Trip Report Travel warning for San Pedro

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Sailon

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Down here now, in San Pedro. Can recommend a great dive shop, and some cool dive sites.
However, first I wanted to give fair warning, the San Pedro police are targeting tourists, bulling and harassing them, and then arresting them if they do not have a mask on while being outside.
The only signs visible are when entering a shop or restaurant to wear a mask when entering, which we do. Wearing masks outside, some do, some don’t.
We were walking down the street and aggressively stopped by the San Pedro police. No courtesy warning, just abuse and then arrested. On the way to the station they pulled over another tourist couple, harassed and arrested them too.
2 hours in a sweaty old police station, and then a $250 fine, each. And threats not to leave the country without paying.
We admitted to not having our mask on and apologized and now that we know, we would respect their law about this… didn’t matter….
Other people we passed without masks, they called out to wear them….It is the tourists they are arresting.
We came here for relaxing diving and to help support their economy.
Treated like criminals, we have spent the rest of our time only at the hotel and dive shop. Others are posting the same thing on trip advisor.
Worst trip I have ever had.
 

Downing

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Wow. At least you have an interesting story to tell your grandchildren.

Almost every time I go to Belize I'm offered marijuana by the locals, including once in Belize City by a woman old enough to be my grandmother. I always decline for two reasons: first, I don't smoke marijuana even here at home where it's now legal but even more importantly because, second, I don't want to do anything that lands me in trouble with the law. Another time I was with a friend in San Pedro and we were offered cocaine, although I was oblivious because the guy was talking to my friend while I was picking out some fruit at the local farmers market. Yeah, like I'm going to go to a foreign country and do some narcotics, lol. Maybe I'll just get real drunk, drive around and run over a kid.

I drive by the prison in Hattieville on my way to and from Placencia and the airport and no thanks, that's one destination I never want to see up close and personal.
 

Lorenzoid

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It could be a shakedown of tourists for money, as you imply. But it could also be frustration with tourists flouting the rules. Maybe they HAD been giving warnings and found that the warnings alone weren't effective. If a nasty variant enters Belize, it will be because someone brought it from outside the country. For that reason, the authorities may feel foreign visitors have an extra burden to follow the rules to a tee.
 

Jafo19D

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Face masks are mandatory in public spaces in Belize. Best advice is not to be a moron in foreign countries.
Agree 100%. Respect the laws and customs of the country you’re visiting instead of flouting them and then whining like a Karen.
 

Downing

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Jeez, tough crowd.

It's not clear to me that Sailon knew he was supposed to be wearing a mask even when walking around outside. If he knew that was the case and chose to ignore it, yeah, that's on him. If he didn't know then it's not his fault and a simple warning from the cops would have sufficed. If he then continued to not wear a mask, then book him, Dano.

Here at home there's no mandate to wear a mask outside, although some choose to do so. I don't. It's not like Covid's in the wind just floating around waiting to be sucked into my lungs and kill me. I always laugh when I see someone driving alone wearing a mask in their own car (Uber drivers excepted).

In any case, my family and I are all fully vaccinated. Those who choose not to be vaccinated, well that's on them especially now that the vaccines are widely and easily available. If they die from Covid, I feel sorry for their family but not so much for the decliner. Recently, a local middle-school teacher died two days after contracting Covid. According to her Mother in the newspaper article, she declined the vaccine because she didn't like getting shots. Her Mother basically said that because of her stupid decision she's now out a daughter and her two teenage grandsons are without their Mother.

This will all be over soon and we can resume our usual arguing over whether the Blue Hole is worth it.
 

lowwall

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Every Belize tourist and hotel site I've looked at states that mask wearing is mandatory in all public spaces in Belize.

It's silly to go to a foreign country, choose to flout local laws and then complain when you get busted. And if the government is concerned about stopping or at least slowing the importation of new COVID variants it's perfectly reasonable to focus on tourists when enforcing the mask requirement.
 

Lorenzoid

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Every Belize tourist and hotel site I've looked at states that mask wearing is mandatory in all public spaces in Belize.

It's silly to go to a foreign country, choose to flout local laws and then complain when you get busted. And if the government is concerned about stopping or at least slowing the importation of new COVID variants it's perfectly reasonable to focus on tourists when enforcing the mask requirement.

Absolutely. As I understood the OP’s point, it was that the rule appears to be enforced on tourists with a stiff fine or even arrest, while locals seem get off with only a warning. If that is true, I can’t say the unequal treatment is unfair. As you said, tourists are more likely than locals to bring some nasty variant into Belize. They are only allowing visitors in on the condition that visitors do everything possible not to infect the population.
 
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