Sunday 7 June, 2020

COVID-19: Barbados up to 46 cases, implements 24-hour curfew

Barbados' Acting Prime Minister, Santia Bradshaw, has announced a 24-hour curfew will be in effect from Friday, April 3 at 5 pm, as the island's number of COVID-19 cases has increased to 46 from 45.

One more case was reported out of 33 persons that were tested between Wednesday and Thursday. 

Bradshaw said that persons' insistence on ignoring the call to practice social distancing has led to more stringent restrictions.

"Our observations thus far continue to be that there are large groups of persons congregating across the island even in spite of the persistent warnings of the dangers of doing so," said Bradshaw during a live press conference. 

She declared that supermarkets and minimarts will be closed with effect from 5 pm on Friday 3 April until further notice. Persons are allowed to be on the roads only:

  • To go to the pharmacy
  • To seek medical assistance
  • If they are part of essential services
  • If they are doing business with any of the exempted businesses. 

"The members of the Cabinet sub-committee with respect to COVID-19 met this morning with the owners of a number of supermarkets, gas stations and bakeries across the island and amongst the concerns expressed at that meeting by those present are that even up to this morning large numbers of persons continue to congregate outside the supermarkets...We cannot further delay the closure of supermarkets and minimarts across the island, to do otherwise will have deleterious effects on the wellbeing of our citizens," Bradshaw said. 

Government is in discussions with supermarket owners on e-commerce options and allowing the most vulnerable members of society to fulfil their grocery orders. 

Village shops will remain open but no more than three people can congregate at a time and no alcoholic beverages can be sold. 

"We are asking the village shop owners that they simply provide the necessary dispatch of groceries to persons living in those communities but to curtail and ensure that they restrict persons congregating to persons no more than three and also that no alcoholic beverages are sold." 

All restaurants should be closed until midnight April 14, 2020. 

Auto-marts at gas stations will be closed except for the sale of top-ups and all gas stations will remain open. Bakeries and bread depots will also remain open under the new hours assigned. 

All Government departments will remain closed unless otherwise specified by the Head of the Civil Service. A memo will be sent to all ministries by the Head of the Civil Service declaring who will be required to go to work. 

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