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Belize travel information

Belize travel informationDue to coronavirus, other countries in the region have introduced extensive entry restrictions for travelers from European countries. Travelers are requested to be prepared so that entry restrictions can be introduced with little or no warning. For more information about coronavirus, see the entry Entry and Health.

Safety

Belize is an interesting and beautiful country, and in most cases, staying in the country goes smoothly. Central America generally has a high crime rate and very high homicide rates in some areas. One must be vigilant about what is happening around them, and be careful about the choice of place of residence and where to travel, especially in the evening. By taking the right precautions, you can avoid being exposed to unpleasant episodes.

Norway is represented by an Honorary Consulate General in Belize City. The Norwegian Embassy in Mexico City is responsible for the Norwegian embassy. Contact information for consulates and the embassy in Mexico can be found under "Emergency".

The crime that affects tourists is usually financially motivated, in the form of theft and armed robbery. Events happen both daytime and evening. One should not openly bring valuables. Luggage and personal belongings should be carefully monitored at airports, bus stations and the like. PCs are highly sought after.

Belize City and the capital Belmopan are considered the most criminally charged cities in Belize. Some parts of the cities are much more vulnerable than others. So the best advice is to use common sense wherever you are, and pay close attention to the surroundings, especially in the evening/night.

  • Countryaah: Belmopan is the capital of Belize. Check to find information of population, geography, history, and economy about the capital city.

One should not travel on foot outside cities and towns after dark. Act as much as possible in groups in vulnerable places. However, it can be advantageous to have some cash on it, which you can give away if you are exposed to assault. Women traveling alone should exercise particular care.

If you are approached by people who pretend to be police or tourist guides and offer help or other, make sure they have the correct identification. Many tourists have been robbed by fake tourist police and/or guides.

Care should be taken if drinks are offered out of town. There have been some cases of tourists who have been given narcotics in the drinks. Recently, new methods have also been used to dop people and then rob or assault them.

Some drug trafficking and prostitution occur. There are severe penalties for drug offenses.

Border disputes with Guatemala, organized crime and generally increasing violence in society can lead to protests/demonstrations. Belize has one of the highest murder rates in the region.

Risk of terrorist incidents in Central America is considered low.

There is right-hand traffic throughout Central America. Traffic accidents are a frequent cause of death and accident that also hit tourists. The roads are of varying quality.

When using a taxi, prices should be agreed in advance and the taxi should not - as is often the case - bring other passengers on the trip. Tourists should also be wary of people begging at traffic lights and generally keep windows and doors closed and locked.

There are no rail networks in Central America. There are frequent flight connections, including to remote locations, but when using small airlines, it is recommended to use those who partner with or are part of the larger international airlines in the region.

Belize is not as severely affected by earthquakes as its neighboring countries, but shaking can occur. However, due to the country's position towards the Caribbean Gulf, it is at the heart of a hurricane belt. Hurricanes have played an important and disastrous role in Belize's history. The peak season for hurricanes is between August and November.

The country can experience rainfall throughout the year, but the driest time is between January and April. During the rainy season (April - November), heavy rainfall can cause flooding with subsequent damage to infrastructure.

With the exception of Belize, relationships between two people of the same sex are legal in all Central American countries. Most citizens have a conservative relationship with homosexuality, and it is recommended that gays exercise discretion to avoid getting into unpleasant situations. In Belize, the law states that gay foreigners do not have access to the country.

Entry

Please note that entry regulations may change. The Foreign Service is not responsible if the following information on entry regulations or visa requirements is changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for entry and to familiarize themselves with the current entry rules for each country.

Due to the coronavirus virus, foreign travelers who have been to a European country, China, Hong Kong, Japan or South Korea for the past 30 days will not be able to access Belize.

Norwegian citizens do not need a visa for tourist and business stays of less than 30 days in Belize. The passport must be valid for up to six months after the scheduled departure date.

For stays longer than 30 days, you can apply for a visa that gives you the right to stay for 90 days. Alternatively, one can travel out and inland.

You can be fined or imprisoned if staying in the country illegally.

For updated information on entry rules, travelers are encouraged to check with Belize's nearest embassy.

Although Norwegian citizens do not initially need a visa to travel to Central America, only a passport (including an emergency passport) is the approved identification document. The passport must be valid for at least six months after scheduled departure. It is the traveler's responsibility to ensure that travel documents are valid and that entry and stay regulations are complied with.

Health

Coronavirus (covid-19): Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of how the coronavirus is developing in the country. Follow the advice of local authorities and and instructions on how to deal with the situation.

Foreign travelers who have been to a European country, China, Hong Kong, Japan or South Korea for the past 30 days will not be able to access Belize.

Also, keep track of information from local authorities for exceptional entry regulations. Please note that information may change quickly.

You can find more information and guidance from the Norwegian health authorities on the website of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's answers to frequently asked questions about travel and coronavirus.

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Belize city has acceptable medical and hospital quality. Offers outside Belize City are limited. Public hospitals often lack basic medicines and equipment, so Norwegian citizens are advised to use private services. It is common to have to pay before treatment takes place. For severe or difficult diagnoses, it is recommended to use laboratories and hospitals in the United States or Mexico.

Malaria occurs, and there are several confirmed cases of both traditional and Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever (DHF). It is therefore important to protect against mosquito bites (mosquito net, mosquito repellent). WHO recommends malaria prophylaxis. There are also zika in Belize. For official health professional travel advice and health professional guidance, you can contact the Institute of Public Health.

The tap water is strongly chlorinated. Bottled drinking water should be purchased. Supermarkets in major cities can buy chlorine for disinfecting raw vegetables and fruits. It is recommended to avoid buying food on the street (in stalls, etc.) or in places where you have doubts about hygiene. If in doubt or have no choice, choose well-cooked and cooked dishes and avoid raw vegetables and fruits without peel.

No vaccines are required to enter Belize. For information on travel vaccines, see the recommendations of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

It is recommended to check with Belize's nearest embassy regarding the rules for importing medicines.

Practical information

Belize is one of seven countries forming Central America. The official language is English. The climate in Belize is Tropical, rainy season is from May to November.

Belize offers an incredible ethnic diversity. According to official figures, 53 percent of the population are Miseries (of European-Native American descent), 25 percent of Creole (of African and African-European descent), ten percent of Mayan Indians, and seven percent of Garifunas (ethnic group of mixed descent: Caribbean, Arawak and Western Africa).

The cultural and ethnic diversity can offer many beautiful scenes and can be sought after photo objects. However, one should always ask for permission before taking pictures/filming the locals, and preferably ask an adult before taking pictures of children.

Belize is known for beautiful scenery both above and below water. Off the coast of Belize is the largest coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere (Belize Barrier Reef). It is an example of the evolutionary evolution of coral reefs, and is a habitat for many endangered species. Unesco therefore included the reef on its World Heritage list in 1996. The whole of Central America is defined as a biological hotspot (area of ​​great biological diversity and with a high number of unique species). Destruction of the reef and other forms of environmental crime can therefore be considered extra severe.

Religious freedom is guaranteed in Belize, but up to 80 percent of the population consider themselves Christians (Catholics and Protestants).

The official language of Belize is English, and the majority of the population speak the language well. However, the pronunciation is somewhat different from traditional English, it is often spoken in Creole, which is based on the English language but with African words and syntaxes embedded in the speech. Spanish, Mayan and Gar®™fauna languages ​​are also spoken. Belize is under the Caribbean influence, perhaps more than Central American. Music is the most important artistic expression and includes everything from marimba, calypso, soca, steel drums and reggae.

Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Diners are mostly accepted credit cards in major locations. It is mostly problematic to withdraw cash from vending machines with these cards, but cloning of cards occurs.

Belize has no railroad. Tica bus operates all over Central America, with modern buses with air cooling and toilet.

Local bus transport can be time consuming, but there are regular routes across the country. There are daily flights by small plane to the major cities.

Few taxis have a taximeter, and the price should be agreed in advance. Car hire is available at the airport and at several hotels. Many local companies operate in the country, but also the major international ones such as Budget and Hertz.

The Belize area code is +501. The telephone and mobile networks are stable. Belize Internet domain is.bz.

Public offices and shops are normally open between 10.00 and 17.00. 08 and 12 and between noon. 14 and 17, Monday through Friday. Most shops also have Saturdays open. The banks are usually open between 11.00 and 17.00. 8 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday 8:30 am and 11:30 am Saturday.

Public holidays are - January 1st (New Year's Day). March 9, next Monday (Baron Bliss Day). May 1 (workers' day). May 24 (Commonwealth Day). September 10 (St. George's Caye Day). September 21 (Independence Day). October 12 (Columbus Day). November 19 (Garifuna Settlement Day). December 25 (Christmas Day). December 26 (Boxing Day).

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