Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s COVID-19 update and address to the nation – March 11, 2021. (PMO)

As Barbados prepares for the reopening of commercial and retail sectors from Monday, March 15, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, is calling on residents and companies to ensure that they comply with all COVID-19 protocols.

During an address to the nation this evening, the Prime Minister appealed to everyone to follow the protocols in place for their protection against COVID-19, and urged companies to ensure that they had effective monitoring systems and compliance officers within their operations.

“I appeal to persons to please, please, please, follow the protocols. I am also appealing to companies and the sectors, especially companies that have more than 25 persons on staff that they need to put in place compliance officers, because you really need somebody who comes to work every day, just to walk around and to make sure that people are complying,” she said.

Ms. Mottley explained that requirement was similar to that required under the Occupational Safety and Health at Work Act, which directs that there must be a Safety and Health Committee in organisations with 25 or more staff.

“But I am going further. I am saying that even in sectors where there are less than 25 people, but it is in the interest of the sector to come together, and perhaps even share the costs for compliance officers, outside of Government’s Compliance Unit,” she stated.

Ms. Mottley reminded the country that “one bad apple spoils a whole bunch”, and therefore, it was in everyone’s interest to ensure that persons follow the rules and protocols, being conscious of the price of not doing so.

The Prime Minister noted that Government had established units with Compliance Officers for larger ministries, such as the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the protective services, including the Barbados Defence Force, to ensure compliance.

However, she reminded residents that they were their best compliance officers and urged those who saw protocols being broken to speak out against the practice in a polite manner.

Ms. Mottley encouraged persons who spoke out against protocol breaches and were ignored, or persons refused to comply, to contact the Compliance Unit at 536-3865 (daytime) or 536-4500 (after hours). “All of us are in this together, and we will be as strong as the weakest among us,” she stated.

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