Barbadians and visitors will have more time to shop, lime at popular night spots, dine in restaurants across the island, and participate in leisure activities for the next four weeks when the curfew hours begin from midnight, effective Monday, November 15.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the decision was reached to change the current 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. curfew, following extensive consultations and many requests from citizens across all strata of society yearning for an ease to shop late and move freely with their family and friends, especially as Independence and the Yuletide season approaches.
Speaking during a televised press conference from Ilaro Court this afternoon, the Prime Minister said there would be a review after the four-week period to “see where we are”, while encouraging the public to increase the vaccination rate by taking the injection and maintaining the protocols.
However, Ms. Mottley cautioned Barbadians not to abandon the protocols. “The easing of the curfew is no excuse for people to abandon the protocols and to abandon, in particular, mask wearing and all the other things that are necessary to keep us safe,” she stressed.
Additionally, the Prime Minister shared that her Government would continue to expand, build and rollout the safe zones to enhance the comfort level of citizens, as they go about their day-to-day business activities.
Ms. Mottley, by way of sharing her recent experiences while abroad on government business of daily COVID testing and the comfort of knowing that her team had also received negative PCR test results, used the occasion to remind the public that those who were vaccinated were “less likely, not impossible”, to contract the virus.
She added: “Therefore, against that backdrop, I ask all Barbadians to continue to walk with us in the direction in which you have been walking. I made the point that literally, since the middle of August, we have done exceptionally well in being able to increase the vaccination rates…. We would like to see it go further,” the Prime Minister underlined.
Ms. Mottley said the Ministry of Health was still awaiting information regarding vaccines for children five to 11 years old, and promised that the technical committees, which had been established, would review the information and advise Government accordingly.
In the interim, the Prime Minister encouraged parents of children under the age of 18 and families with loved ones over the age of 70 to take them to the nearest vaccination site to be inoculated, so that they could receive the greatest possible protection.