With Belize’s tourism industry now open to international travellers, new travel norms and guidelines have been put in place for the accommodation and tour sector. The Belize Tourism Board’s (BTB) priority is the safety of both visitors and the community, which is why new operating protocols for lodges, restaurants, tour operators and tourist sites are being enforced. These guidelines are approved by the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and will serve as the foundation for addressing the new health and safety challenges presented by Covid-19.
In addition, the BTB implemented the “Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program.” This program focuses on enhancing the hotel, restaurant and tour operation cleaning practices, social interactions, workplace policies, and standard operating procedures, while ensuring minimal impact on the guest experience.
At Tobacco Caye Marine Station we have a long standing commitment to safety, and we have always ensured the station is kept to the highest standards of cleanliness which is of paramount importance for our guests and station managers. Now more than ever, we continue this commitment as the world faces this pandemic.
Our primary partner lodge; The Windward Lodge will now also serve as our tour operator, ensuring minimal contact with third parties. The Windward Lodge has enacted several best practices for the tourism industry in accordance with The Ministry of Health, The Belize Tourism Board, CDC and World Health Organization. We are also making the commitment to only use lodge and tour operators which are Gold Standard Certified. We are also happy to confirm that our terrestrial partner organisation Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is Gold Standard certified for accommodation and tour operations.
It is anticipated that these guidelines and protocols will evolve based on the recommendations of public health authorities and must be done in compliance with the laws of Belize and advisories from The Ministry of Health. It is our goal to continue to offer a comforting and enjoyable experience for our visiting groups while preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Guest Arrival at Tobacco Caye and The Windward Lodge
You shall be greeted at the Riverside in Dangriga by a station manager from Tobacco Caye Marine Station. Please ensure that everyone in your group is wearing an appropriate face covering, while waiting to board the boat please adhere to the social distancing requirement.
Upon arrival at Tobacco Caye and The Windward Lodge, your temperature will be taken using a non-invasive temperature gun. You will be asked that you wear a face mask or appropriate face covering when in public areas or in the company of persons who are not a part of your party.
Sanitizing of Surfaces
The frequency of cleaning and sanitization has been increased in all communal spaces along with high touch surfaces including, but not limited to, door locks/knobs, door handles, chairs, tables, lab equipment and snorkel gear.
Sanitizing of Hands
Alcohol based hand sanitizers will be available in all public areas around The Windward Lodge for the use of guests and staff.
Maintaining Service As Usual
You may notice a few changes here and there such as staff greeting you with a smile and a nod of the head rather than a hand shake and a hug, however, we are working hard to maintain our usual warm, friendly, and high standard of service.
We encourage all groups to maintain a 6 feet distance from other guests who are not in your party and staff members. To make it easier for you we have rearranged the furniture on the decking area, dining room, beach area and classroom to the specified spacing of 6 feet.
Ensuring Customer Wellness
If at any point during your stay you start to feel ill, kindly inform the Tobacco Caye Marine Station managers or a member of staff at your lodge and we will advise you on the next steps to take.
All staff at The Windward Lodge and Tobacco Caye Marine Station are temperature-checked at the start of each day. Any members of staff showing or reporting symptoms of COVID-19 will be instructed to self-isolate for the recommended time. All staff have received appropriate COVID-19 safety training and are equipped with appropriate PPEs.
Thank you kindly for your understanding. Stay Safe, Act Responsibly and we look forward to welcoming you back to Tobacco Caye soon!
Pre-arrival information to Belize – What you should know!
BEFORE TRAVELLING TO BELIZE, YOU SHOULD:
- Reserve your accommodations and tours with an approved Gold Standard Recognized Hotel or Tourist Accommodation (The Windward Lodge). Tobacco Caye Marine Station is the facilitator of the program, not the lodge provider.
- Group leader to bring along a printed copy of your confirmed reservation from Tobacco Caye Marine Station to Belize. (You will be asked for this reservation confirmation on arrival)
- Everyone has to download the Belize Travel Health App to your smartphone and enter the requested information required to register on the app within 72 hours of your flight arrival to Belize.
- Note: Each traveller is given a unique QR Code ID when App registration is completed. Take a screenshot of your unique QR Code.
- Track and observe all protocols of airlines and airports in each originating city (port of embarkation), and at a minimum:
- Wear your mask at all times throughout airports
- Sanitize often
- Maintain physical distance ( 6 feet apart)
- Take a PCR test (one that detects the presence of SARS-CoV2) within 72 hours of boarding the outbound flight to Belize.
Bring along a printed copy of your test results to present upon arrival at the Belize International Airport Welcome Centre. If you arrive without a test beforehand you will need to be tested on arrival at your own expense of $50USD per person.
A negative test result will facilitate and “fast track” your arrival process.
A positive test result will require you to quarantine at your Accommodation for 14-days.
NOTE: Depending on your health screening results, you may be randomly selected for secondary testing at the airport.
ARRIVAL TO BELIZE / PHILIP GOLDSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT & TRANSFER TO TCMS
ONCE YOU HAVE DISEMBARKED THE PLANE, YOU SHOULD:
- Proceed to the area marked “Hospitality Meet and Greet” – a member of airport staff will show you the way.
- After, proceed to Health Screening and Testing Area – adhering to instructions from airport staff.
- Once there, verify your certified COVID-19 test results.
- Should you not be able to provide test results, you will be referred over to a Testing Area where you will be swabbed at your own cost of $50 USD.
- Thereafter, you will receive your test results within an hour of the test via email or phone from the Belize Ministry of Health.
- Proceed to Immigration and Customs.
- Note: All arriving luggage will be sanitized. You should also expect to have your temperature taken and monitored at multiple arrival processing points. You will be observed and questioned for any signs of COVID-19 symptoms.
- Once you have cleared all arrival checkpoints, exit the airport terminal to Ground Transportation or continue through the airport if taking a connecting flight. Located outside the terminal building by the curb-side will be your ground transportation option. Consistently ensure you are following all health and safety protocols.