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

Barbados will be under a curfew for the next two weeks, beginning midnight Thursday, December 31. This will be in effect from midnight until 5:00 a.m. daily, until January 14.

This announcement came today from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, during an address to the nation, in which she spoke about recent developments with regard to COVID-19. 

During the address, it was disclosed that five Barbadians, including two officers of the Barbados Prison Service, who do not have a travel history, had been infected with the virus.

Ms. Mottley said it was therefore necessary to take action to protect the vital interests of Barbadians, guests and the country. 

“We’re doing that in order to be able to pause and cause everybody to pause with respect to the frolicking and the public gatherings and feting. There will be no commercial fetes day or night, during that next period up until the 14th of January.”

She stated that she had been advised that persons had applied to the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit for permission to host 65 events today, Old Year’s Day.

Stressing that she led a caring Government, she continued: “We will reimburse those persons the expenses for perishable items and sunk costs for set up. This Government is caring, but it is not foolish.  Liquor can last so we are not…compensating anybody for any alcohol.

“But we accept that a lot of people may have gone and may have bought food and may have done things; we will reimburse them for that upon the appropriate evidentiary proof being submitted to the appropriate bodies, as you will hear from the subcommittee next week.”

Ms. Mottley added that next Monday and Tuesday will be declared public holidays to allow public health officials to aggressively carry out contact tracing and testing.

“Because Monday and Tuesday will be bank holidays and because we are putting this pause in place over the next two weeks with the curfew in place, …there will be certainly no school between now and the 14th [of January] in terms of physical attendance, whatsoever.

“The Ministry of Education will have to advise whether virtual classes can indeed start and she (the Minister of Education) will address the country on Monday as to whether that is possible or not. We are not rushing and making hasty and foolish decisions at this stage, but we’re not going to put anybody at risk,” she stated.

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