Wednesday 3 June, 2020

School and curfew changes hinge on guidance from health officials

COVID-19 Czar Mr Richard Carter

COVID-19 Czar Mr Richard Carter

“The date of expiration of the curfew remains as has been announced.”

This was the response given by COVID-19 Czar Mr Richard Carter when queried about an extension of the present curfew which is scheduled to end at midnight on April 14, 2020. Speaking at the latest press conference on April 7, the Czar stated that, if warranted, the curfew could be extended.

“We understand that the restrictions have been uncomfortable for many Barbadians. We understand that it has caused dislocation, as the Prime Minster said, but we will only make the adjustment to the current date or make an extension if the situation warrants it. That is currently and continually being evaluated by the Health Emergency Operations Centre from which the Government of Barbados continues to take its guidance and direction,” Mr Carter stated.

In light of curfew extensions being instituted in neighbouring Caribbean territories as they too try to control the spread of COVID-19, Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw weighed in and said:

“It is fair to say that we are reviewing every day. I keep repeating, the dynamics continue to change, the figures continue to change. We are still on track in terms of what would have been predicted in terms of where we would be, but again we are guided by the medical health professionals in terms of changing the dynamics of the curfew at this stage.”

As to how soon Barbadians can expect an update on the curfew extension, she informed:

“I believe early next week we will make the announcement in relation to whether that advice has said to us that we continue or whether we relax the curfew in any way.”

The Acting PM went on to say that preliminary discussions were being held with the private sector as well as various other partners and stakeholders to consider what would need to be put in place in the event that the curfew had to be extended.

“We have been looking at other countries across the world and other islands across the Caribbean to look at how they have been handling it and how their people have responded to a number of the measures and also looking at what Barbadians can handle at this stage. All of that is balanced first and foremost by public health concerns,” the Acting PM assured.

In relation to school resumption, Acting PM Bradshaw said the decision was dependent on the possible extension of the curfew.  

“We have said the curfew continues until [April] 14. Obviously, classes were due to also resume shortly and I think that all of that would be made available to you in the fullness of time, in relation to how we handle all of these measures,” she stated.

As of April 8, Barbados has 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with three deaths recorded. 

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