COVID- 19 Czar: Barbadians urged to report protocol breachers
COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter
COVID-19 Czar Richard Carter is reminding Bajans that the virus is still in Barbados and they need to police themselves and others.
Furthermore, he reiterated that the island remains under the extended Public Health Emergency declaration until Augist 31.
This was the advice rendered today (July 28) while he was a guest on Slam 101 FM’s talk show ‘The Conversation’. Pointing out that even though Barbados has only a small number of active cases of COVID-19 at present, he stated that globally the cases were accelerating.
“The number of cases being recorded daily is increasing rather than decreasing. The latest figures I saw on Worldometers…the number of cases, was in excess of 16 million,” he provided.
In response to an observation shared by one of the hosts, Gaynelle Marshall, about the absence of masks while she strolled a boardwalk, the Czar stated that there was no requirement for mask wearing in ordinary public spaces.
“There is currently no requirement for mask wearing in ordinary public spaces in Barbados. So, if you are going for a walk on the boardwalk there is no requirement to wear a mask. You can choose to do so if you consider or perceive that there is some risk of interacting with other people whom you may pass.
"There is however a requirement for many places. So, if you are going into a restaurant, if you are going into a business place, if you are riding on a public service vehicle, there are many places like that where the wearing of a mask is required,” Carter clarified.
He stressed that the COVID-19 Emergency Directive has the force of law and the penalties also have a legal basis.
The COVID-19 Monitoring Unit also has the authority under the law to require any operation to cease if found in violation of the established protocols.
When Salt, the second host on the show, questioned the rationale behind having patrons don masks simply to gain entry into some events and establishments, only to remove them shortly after, Carter made it clear that was not among any of the established protocols.
“I am not sure who allows you to take the masks off in a cruise or in a party because… if you cannot maintain six feet between yourself and other persons, then mask-wearing is required.
"If you go on a cruise you are going to be in an enclosed space, yes you are going to be in the open air but if there are 50, 60, 70 persons on that cruise, many of whom are not members of your own household, then you should be wearing a mask,” he specified.
While conceding that masks wearing wasn’t practical for eating and drinking, the Czar suggested simply lifting the face covering to accommodate such activities. In restaurant settings he noted that many of these establishments have positioned the tables at least 6-feet apart in adherence with the recommended protocols.
While making it explicitly clear that “nothing that Barbadians do keeps me awake at night” the Czar implored Bajans to consider their own personal protection while going about their day-to-day activities and not place themselves at risk.
He encouraged Barbadians to observe the protocols and respect the law. He also appealed to them to exercise their civic responsibility and report any breaches observed to the monitoring unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.