Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, in her address to the nation on CBC TV 8 on Wednesday night, outlined her four-phase plan to move the country forward during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Phase 2 of that plan will start from Monday, May 4. This includes the curfew period being between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.
“We have heard the concerns and realities of all Barbadians and placed them into the centre of everything we are doing. We know you are worried about the safety of your loved ones. You are worried too about your livelihood, and that you need more information about what is to happen, when will it happen, and generally, what you ought to be doing at this point,” Prime Minister Mottley said.
Stating that the measures the country is currently operating under fall under Phase 1 of the Exit Strategy for Lockdown, she said come Monday, the following sectors will be opened under Phase 2.
- Construction and Mining;
- Landscaping Services;
- Food and Beverages Manufacturing and Retailing (not for the actual restaurant but the manufacturing and reselling of food and beverages);
- Finance and Insurance;
- Legal, Accounting and other Professional Services to Support Businesses;
- Tradesmen e.g. joiners, upholsterers, welding workshops;
- Automotive stores (to support the maintenance of a safe public and private transport system);
- Landscaping, Garden and Pool Services;
- Retailers of Baby Products;
- Restaurants for offsite delivery of food only
- Building Supplies;
- Beauty Supply Stores;
- Health and Medicine Services;
- Office Equipment and Supplies;
- Pet Services and Supplies;
- Safety Equipment;
- Security Products and Services;
- Marine Products;
- Tyre shops, wrecker services and emergency personnel for vehicle response only, as needed;
- Property Management Services
- Education Suppliers;
- Dry Cleaning and Laundry Services;
- Distribution and Printing Supplies; and
- Delivery Companies.
Also, under Phase 2, Barbadians will be allowed to purchase alcohol. However, there will be no consumption in public, and this measure will be closely monitored.
Limited access to the beach, between 6:00 and 9:00 a.m. daily, will be allowed. Prime Minister Mottley stated this action was “particularly for those elderly people who may have joint problems, or who cannot therefore exercise on the road or run or walk, but who need the sea in order to be able to allow their bodies to be able to get that kind of movement that is necessary to avoid the pain”.
She added: “We are encouraging persons to go to the sea; exercise on the beach; go in the water; come back out exercise if you may, but do not congregate on the beaches.”
This measure will also be closely monitored, and an assessment will determine if this three-hour window can be safely widened.
The Prime Minister urged those workers operating under Phase 1 and 2 to protect themselves as they have been instructed, and to use the personal protective equipment at all times, not just as a safety precaution for themselves, but as a courtesy to their colleagues and anyone with whom they may come into contact.
Ms. Mottley added: “As we navigate these tempestuous seas, we must stay on course if we are to reach safe ground and move on to Phase 3. Any refusal to comply will cause us to run aground and set us back to where we started, a scenario that we can ill afford.”
To download the full transcript of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation, please click here.