popular port of call is sure to become even more available to eager travelers.

Belize cruise port

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