Sunday 29 November, 2020

St Lucia PM announces curfew end date; sports, cinemas to return

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Hon Allen Chastanet

St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has provided an update to the nation on COVID-19 protocols.

The prime minister announced on Monday that as of July 10, 2020, the curfew will be removed in the country.

He also declared that:

  • Cinemas will be reopened with approved protocols following meetings with the Chief Medical Officer's team and the cinema operator.
  • Early childhood development centers will be reopened with protocols.
  • Tournaments, sporting events and contact sports will be allowed, including allowances for up to 200 spectators who must socially distance.
  • The yachting sector will be reopened with strict protocols. All yachts within the Travel Bubble for 14 days will be allowed to enter the country without undergoing quarantine. Temperature checks will still be conducted.

Chastanet said a pilot phase for reopening the borders will be initiated. As such not all businesses in the tourist sector, such as Airbnbs and tours, would be allowed to open in this initial phase.

He stated: "For the first month to six weeks, what is being recommended is that we have a pilot phase. What we want to do is to restrict the number of hotels that are participating to ensure that the Ministry of Health staff have the ability to provide the level of oversight.

Two, that if we are seeing a problem, we're limiting the amount of exposure across the island. We need to have hotels which we believe persons will come down and there will be sufficient amount of services available to them to enjoy their vacation."

The prime minister also noted that in the case of persons coming from countries where testing is not available, travellers would be tested in St Lucia and confined to their hotel rooms until those results are available.

Those who undertake pre-testing in their home countries would not be confined to hotel rooms.

Meanwhile, Chastanet further explained the purpose of the pilot phase saying: "The pilot phase will allow us to determine whether the pre-testing and the screening and the protocols we're putting in place are working.

And in fact, if they are working and in another month to six weeks, we understand that on the basis of the information, the recommendation then could be to start expanding the number of hotels which would include small guest houses, as well as the Airbnbs, the ability for persons to now start doing tours because we become more comfortable that the persons in the screening that we're doing, that more than likely they don't have COVID."

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