Sunday 7 June, 2020

5 changes to the Public Health Ordinance you should know about

On Tuesday 7 April, the Ministry of Communications shared the most recent version of the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No. 8) Regulations, 2020, which outlines the various regulations put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago.

It clarified that this particular regulation does not apply to discount stores, markets and supermarkets.

  1. The latest Ordinance detailed the stipulations for hours of operation for certain essential businesses, including hardwares, supermarkets and pharmacies.
  • Hardware stores including electrical and plumbing establishments shall only be open for sales to the public from 8 am to 12 noon from Monday to Saturday
  • Retail services, such as discount stores, markets, supermarkets, fruit stalls or shops, vegetable stalls or shops, bakeries and “parlours”, for the provision of food or other necessities of life shall only be open for sales to the public until 6 pm every day
  • Wholesale stores for the provision of food, medicine or other necessities of life shall only be open until 4 pm every day
  • Pharmacies shall only be open for sales to the public until 8 pm every day.
  1. It also lays out the new regulation that requires all restaurants and retail food establishments to be closed from April 7 to April 30.
  • Street vending of food and beverages and all retail food services (including restaurants in-house dining, delivery and take-away services), except discount stores, markets, supermarkets, fruit stalls or shops, vegetable stalls or shops, bakeries and “parlours”, for the provision of food or other necessities of life, shall be closed for operation during the period set out in regulation 10 (April 7 to April 30)
  1. In addition to retail food services, the updated ordinance spoke to the closure of businesses that hold licenses for the sale of alcohol.
  • The holder of a spirit retailer licence, wine retailer licence, restaurant licence or wine merchant’s licence under the Liquor Licences Act shall ensure that the premises relative to such licence, is closed for operation during the period set out in regulation 10 (April 7 to April 30).

It clarified that this particular regulation does not apply to discount stores, markets and supermarkets.

  1. The latest Public Health Ordinance also revised the number of persons allowed to congregate for religious or ecclesiastical services or any other religious gatherings from ten down to five.
  2. And the last major change to the Public Health Ordinance is the inclusion of a new set of regulations which deal with private medical laboratories who are currently testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, and their obligation to report any positive result to the Chief Medical Officer and Regional Health Authority of the area in which the person who tested positive resides or works.
  • Notwithstanding the fact that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has not yet approved any private medical laboratory to do testing for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), where a private medical laboratory does such testing on a person and the result of such testing is a positive result, the private medical laboratory and the person so tested, shall immediately report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer and the Regional Health Authority of the area in which the person to whom the results apply resides or works.

Where a private medical laboratory under subregulation (1) fails to report and forward the results to the Chief Medical Officer and the Regional Health Authority of the area in which the person, to whom the results apply, resides or works, the owner or operator of such private medical laboratory and the person so tested commit an offence and each is liable on summary conviction to a fine of fifty thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six months.

The current regulations have effect from April 7 to April 30.

Read the full Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No. 8) Regulations, 2020 here

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free:

  

Comments