Covid-19 AND eL pESCADOR

We Miss You And Hope To See You Soon

Thank you for your continued support, friendship and patience during this pandemic. We miss everyone being together at the lodge - sharing stories and enjoying the flats. While this time of forced separation has been difficult for all of us, we certainly want to uphold our part and come through for our valued guests and friends. One of the beautiful outcomes of this crisis has been the extreme thoughtfulness and generosity of you, our guests; many of whom have reached out to inquire how to help our staff and guides. We are grateful for your concern. Please keep sending us thoughtful messages. They are rays of sunshine during these dark days. Destination angling and international adventures have always been about so much more than simply catching fish. Travel is about connecting people and places, and never has this been more important. We are looking forward to having you safely return to the lodge when Belize reopens the international airport. We miss you very much and like you, we are desperate to get back on the water! One silver lining is that our fishery and flats are having a chance to rest and get stronger while everyone is at home.

FREE CANCELATION* guarantee

As we all deal with these challengers in our own way, El Pescador appreciates that a bit of flexibility can help. Therefore, we are offering a cancellation guarantee on new reservations to protect your future investment against COVID-19. If your new trip needs to be canceled due to ongoing COVID-19 issues, we will refund the full amount of your payment(s)! This FREE CANCELATION* guarantee is valid for new 2020 and 2021 trips that are confirmed between May 11th - December 31st, 2020. Valid reasons covered by this FREE CANCELATION* guarantee are:

  • Border closures prohibiting non-residents travel in /out of BZE
  • Mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers in Belize

Please note that standard cancellation reasons are not covered under the terms of the above FREE CANCELATION* guarantee, and our regular terms will apply. They can and should be covered with a standard trip insurance policy or a more comprehensive “Cancel For Any Reason” insurance policy. These reasons would include:

  • Cancellation due to work reasons
  • Sickness, illness (including covid-19 virus) or injury of yourself, a family member or a travel partner
  • Weather and hurricane events
  • Trip interruption or cancellation due to severe or unsafe weather
  • Flight delays and/or missed connections

The Government has developed protocols to keep our visitors and citizens safe for the reopening of the international airport (date TBD). All passengers are encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of traveling to Belize (i.e., your first flight). Belize is also requiring all arrivals to download the Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding the flight to Belize.

The Travel Journey

Travelers to Belize will be comforted to know that based on proper management and containment efforts applied during the height of the pandemic, Belize was able to enjoy over 50 days of a Covid-19 free environment. Ongoing efforts will offer vacation opportunities with minimal risk of contracting Covid-19 while in Belize. In addition, with Belize having such low population density and being just a short flight away from most major US cities, the destination is well poised for post-Covid-19 travel.  

All travelers to Belize will be required to adhere to health and safety measures implemented by the Government of Belize (GOB) including social distancing, hand sanitization, proper hygiene and the wearing of face masks in public spaces.

Pre-Travel Arrangements

  1. All passengers travelling to Belize will be required to download the Belize Health App and complete the required information prior to boarding the flight to Belize.  A QR code with a unique ID number will be returned to the passenger, and will be used for contact tracing while in Belize.
  2. Passengers are encouraged to take a Covid-19 PCR test within 72 hours of travel to Belize (of your originating flight).

Entry Requirements

  1. Passengers that provide certification of a negative test result from a Covid-19 PCR test done within 72 hours of originating travel, will be allowed immediate entry into Belize via a 'fast track' lane.
  2. Passengers that do not provide a negative Covid-19 test, must test upon arrival in Belize, at the passenger's expense.  A negative test result will allow entry into Belize. A positive result will require mandatory quarantine for a minimum period of fourteen (14) days at the passenger's expense.

All visitors to Belize will be required to:

  • Wear a mask during the entire landing, deplaning and arrival process, and while inside the airport.
  • Undergo temperature checks using non-contact digital infrared thermometers or Thermal Imaging Cameras.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines in all queues for health checks, immigration and customs inspections.
  • Follow and respond to the comprehensive, pro-active, contact tracing guidelines to facilitate appropriate and rapid response from health officials, should Covid-19 symptoms develop.
  • Utilize the sanitizing stations to sanitize hands frequently and facilitate other health screening requirements on arrival.

At the Airport

The Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols. These include:

  • installation of barriers and sneeze guards between passengers and Immigration & Customs officers;
  • hand sanitizing stations throughout the terminal building to assist with proper hand hygiene;
  • floor markers placed 6 feet apart to promote social distancing and assist passengers in the queuing process;
  • sanitization of passenger luggage prior to transfer into the terminal building.

Departure

Residents and visitors departing from Belize will also see new enhanced health and safety measures implemented.  Some of these new measures include:

  • limiting entry into the terminal building to only ticketed passengers;
  • mandatory use of face masks at all times while in the terminal building;
  • safety barriers installed at check-in counters and the Immigration area; and
  • social distancing to protect passengers.

Preparation for the return of visitation via land borders and cruising are still underway and re-opening plans will be announced at a later date. The Government of Belize, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation, and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) continue to actively monitor this very fluid situation.

For the official Government Press Release please click here.  

https://belizetourismboard.org/tourism-resources/belize-national-guidelines-for-reopening-accommodations-guidelines/

https://belizetourismboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Re-Imagining-Travel-in-the-New-Norm-Final.pdf

https://belizetourismboard.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/BTB-Tour-Operator-Guidelines.pdf

To access the detailed health and safety protocols, we invite you to visit:  https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/

For questions or concerns, contact the Belize Tourism Board at info@belizetourismboard.org

Belize Tourism Board’s Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program

El Pescador is seeking endorsement in Belize’s "Tourism Gold Standard" Recognition Program for hotels, restaurants and tour operators. This 9-point program seeks to enhance the tourism industry's health and safety standards by adapting new behaviors and procedures to ensure both employees and travelers are confident in the cleanliness and safety of Belize's tourism product. Some of these new standards include:

Hotels

  • Social distancing and the use of face masks while in public spaces
  • Online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, and automated ordering/booking systems
  • Hand sanitizing stations across the property
  • Enhanced room cleaning and increase sanitization of public spaces and high touch surfaces
  • Daily health checks for guests and employees
  • Designated 'Isolation/Quarantine rooms' for suspected Covid-19 cases and action plans for handling suspected employees or guests.

Belize’s tourism industry will re-open responsibly, to test new entry protocols, and to allow for adjustments as necessary to ensure the wellbeing of Belizeans and visitors. As the country re-opens for travel, Belize wants to assure travelers and residents that hotels and restaurants will be cleaner and safer than ever before.

For more information please also read the “Belize National Guidelines for Reopening Accommodations”: https://belizetourismboard.org/tourism-resources/belize-national-guidelines-for-reopening-accommodations-guidelines/

Social Distancing and Face Coverings

We have adjusted our operations to meet social distancing and protective gear measures, while at the same time maintaining our quality guest experience.  This includes distancing our dining tables and seating options, as well as requiring a face covering of all employees and guests when indoors (excluding your hotel rooms and villas), and when in public places (excluding while eating, drinking, swimming or exercising).  Signage in public spaces will remind our guests to maintain social distancing. We are working to provide mobile technologies to reassure and provide distancing options for our guests.

Cleaning and Sanitization

We have enhanced our cleaning and sanitation procedures to minimize virus transmission through high contact surfaces and person-to-person contacts. We are committed to providing you with a safe environment that aligns with expert protocols for working to defeat COVID-19. Starting with our public spaces and more-trafficked areas, we are going above and beyond our normal protocols. We are cleaning surfaces with increased frequency, dedicated staff, and recommended cleaning agents. Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the property. We will be adding a partition at check-in to provide an extra level of precaution for our guests and our front desk team. In guest rooms, we have elevated our rigorous protocols to thoroughly clean all surfaces with government approved disinfectants. We are also rolling out enhanced technologies including misting foggers to sanitize surfaces throughout the property.

Daily Health Screening

We are supporting health screening of all employees, guides and guests to aid in early detection and contact tracing. We are required to provide daily temperature checks for guests (twice daily for employees). We plan to conduct these screenings for guests every morning - either at breakfast or prior to your daily activity (such as fishing).

Flats Fishing protocols to keep anglers and guides safe and healthy

In an effort to make flats fishing as safe as possible for our anglers as well as our guides we are requiring everyone on the boat to wear a face covering (buff or mask) throughout the entire fishing day (excluding while eating and drinking).  All fishing boats will be sanitized before and after each day of fishing. Each boat will provide hand sanitizer; anglers are asked to sanitize their hands prior to boarding. All borrowed rods and reels will be cleaned immediately upon your return to the lodge.  The Belize Tourism Board will not allow guests to share any gear unless proper sanitization of equipment is done between use. We are required to manage queuing in an effort to ensure social distancing and avoid bottle-necks specifically around the fly shop and on the dock.  Therefore we have instituted a rotating daily schedule for fishing departures at 20 minute intervals between 6am – 7am. For example, if 8 boats are going out we will coordinate two to go at 6:00am, two to go at 6:20am, two to go at 6:40am and two to go at 7:00am.  The departures will rotate to ensure fairness to everyone. Please help us keep you safe by supporting our efforts.

Please help us keep you safe by supporting our efforts. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your travel agent or info@elpescador.com.

We miss you and hope to see you soon.