COVID-19 update featuring Cabinet Sub-Committee Chairman, Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott; Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel, Jeffrey Bostic; Attorney General, Dale Marshall; and acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kenneth George. (PMO)

Over the next two weeks, funeral services will have no more than 10 mourners, one officiant, the funeral director and any other necessary staff. In addition, weddings will only be attended by the bride, bridegroom, two witnesses, and the marriage officer.

This disclosure came this evening from Attorney General Dale Marshall during a press conference, at Ilaro Court, where he discussed a new Special Curfew Directive, following the recent bus crawl event, which resulted in many Barbadians being infected with COVID-19.

Mr. Marshall noted that he and the Prime Minister met earlier today with faith-based organisations to discuss the possible impact the recent COVID-19 developments could have on their operations, if they continued to function as normal.

Describing the meeting as “a very productive consultative session”, he continued: “At the end of that consultation, the faith-based organisations have agreed and accepted the recommendation of the Government of Barbados, and this has now been enacted in our directive as follows:

  • Places of religious worship shall only open for the conduct of funeral services which shall be attended by no more than 10 mourners, one officiant, the funeral director and any other necessary staff.
  • Weddings during this two-week period should only be attended by the bride and bridegroom, two witnesses, and the marriage officer.
  • In relation to the day-to-day conduct of religious services, … all of the religious institutions have agreed that they will cease face-to-face functioning and therefore, we are providing in this directive for the streaming and conduct of religious services, at which only three persons, including the officiant, shall be present.

During the press conference, Mr. Marshall said because of the recent developments with the super spreader event, it was necessary for Government to limit some of the social activities Barbadians had become accustomed to engaging in. He listed them as:

  • No person shall host or attend a party, a recreational or competitive sporting event, a banquet, ball, dance or reception, a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organisation.
  • No person may host or attend the social event known as a bus crawl, or a lime; nor attend a karaoke event.
  • You may not host or attend a picnic. You may not host or attend any bus or other vehicular excursion.
  • Barbadians will be allowed to continue to access beaches and parks, but only for the purpose of exercise, or in the case of a beach, for swimming. In the event that a group of persons intend to gather at the beach or park, those persons must be from the same household and shall not exceed 10 persons.

The Attorney General said manufacturers, gasoline stations, as well as hotels, villas and other rental accommodations would be allowed to operate 24/7.

He pointed out, however, that there were other establishments in Barbados that needed to work around the clock, but did not fit within those three headings. He stressed that the management of those institutions should apply to www.gov.bb, and request an exemption.

Mr. Marshall reminded the public that the curfew period was from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., and said during that period, no one should be on the roads, or out of their residences, unless they fitted within two exceptions.

He identified them as an employee or member of an essential service, for example, doctors, security officers, firemen, nurses or pharmacists, or if a person has an emergency and must leave home.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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