Monday, June 1, is the date set for the long-awaited reopening of churches, parks, retail outlets, and several businesses in the services sector, as well as the ability to dine in at restaurants across Barbados.
It is also the date set for an extension of the curfew to 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Mondays to Thursdays, and 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Fridays to Sundays.
However, beach lovers will have to wait until Tuesday, June 2, before they can enjoy the seaside from 5:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., but with the understanding that picnicking is still banned.
These were listed in the relaxation of restrictions imposed in the fight against COVID-19, by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Dale Marshall, during a press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last night.
Those who will reopen from Monday, June 1, include:
- All remaining retail operators
- Photo studios and photographers
- Real Estate Agents
- Car rental companies
- Animal grooming and handling (horses, dogs, etc.)
- Trucking and other transport of goods storage
- Car valet services
- Well-cleaning and recycling businesses
- All public parks
- Dining in at restaurants
However, the Attorney General stressed that these re-openings were subject to “strict compliance with the various protocols that were established” at the various enterprises.
Noting that businesses will be required to conduct temperature checks and institute other screening protocols, Mr. Marshall said the nature of business would determine if an entity would be subjected to “more or less” rigorous protocols in relation to physical distancing.
“Barbadians and the business owners are going to be expected to comply. We have developed a series of now generic protocols, but obviously some kinds of retail operators will differ,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General noted that the ability to eat in restaurants would also be done according to six feet apart physical distancing protocols for non-related patrons, while it would be relaxed for families from the same household.
Mr. Marshall also noted that restrictions on beach access would be lifted from Tuesday, June 2, to avoid crowding on the Whit Monday bank holiday as picnics were still banned, and all physical distancing protocols must still be followed with groups of no more than three persons unless they are family from the same household.
Similarly, all public parks will reopen under usual hours and operate under the physical distancing requirements.
In explaining the 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. curfew from Friday through Sunday, Mr. Marshall explained that Government wanted “to suppress the natural exuberance of Barbadians for the normal weekend festivities”.
“So, even though it may appear counter-intuitive that we should have longer times earlier in the week and a shorter time on weekends, it is precisely because we understand Barbadians will want to take advantage of it, and we still have to keep some measure of control,” he stated.
The Attorney General also noted that some sports enthusiasts will also have a longer wait before restrictions are lifted, as numerous requests received were still being considered, given the contact based nature of the activities.
Mr. Marshall stressed that Government followed a multi-tiered process which involved the Ministry of Health and Wellness at every stage, along with other agencies to help guide the decision-making process.