So we can finally travel again, this is great news. But, if you’ve booked a ticket to travel to the USA in the last month, you know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] recently issued a new requirement for all citizens and visitors bound for the USA to produce a medically certified negative COVID test to enter the country.
If you’re traveling for the first time since the issuance of this new requirement, you might be asking yourself, ‘Well, where do I go to test for COVID in Belize?’ Local airline carrier Maya Island Air, in partnership with medical provider Caring Hands Clinic, has launched an initiative to expand Belize covid testing nationwide. Now locals and tourists can easily access rapid antigen and PCR tests at each Maya Island Air municipal airport in San Pedro (Ambergris Caye), Belize City, Dangriga, and Placencia. So this is really great news.
Convenient locations near hotel zones are certainly helpful. More than that, each clinic is staffed by a licensed doctor, registered nurses and certified medical staff capable of administering rapid and PCR tests. If you’re wondering whether your test results are viable for travel outside Belize, yes they absolutely are recognized and accepted by major airlines for boarding. These services and your results are fully CDC and FDA compliant and approved. They also carry all licenses and certifications from Belize’s Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW). They provide you both the printed test results, an email of those results and the accompanying affidavit declaration necessary to board your flight bound internationally.
The facilities themselves include three main areas, one to receive patients, another to provide consultation by a licensed doctor if necessary, and finally, a separate testing area with a booth, private screening curtain and lab. The facilities employ electrostatic cleaners, FDA-approved chemicals, and UV sterilizers to continuously provide a safe, clean, and comfortable environment and to assure safety while getting tested. Should you test positive, the doctor and nurse at the clinic will proceed as per the protocols set in place by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to provide intermediary care while the referral is transferred to the Ministry of Health to begin isolation and treatment.
The next question you may have is, ‘What does it cost?’ Tests start at US$75 for rapid antigen tests but watch for specials and discounts available online, on social media or through Maya. The clinics employ FDA approved Abbott kits which have a 97.1 percent sensitivity rate. Results can be had and you can be on your way in as little as 20 minutes. Caring Hands Clinics are open from 9 am to 5 pm daily and also accommodate call-outs from as early as 6:30 AM and throughout the day. To expedite the process, we recommend making an appointment the day prior to travel. But, if, in addition to getting tested, you’re planning to fly via Maya Island Air to another destination, it’s best that you book an appointment for at least 90 minutes prior to your scheduled flight. In our view, ideally, you’d want to allow at least 45 minutes to complete the test and receive your results and still be on time to make your flight given that Maya Island Air requires you to check-in at least one hour prior to departure.
It’s important to know that if you do decide to travel, you can feel assured that covid testing is accessible and fast with Maya and Caring Hands. With safe options for testing, you can now travel freely and efficiently from and to the USA and beyond.
To make an appointment for a test, you can contact Caring Hands Clinic or Maya Island Air or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also a host of convenient numbers to dial:
In the USA dial 305-420-6203 or use WhatsApp to message or call 501-671-8378, 501-672-8378. If you’re already in Belize, call (501) 226-3278.
So, get back on the adventure trail. These pros have our testing needs covered.