St. Lucia eases health regulations for fully vaccinated people
CASTRIES – The St. Lucia government announced several amendments to the coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention and control regulation, including allowing for returning nationals and visitors with a negative PCR test and who are fully vaccinated not to be quarantined.
The government said the measures take effect from Monday until June 30, as the island continues to strengthen its vaccination campaign.
A government statement said a total of 27,709 individuals had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine up to this past Friday and 18,277 others have received the second dose.
The statement said the Cabinet of Prime Minister Allen Chastanet after “careful deliberation on recommendations from the Command Centre” had agreed to adjust the COVID-19 protocols to allow concessions for fully vaccinated people based on the protection being provided by vaccination in keeping with the science.
But it warned that all public health measures such as mandatory mask wearing in public, social distancing, and washing and sanitising of hands remain in place. It said the daily curfew remains 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. (local time).
According to the statement, the changes allowed for a person with a valid liquor licence to permit a person on licensed premises to consume intoxicating liquor between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. as well as allowing a “competitive sporting activity…within a controlled facility with spectators on condition that persons in attendance are fully vaccinated”.
The government said competitive sporting events or activities must receive approval from the Ministry of Health and returning nationals and visitors with a negative PCR test and who are fully vaccinated will not require quarantine “random testing will be done at all arrival points”.
“Notwithstanding, the CMO (Chief Medical Officer) retains the power to place visitors in quarantine in order to protect public health,” the statement said, adding that social events with up to 50 fully vaccinated people may be permitted after authorisation through the Ministry of Health.
“The government of St. Lucia is encouraged that the changes will allow certain sectors negatively impacted by COVID-19 to commence or expand operations and asks that as we continue to monitor the situation regarding the spread of COVID-19, all should practice the infection prevention and control measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep us safe,” the statement said.
It warned that St. Lucia was still at “a critical point” in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding “we anticipate the risks involved and will continue to strengthen the public health system”.
“We urge the public to act responsibly and ask for the full cooperation in the safe implementation of the new measures in place,” the statement said.