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Weekend curfew for Barbados

Weekend curfew for Barbados
Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic (Picture courtesy PMO Barbados)

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Days after Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the extension of the National Pause to fight the spread of COVID-19, a weekend curfew will also be added to the list of restrictions.

Dissatisfied with the number of people on the road as the country continues the war against COVID-19, Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic said he recommended the weekend curfew to keep more people at home.

“Many persons in this country still appear to be leaving home for the sake of leaving home. This is a major part of our problem,” Bostic said, adding Attorney General Dale Marshall would soon issue the new directive.

The curfew will be in place from 7 p.m. on Friday to 6 a.m. on Monday, during which time “it shall be unlawful for persons not in possession of the appropriate pass or not involved in the vaccination exercise, either as a service provider or recipient of the vaccine, to leave the confines of their homes”.

“Simply put, if you are not an essential worker, going to work or coming from work, if you do not have a Government authorised pass or if you are not directly involved in Operation Seek and Save or the National Vaccination Exercise and if you are not heading to or coming from a medical facility on legitimate business, then you shall have absolutely no permission to be on the roads of Barbados from Friday 7 p.m. to Monday 6 a.m.,” the Health Minister warned.

“This is a stay at home weekend, when the Royal Barbados Police Force shall be instructed to apprehend and prosecute all persons violating this order.”

This also applies to parks and beaches.

Bostic said this was necessary in light of the increasing spread of COVID-19 in homes and among family members, as well as the deaths of several seniors, a nine-year-old girl and a health care worker.

He reiterated the success of Operation Seek and Save, extensive contact tracing, observing the public health protocols and the national vaccination programme would also help curb the spread. The backlog at the Best-dos Santos Laboratory would also be cleared to ensure faster testing and the directives will be enforced.

The Minister of Health said up to Tuesday, 6 665 people, at a rate of nearly 1 000 a day, were vaccinated. The Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard will now reflect the number of people who were inoculated.

Ambassador Liz Thompson told Barbadians the country had moved from a pause to a stop.

The National Pause was extended until February 28, 2021. (SAT)