Those remaining workers who have not yet returned to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown will be heading back out come Monday, June 15.
Additionally, gyms and other sporting activities are cleared to resume operations but under strict adherence to protocols put in place by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
In an address to the nation last night from Ilaro Court, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley stated that there were thousands of workers, including public officers and employees of state owned enterprises, who were “ready and eager” to get back to work.
Emphasising the need to adhere strictly to the protocols in place, she urged heads of departments to implement systems for the return to work on a phased basis given the limitations that might exist.
The Prime Minister reiterated the need to effectively manage risk and added: “We cannot minimise errors by postponing decisions. There is no logical reason, therefore, to keep workers in Barbados from their workplace any further. We have established stringent protocols and, for the most part, these have been followed and honoured by the workforce of Barbados. I have every confidence in my people to walk the line.”
Regarding the private sector, Ms. Mottley said several new protocols had been formulated and the methodology for a safe and functional return to work in most spheres of social and economic activity had been outlined.
Regarding sporting activities, the Prime Minister said they would be permitted as normal, pending arrangements to finalise audience numbers.
“There will be arrangements put in place for limited spectators but we will want persons and the sporting associations to work with the Government next week so that we can get the audience right by the time we meet two weeks from now. But as of next week, and the week after, the actual sporting activities can continue without audience.”
Social events, meetings, receptions and banquets and parties will be allowed. However, according to the Prime Minister, a special unit headed by Deputy Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ronald Chapman, will be created to facilitate requests for events exceeding 250 persons.
She noted that smaller events can continue with strict adherence to social distancing and the wearing of face masks.
Ms. Mottley urged Barbadians to be on their guard, while pointing out that there are “strict protocols that we would like each other to share because we are going to literally not only have to take care of ourselves, but those in our immediate circle”.