Friday 5 June, 2020

Barbados' new survival plan set in place by Acting PM

Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw and interpreter Bonnie Leonce at Ilaro Court.

Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw and interpreter Bonnie Leonce at Ilaro Court.

Barbados has a new survival plan to tackle COVID-19.

Word of this came from the Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw as she addressed the nation on April 1, 2020.

The Acting Prime Minister said that the government of Barbados has not taken the decision to advance restrictive measures lightly as she announced the new norm to be set in place for the country. The move followed the disclosure that Barbados today recorded an additional 11 COVID-19 cases, taking the national total to 45.

 

Asserting that it is not business as usual, and outlining the new way of life for the next 14 days, she said:

"We know that the measures that we have had to implement to tackle COVID-19 have affected the livelihoods and the way of life of many Barbadians.

"We know this is painful for many and we have done our best as a government to limit the pain and cushion the impact particularly on those who are most vulnerable and most exposed in our society. But we also know that these measures are necessary. We know that Barbados, like many other countries in the world, stands on the precipice of irreparable damage to the way of life as we have come to know and cherish it …. and we will do all in our power to pull the country back from that precipice."

With effect from April 3, 2020, until April 14, 2020, all non-essential services will remain closed however, the list has been updated to place more restrictions on Barbadians. These include:

  1. "With immediate effect, a mandatory 14-day quarantine in a government facility will be placed on all persons entering Barbados, irrespective of the port of origin or port of entry;
  2. With effect from the third day of April 2020 until midnight on the fourteenth day of April 2020, every non-essential service shall remain closed, except the following which may open only between the hours specified:
    • abattoirs, butchers’ shops and fish markets between 9 am and 5 pm
    • bakeries between 6 am and 4 pm
    • farms between 5 am and 5 pm
    • pharmaceutical manufacturers, manufacturers of juices, soft drinks and dairy products, food processors and food distributors between 8 am and 5 pm
    • banks and credit unions only for the purpose of supporting the automatic teller machines
    • cleaning services between 7 am and 6 pm
    • fuel manufacturers, fuel storage facilities and fuel distributors between 7 am and 5 pm
    • pharmacies, wholesale and retail grocery stores, mini-marts and village shops between 9 am and 2 pm
    • gasoline stations between 7 am and 5 pm
    • delivery services relating to groceries and medical supplies between 8 am and 5 pm
    • hotels, villas & other rental accommodation, excluding gaming rooms, spas, gyms and discotheques and restaurants, only for take-away service and room service.
    • Sugar Factories for the entire day.
    • Private veterinary services as needed.
  3. With effect from 6 pm on Friday, April 3, all government ministries, departments and statutory corporations will be closed until 6 am on April 15 - the end of the current period of restriction. The only exception to this order will be those public services designated as essential services which shall open between 9 am and 6 pm and only employees designated as essential may go to the office. All other staff shall remain at home.

A full list of these Ministries, departments and statutory corporations will be published by the Government Information Service.

The owner and operator of every business establishment shall restrict the number of persons within or outside that establishment at any one time in order to ensure that a distance of at least six feet is maintained between every person.

Places of religious worship may open only for

  • the conduct of funeral services and weddings; and
  • the streaming of religious services at which only three persons including the officiant may be present.

No person shall host or attend:

  1. A private party;
  2. A recreational or competitive sporting event;
  3. A wedding other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer
  4. A banquet, ball or reception;
  5. Any social event;
  6. A meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organisation;

No person shall transmit video or audio of, or in any way make known to the public the identify of any person in a quarantine or isolation station;

No person shall visit a prison or a Government Industrial School;

Private businesses and offices may only continue their operations where the employees can work exclusively from home;

All beaches and parks shall be closed;

No more than ten mourners, one officiant and the funeral director and the necessary staff shall attend a funeral;

No more than one person at any time shall visit a patient in a hospital, nursing home, maternity home or facility for the treatment of persons with an addiction or a dependency on drugs or substances;

No person shall leave his residence except:

  1. To purchase food or medicine;
  2. To seek medical or dental attention;
  3. To do banking business;
  4. To work in an essential service or in a business that is exempt from this Directive

Related Article

No group, exceeding three persons, who are not members of the same household shall remain outdoors unless they are within the curtilage of their residence. ● Notwithstanding paragraph 14, no more than 5 members of the same household shall remain outdoors as a group, except in the curtilage of their residence.

The sale of intoxicating liquor is hereby prohibited.

Repercussions afoot for lawbreakers

“I want to remind the country that any person who contravenes this directive without reasonable explanation is guilty of an offence and is liable of summary conviction of a fine of $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of one year or to both,” says Bradshaw.  

Bradshaw stated that it was individuals acting “reckless and irresponsible” that caused government to take a more drastic step. She ‘begged’ members of the public to stay at home and to obey the rules set in place so that health officials can adequately assess the problem.

She also stated that by the end of the period, there should be a better gauge in regard to knowing the extent of the spread of the disease so that appropriate measures can be put in place.

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