Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has given the green light for all businesses to reopen from Monday, June 15, except day care centres, which will be allowed to reopen from Monday, June 22, following appropriate training from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
In her address to the nation tonight from Ilaro Court, Ms. Mottley said she was “generally happy” with the way in which Barbadians conducted themselves under the recent restrictions and the decision was made for a further ease.
The Prime Minister stated: “As of June 15, and subject to the strict adherence to the prescribed health protocols, which the government has worked on in conjunction with the private sector and the union movement; all businesses, third sector entities and organizations shall become eligible for permission to open and operate as normal.”
However, she pointed out that risk management was the primary focus as Barbados reopens for business. “I’ve stopped short of given carte blanche permission because it is vitally important that each entity signs on to and reflects adaptation to the necessary protocols.
“I want to remind people that just as a car has an accelerator and it has a brake, these measures have accelerators and have breaks. So, we are opening back up, but we are conscious that it is a management of risk that is going to guide our behavior,” Ms. Mottley stressed.
Those restrictions being eased are as follows:
- All businesses, except day care centres, can reopen from Monday, June 15;
- Parks and beaches will no longer have restrictions on hours;
- PSVs and buses will operate at full sitting capacity and half of any stipulated standing capacity. All passengers must wear masks for their entire journey;
- Sporting activity will be permitted, with arrangements to be put in place for limited spectators, who will have to adhere to strict physical distancing and wearing of masks;
- Social events, for example dinners, weddings, receptions, banquets and parties will be permitted. However, events with more than 250 persons will need to consult with the Ministry of Health and Wellness for guidelines of operation;
- Gyms can reopen but they must have the capacity to deal with physical distancing.
However, the Prime Minister pointed out that some restrictions will remain in place for the time being.
“The restrictions on visits to hospitals, to prisons, to senior citizens homes, we are asking Barbadians to hold on us with that for now, because we do not want ultimately to affect the most vulnerable”, she explained.
She advised persons whose area of economic endeavour had not yet been consulted, or who were unsure what protocols they had to follow, to email their queries to email@example.com so they could be put in contact with the relevant unit which is now being established to assist.
Prime Minister Mottley encouraged residents to take precaution and continue practising safe behaviours, as the country seeks to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.