Press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and officials from the Department of Emergency Management. (PMO)

Government will allow public transportation to carry their full load capacity for this evening only, to ensure that thousands of Barbadians are safely in doors before the suspension of service at 9:00 p.m. as the island brace for the impact of Tropical Storm Elsa.         

Attorney General Dale Marshall made the announcement this afternoon, while pointing out that after the all clear is given sometime on Friday, public transportation would resume carrying the maximum capacity of 75 per cent, allowed for public transportation under the COVID-19 Directive.

Speaking during a press conference on the approach of Tropical Storm Elsa and to assess the island’s state of readiness, the Attorney General said the decision was taken following “thorough” consultations with the Ministry of Health, and in particular with the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George.

Mr. Marshall stated: “I think everyone would recognise that this is an extraordinary circumstance  You would know that under the COVID directive, the maximum capacity that was allowed for public transportation was 75 per cent. Obviously, given the large number of people that will have to be transported between now, the public service, having already closed, and the time the last bus leaves its terminal tonight at nine, we have had to take a decision which we have not taken lightly.”

The AG continued: “Given the exigencies of this situation, we’ve therefore accepted the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, that in this particular circumstance and for the duration of the night, we will permit public transport to move to its full capacity. So, between now and the time the last bus leaves its terminal or the last van moves off from its operating spot, public transport will be at full capacity. This, however, is subject to strict observance of all COVID protocols, and in particular, the wearing of masks. We know that everyone is going to be a little bit anxious; everyone wants to get home; everyone wants to take care of the important things, but taking care of our health, and taking care not to spread COVID, is of significant importance at this time.”

Mr. Marshall reiterated that when the all clear is given, and transportation is mobilised, the sector would revert to 75 per cent and “should circumstances require it, we can always rethink that”.

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