Residents of Barbados have been warned that there will be legal consequences for anyone contravening the directive to stay off the streets between 8:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. from Saturday, March 28, to Tuesday, April 14.
Attorney General Dale Marshall announced in Parliament today that there will be a fine of $50,000, or one year in prison, or both, for anyone found guilty of breaking the curfew.
His statement followed a strong message from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley as she addressed the nation last night to give an update on COVID-19.
Ms. Mottley warned: “The Government of Barbados is not playing. Law enforcement shall be instructed to apply and enforce the law fairly, transparently, and without fear. All persons not falling within the stated ambit of essential services, and not having good reason for being on the road after 8:00 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m., shall be dealt with in accordance with the spirit and the intent of the law.”
In addition, she urged persons to reduce their outdoor activities. “While there will be some activity remaining between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., we are appealing to all Barbadians to please minimize the number of times you need to go outside.
Persons have done well, thus far, we can continue to do well if we hold each other’s back at this very critical time …. But what we need you to do is to stay off the road as far as possible,” she insisted.
The Prime Minister stressed that the country had an adequate supply of food and grocery stores would open, therefore there was no need for any mad rush as a result of the imposition of restricted hours for movement.
She said COVID-19 could only spread in the country if residents maintained the type of physical interactions that the WHO, other agencies and Government had frowned upon.
Therefore, she called on Barbadians to honour and respect the measures put in place to safeguard and protect them. Again, Ms. Mottley encouraged Barbadians to look out for each other.
“I’ve said so consistently; life is not worth much unless we are prepared to lift up, honour, and hold each other, especially in times of difficulty. I look forward, therefore, to all Barbadians playing their part, not just the older ones, not just the younger ones … but all Barbadians, because we are in this together,” she underscored.