State of Emergency declared in Saint Lucia
A state of emergency has been declared in St Lucia.
Senior Communications Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister, Nicole Mc Donald, told Loop News that the state of emergency has been put in place so that police are given the necessary powers to enforce the curfew and partial scale down being imposed on the nation to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier today, there were reports of the police compelling certain businesses to close, as they were not designated as essential.
The prime minister announced that from today, Monday, March 23, through Sunday, April 5, 2020, the government will put into place a "heightened protocol on social distancing regimes" in which all non-essential commercial services will be closed to reduce public interaction.
He later said, "When we start this process on Monday, we're also going to be imposing a curfew. The curfew will be from 11 o'clock at night until 5'oclock in the morning in the first instance."
An extraordinary Government Gazette was circulated earlier today in which the Governor-General made the state of emergency proclamation:
"WHEREAS it is enacted by section 17(1) of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap. 1.01 that the Governor General may, by proclamation which shall be published in the Official Gazette, declare that a state of emergency exists for the purposes of Chapter 1 of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap. 1.01;
AND WHEREAS section 17(2) of the Constitution of Saint Lucia,
Cap. 1.01 provides that a proclamation under section 17(1) shall not be effective unless it contains a declaration that the Governor General is satisfied –
(a) that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the imminence of a state of war between Saint Lucia and a foreign state;
(b) that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence or of infectious disease, or other calamity whether similar to the foregoing or not; or
(c) that action has been taken, or is immediately threatened, by any person, of such a nature and on so extensive a scale, as to be likely to endanger the public safety or to deprive the community or any substantial portion of the community of supplies or services essential to life;
AND WHEREAS a public emergency has arisen as a result of 2019-n CoV, an infectious disease commonly known as COVID 19; NOW THEREFORE I, EMMANUEL NEVILLE CENAC, Governor General of Saint Lucia, by this Proclamation do hereby declare –
(a) that a state of emergency exists for the purposes of Chapter 1 of the Constitution of Saint Lucia, Cap. 1.01;
(b) that I am satisfied that a public emergency has arisen as a result of the occurrence of 2019-n CoV, an infectious disease commonly known as COVID 19.
GIVEN under my hand and the Public Seal of Saint Lucia at Government House in the City of Castries, in the State of Saint Lucia this 23rd day of March 2020 in the sixty-ninth year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN"