Prime Minister’s address to the nation – December 31, 2020. (PMO)

There is no need to panic buy!

This is the strong message from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley to Barbadians, as she addressed the nation today on recent developments with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Mottley told the country that there was no need for any panic buying because those necessary items will be immediately accessible.

The Prime Minister said the beaches would not be closed at this point, but urged Barbadians to be careful and not to gather in large numbers.

“We are not shutting the beaches at this stage, but I want you to know I am not frightened to do it. So, if we see people doing ignorance, I have asked the Attorney General to ensure that there is drone technology made available to the police force, so that they and the Coast Guard can keep adequate watch….

“There’s nothing wrong with being in the sea…. But what we don’t want is people on the beaches gathering in the manner that they did on Boxing Day, which was completely unacceptable, and for which I asked the COVID Monitoring Unit to let me know how it happened, and what actions they are going to take about it because we all know better,” she insisted.

Ms. Mottley urged Barbadians not to panic with regard to the announcement of the five local cases, but insisted that members of the public should comply with the protocols.

She stated that during this past year, she had constantly warned about pressing brakes to bring the country back on track if warranted, and the time had now come for such.

“I have met with the Sub-Committee of Cabinet; we have taken certain decisions that we believe to be critical, not to panic anybody, but we told you that we will never wait until we have a whole set of cases in order to take action.

“We also told you that any day that we have cases that we don’t know how we got there, or how the persons received the virus, then we would be taking immediate action to press brakes. That moment has come,” she stressed.

During the address, the Prime Minister said that churches must finish their Old Year’s Night services by 11:00 tonight, and restaurants must also close at that time. She asked restaurant owners to make provision for staff to get home before midnight.

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