Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley last night announced that the curfew, in place since April 3, will be extended until midnight May 3.
In an address to the nation, she disclosed that, while the 24-hour restrictions on movement were expected to end next Tuesday, the public health advice given to her was that Barbados was not yet at a stage in its COVID-19 response where the country could resume normal hours and normal activity.
She stated that the decision to extend the curfew had been taken by Cabinet, after consulting “broadly and widely”.
She noted that from day one she had sought to have an inclusive approach that brought together the entire nation … “from private sector to public sector, from labour movement to political entities and church, non-governmental organizations, all levels of society, all categories of persons because that is the only way we are going to get through this, both in terms of securing life and livelihood”.
The Prime Minister praised Barbadians for their response to the restrictions imposed, noting that there had been significant improvements in the practice of physical distancing and in the actions and habits of Barbadians.
“At this point and time, I want to thank Barbadians, to thank the many tens of thousands who have literally gotten the message and have been working with us. Indeed, I can safely say that as compared to two or three weeks ago, there are far more Barbadians who understand the nature of the problem that we are confronting and who have therefore fallen into line to cooperate … and we are happy that the majority has come to this point.”
Prime Minister Mottley acknowledged that there were still some people who were not yet listening and continued to act in a reckless manner.
To them, she cautioned: “The person who your behaviour might affect is the person that you might love the most. The person who your behaviour might affect is the person who you might need the most.”
She stated that the reality of Barbadians passing away, both at home and overseas, has been so sobering that she was satisfied that it has had an impact on persons and there has been a positive change in behaviour in the last few days.