Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has disclosed that there will be some changes in the new directive, and has encouraged the public to work together to keep down the number of people who could become infected by COVID-19.

Ms. Mottley was addressing the nation this afternoon from Ilaro Court, and outlined some of those changes, which include a reduction in the number of persons allowed at limes and picnics.   “We believe … that we need to reduce limes and picnics.  We had said 40 people before, for now let us drop it to 20 people …  It is not going to kill us, but what will kill us is if the Delta and COVID spread through people…”

She cautioned young people not to be “fast and loose” with their future and asked them to “apply our hearts to commonsense”. Noting that many of the persons becoming ill from the virus were young people, she said: “And it is not just old people, regrettably, it is too many young people.  And I see the pictures, across the region.  And I see what it is doing to our young people who are the most productive, that we need to be able to rely on and this country is already under populated.”  

The Prime Minister added that people would be able to lime in larger numbers again, but now was not that time.  Giving the justification for still allowing limes, she stated: “This mental wellness thing would drive some people off…. You need a little breather, and this is 20 months.  So, we accept that you need sometimes to go and relax and gaffe…with friends or have a drink or whatever you do to relax, but let us do it safely.  And to that extent, avoid the large numbers.”

Ms. Mottley also stated that no night clubs would be allowed to open, and cautioned, “I could have gone much further, but I paused, as Prime Minister of this nation.”

She highlighted that churches, weddings and funerals would remain at 100 people in attendance, but pleaded “when you go to them, adhere to the protocols”.            

The Prime Minister pointed out that if persons adhered to the protocols; didn’t gather in large numbers and increased the vaccination rate, it would help to keep the country open and the COVID-19 numbers down.   “And if we can bring those numbers back down, or keep them where they are, then I believe … that we can start to see the rebounding of the economic circumstances of Bajans,” she said.

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb

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