Despite a significant improvement in COVID-19 numbers, Government has announced five “partial shutdown” days as a countermeasure to keep the cases on the decline, as Barbadians prepare to celebrate Easter.
This forms part of the new measures announced under the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Curfew) (No.7) Directive, 2021, based on the recommendations from the Chief Medical Officer and the COVID Sub-Committee that the measures remain in place for a further two weeks.
Attorney General Dale Marshall, in a video message to the nation this afternoon that lasted just over 10 minutes, highlighted some of the measures in Directive No.7, which comes into force from tomorrow, Sunday, March 28, and ends at midnight on Sunday, April 11.
Mr. Marshall stated that tomorrow; Friday, April 2; Sunday, April 4; Monday, April 5, and Sunday, April 11, would be the days of partial shutdown, and only specified businesses would be allowed to open on those days.
“Now, we have tremendous concerns about the upcoming Easter weekend and I understand that this will be an important bank holiday, but we still feel that we need to keep the brakes on for a while longer,” he underlined.
Mr. Marshall added that during the five-day period, bakeries would be open for the baking of bread only, but bread vans and depots must pause operations.
Other businesses permitted to operate include farms, cleaning companies servicing essential services, fuel manufacturers, gas stations and hotels.
“The same businesses that were allowed to open last Sunday are those that are going to be allowed to open this Sunday (tomorrow); Good Friday; Sunday, April 4; Easter Monday, and Sunday, April 11. Those businesses that are mentioned in paragraph six of the directive, and I encourage you to look to see where you fall and the directive is found on Government’s website and in other areas, so look to see where you fall. On those days, we are expecting the majority of businesses to be closed, and under this directive, once more, unless you are doing business with one of those kinds of establishments that are allowed to open, you have to stay at home, plain and simple,” he pointed out.
The Attorney General informed the public that the curfew period would now be from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., but cautioned that the time for persons to start their exercises on the beaches was still 6:00 a.m.
He reiterated that the 6:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. arrangement for beaches and parks remained unchanged.
Mr. Marshall added that Government was cognisant of the importance of Holy Week and the Easter celebrations, but stressed there would be no increase to the stipulated 75 persons for services and no baptisms would be permitted. He said the numbers attending funeral services remain unchanged at 25.
He thanked the public for working with Government and the COVID Sub-Committee, by observing the protocols.