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KEY POINTS: Barbados under more restrictions in February

KEY POINTS: Barbados under more restrictions in February
Prime Minister Mia Mottley. (GP)

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Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Tuesday night announced new measures to fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Barbados.

Restricted movement will go into effect from February 3 to 17 over a 15-day period during which she says the island needs to pause. A national curfew will be in effect from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. during that time, tightening up on the current 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. directive

Even as she urged residents and visitors not to panic, Mottley said the Caribbean Public Health Laboratory, CARPHA, confirmed the UK variant of COVID-19 was in Barbados, with three of the ten samples being positive.

During the restricted people, there will be new opening hours for supermarkets and banks, but village shops will close and vending will cease. People were urged to plan their business and don’t rush on supermarkets because there is adequate food on island.

In declaring war on COVID-19 – and dengue to a lesser extent – Mottley also announced new measures for visitors and those coming on the Welcome Stamp.

The key points are listed below:

  • Those over age 70 urged to stay at home for next three weeks.
  • People dropped their guard with the use of personal protection.
  • Masks should be worn at home when you have visitors.
  • We all have to play our part in the National repair programme.
  • Launching war in communities against Covid- 19.
  • From February 3 all people visiting Barbados must have a negative COVID test.
  • It must be taken no more than 3 days prior to departure.
  • There will be a mandatory rapid antigen test on arrival.
  • Once you have a negative test, you will go to a Government authorised quarantine centre – free or paying – you have to spend minimum 5 nights before a PCR swab is taken.
  • If the rapid antigen test positive, you go to Harrison Point for assessment.
  • UK COVID variant in Barbados, CARPHA confirms.
  • 10 samples sent to CARPHA, 3 were positive with the UK variant.
  • From February 3 wearing of masks will be mandatory except for those with underlying medical issues.
  • Wearing of masks in public places will be mandatory.
  • New measures to start February 3 to 17.
  • When we go into a period of advanced restrictions, plan out your business.
  • Supermarkets will be opened for certain times.
  • Get back to arming yourself with hand sanitisers.
  • House health checks will be in effect.
  • 15-day period of national pause.
  • All other activities exempted as essential – private or public.
  • Projects will stop.
  • Work on Highway 1 continues.
  • Curfew 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Supermarkets will open from 8 to 3 during the week, closed Saturdays and Sundays
  • Pharmacies open on weekends.
  • Gas stations will be open on weekends.
  • Care packages will be distributed next week for all people who can’t get to the supermarkets.
  • Banks will be closed from February 3 to 9, 2021 and reopen on February 10.
  • Banks will cash pension checks dated February 1 from as early as Thursday.
  • Chief Compliance officers will be hired to ensure Barbadians are following the protocols.
  • If you don’t need to leave home at all, don’t leave home.
  • No hanging around idly; no liming.
  • Don’t panic.
  • Markets have to close for this period.
  • Vending will have to stop during this period.
  • Public transport will go back to 60 per cent seating.
  • We can’t do 100 per cent lockdown
  • Shops will not be allowed to be open.
  • Restaurants and gyms will be closed from February 3 to 17.
  • The COVID-19 fight will cost the country about $20 to 25 million over the next few weeks.
  • We need to comply with the protocols.