All social gatherings in St Lucia suspended per new COVID protocols
New COVID-19 protocols, including the suspension of all social gatherings, will go into effect on Monday, November 16, 2020, in Saint Lucia.
The protocols were decided after the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) convened in reaction to a concerning rise in cases and the island's first two COVID-related deaths.
The stricter measures were said to be necessary due to the lack of adherence to more lenient protocols put in place two weeks ago.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Sharon Belmar-George warned, "The lack of compliance [with protocols] puts us at a very critical position where if we don't work to break the chain of transmission with immediate effect it would lead to our forecasting in our projections over the next 14 days to almost tripling the numbers we are noting to date."
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet announced the following measures:
- Suspension of ALL social gatherings
- Church services and funerals limited to 25 people. Weddings suspended
- All sporting events suspended, including gyms
- Home gatherings, including inviting family members to your home, suspended for tqo weeks
- Work from home where possible
- Businesses must close at 9 pm
- Bars must close at 4 pm
- Alcohol sales restricted to grab and go
The prime minister said that the new protocols will be reviewed within the next week and may be made even stricter depending on what goes on.
Saint Lucia has recorded 156 cases to date, 110 of which remain active. In the past 14 days, 56 new cases were recorded. One patient is in critical condition at the Respiratory Hospital.
The CMO noted that the R0, the reproductive rate for transmission, has increased in the current second wave relative to the first wave of COVID-19 on island. This increase indicates that COVID-19 is becoming more infectious in St Lucia.