Tuesday 7 July, 2020

More COVID-19 restrictions lifted; surname system gone, curfew stays

Attorney General Hon Dale Marshall

Attorney General Hon Dale Marshall

There will be a further relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions for Barbadians come June 1, 2020, and the alphabet system is out the door.

A number of retailers and additional businesses will soon be permitted to reopen during this next phase.

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All remaining retail operators have been given the nod of approval to reopen their doors with effect from Monday (June 1). However, these are not unconditional re-openings. Attorney General Dale Marshall stated: “These openings are subject to the strict compliance with the various protocols that are established and, in some instances enterprises will have to use temperature measurement devices and there will have to be some kind of screening.”

In explaining the process under which decisions to reopen were made, the AG made it clear that they were guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness in collaboration with other relevant agencies.

“We have actually subjected our decision-making to a higher level of rigour at each stage because obviously as we open up more there is the perception, if not necessarily the risk, of increased spread,” he explained during tonight's press conference chaired by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

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After further consideration, the AG also identified a number of operators who will be permitted to resume operations from Monday. These include:

  1. Photo studios and photographers
  2. Real estate agents
  3. Car rental companies
  4. Animal grooming and handling
  5. Trucking and other transport of goods
  6. Storage
  7. Car Valet services
  8. Well Cleaning
  9. Recycling businesses

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In addition to the reopening of more categories of business, there will also be some movement in the curfew hours.

Curfew remains

Barbados remains on a 24-hour curfew where citizens are only supposed to venture outdoors to conduct any aspect of business that is permitted in the protocols, but from Monday, the commencement and shutdown hours for businesses are changing.

“From Monday to Thursday the shutdown hour for Barbados will be 10 0’clock at night and we reopen at 5 am in the morning.  From Friday through Sunday the shutdown hour is 8 o’clock and then, of course, we reopen at 5 am in the morning again.” In providing a rationale for the more relaxed timeframe on weekdays with constriction on weekends, the AG stated: “We want to continue to suppress the natural exuberance of Barbadians for the normal weekend festivities.”

The current restriction on beach access will be lifted from Tuesday, June 2, 2020. Beach lovers will be permitted to visit between 5 am and 6.30 pm daily. Persons will be expected to comply with physical distancing protocols. The AG said that the relaxation comes on the day after the bank holiday (June 1) to remove the possibility of Barbadians picnicking at the beach on Monday. However, he went on to say that picnicking is not permitted at all, bank holiday or not. There is still to be no gathering.

Parks will also be allowed to open subject to the relevant protocols. 

Barbados implemented a curfew and a partial lockdown from March 28, 2020, with the most recent relaxation in restrictions taking effect on May 18, now to expire at midnight May 31.

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