Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has announced a phased reopening of the country from Monday, 1st March after a month-long national pause. But the night time curfew remains in effect.

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Mottley disclosed that Barbados has now administered close to 30 thousand vaccinations, more than six thousand over the last two days alone.
Up to Thursday, a total of 29,186 vaccinations had been administered under the national vaccination program.

From next week a team of doctors will be going into the communities to vaccinate people who are housebound.

Prime Minister Mottley also stated that Barbados has plans in place to obtain a large number of vaccines so that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can do so by the beginning of May.

The Prime Minister stressed that vaccination will not be made mandatory although she noted COVID-19 vaccination cards will likely be required for travel and some other activities.

She stressed she believes vaccination will be key to overcoming the pandemic along with continuing to follow the protocols such as mask-wearing.

She said local health professionals believe the current apparently high numbers were to be expected as the public became lapse in adherence to protocols.

Ms. Mottley accepted that in battling such an unprecedented pandemic errors will be made.

The Prime Minister announced that the problem of backlogged test results has been resolved with an adequate supply of testing supplies and equipment having been obtained.

Starcom summary contd

Despite a current spike in cases, she believes the results of the lockdown measures will be reflected in the numbers in the coming weeks.

The Prime Minister stated that the private economy has taken a major hit and felt that while covid 19 cases are still high, the public has made huge sacrifices for the national good and they can’t do it forever.

She stated that the country cannot remain under the restrictions indefinitely or businesses will collapse and even more people will lose their jobs.

Noting that systems will be put in place to ensure enforcement and compliance with protocols the Prime Minister then announced the phased reopening as follows, effective Monday, 1st March.

Starcom summary contd

  • Persons will be allowed to exercise and visit the beach from 3 pm to 6 pm, in addition to the current period of 6 am to 9 am but no pleasure crafts are allowed at this stage.
  • Outdoor commercial activity is encouraged where possible.
  • Construction, agriculture, farming, fishing, manufacturing, auto mechanics, and repair will be allowed to resume normal work activity.
  • Also allowed to open are hardware, appliance, farm and gardening, plumbing, electronics, IT, and telephony stores.
  • Still prohibited for now are indoor activities such as clothing, boutiques, hairdressers and barbers.
  • Additional commercial activity will be allowed to reopen in coming weeks.
  • Government will continue to provide assistance to those who remain unable to operate.
  • Restaurants and fast food outlets will be allowed to operate for curbside pickups, drive-through, and deliveries.
  • Selling of food along the shoulder of the highway is to be prohibited for safety and health reasons.
  • Coconut vendors will be allowed to operate but discussions are to commence on their relocation.
  • Parts and repair operations, professional services and critical government departments will reopen with minimal staff with people continuing to function from home where possible.

Starcom summary contd

  • Gyms, massage parlours, and indoor and outdoor contact sports will remain prohibited.
  • Parties of any kind remain prohibited.
  • Church, funerals, and weddings are urged to adhere to the guidelines and protocols.
  • Supermarkets will now be allowed to open from Monday to Saturday but will be closed on Sunday.
  • Gas stations will be allowed to open Monday to Sunday but the mini-marts in gas stations will only be open from Monday to Saturday.
  • The nighttime curfew remains from 7 pm to 6 am.
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