Barbados has been placed on a midnight – 5am curfew until January 14th 2020 following the discovery of ten new cases of COVID-19.

The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley during an address to the nation this afternoon.

Five cases are being investigated because they are cases that cannot be linked to someone who recently travelled.

The Prime Minister said now is the time for more severe measures to be taken to combat the spread of the virus.

The Chief Medical Officer (ag) Dr. Kenneth George says two of the cases are prison officers and over the next 48 hours everyone at the prison will be tested including officers, prisoners, and civilian staff. He notes there is local transmission but not yet community spread.

Other highlights from address

. People who had planned the 65 events scheduled for tonight will be reimbursed by government for some of the costs.

. Monday and Tuesday will be bank holidays to give health officials the opportunity to carry out contact tracing.

. Prison officers and their families are advised to stay at home.

. The reopening of schools will be delayed by two weeks.

. There will be no gathering allowed to watch fireworks.

. Restaurants and church services have to close by 11pm tonight.

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