Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has announced the extension of the national shut down by a further two weeks, but with some restrictions relaxed. Ms. Mottley said the public health advisers stated that “we are not yet ready to return to normal” and Cabinet has approved an extension of the national shutdown until May 3rd.
She made the disclosure during an address to the country on national television tonight.
She also stated that school cannot reopen next week as scheduled and that there will be consultation on further deferring The Barbados Secondary School’s Entrance Examination.The Prime Minister also revealed that the public will be allowed to leave home two days a week for essential tasks based on the first letter in their surname.
Supermarkets and commercial banks will be opened for limited hours and there will be special days for senior citizens and the differently-abled, she added.
Other key points of PM’s address
- Post offices will open every day Monday to Friday.
- Wayside fruit and vegetable vendors will again be allowed to operate.
- The Prime Minister reports considerable improvement in the social distancing.
- She declared there was no time for partisan politics and that the situation requires a “whole nation approach”
- The Prime Minister noted that at least twenty Barbadians have died from COVID-19 in the USA, primarily in New York.
- The Prime Minister disclosed that there have been about 14,000 unemployment applications since the middle of March and that the NIS will have an additional group of people exclusively handling unemployment benefits to speed up disbursal.
- Hardware stores will open half-day.
- A broad-based Jobs and Investment Council is being established that will include former finance ministers Owen Arthur and Chris Sinckler.