St Lucia: New COVID-19 restrictions including curfew to start from 13 August

St Lucia: New COVID-19 restrictions including curfew to start from 13 August
St Lucia: New COVID-19 restrictions including curfew to start from 13 August

The government of St Lucia announced a curfew from 9pm to control the COVID-19 spread on the island. The government has also declared strict orders demanding the closure of all commercial activities and business operations 1 hr before the starting time of the curfew.

The government gave special provisions for the important sectors, such as essential services, construction, manufacturing, call centres and certified hotel employees.

The new restrictions will remain in effect for two weeks, starting from Friday, August 13, 2021.

Physical distancing has been made mandatory at every business place as well as the public areas. The office can also order work from home to the employees if possible to reduce the number of people in the office and to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The offices have been encouraged for scheduling large staff and board meetings virtually or online on platforms.

PM Phillip J Pierre, in his tweet, said, “Let us encourage each other to observe the protocols for the next 14 days so that we may be able to get back to some level of normality. We owe to each other; I know that you can do it, especially for the most vulnerable among us who are likely to die if they become infected. And to those still hesitant about taking the vaccine, I call on you to reconsider your position, seek medical advice and help protect our nation from this deadly virus by taking the vaccine.”

The government has also announced new restrictions on social gatherings. Under the restrictions, immediate households and family limited to 10 people. For the next three weeks, loud music would be prohibited. Special concentration should be given to following the general hygiene procedures at homes and public places.

Dates of burial should not be advertised. At weddings and funerals, only invited people would be allowed. Many religious rights including baptism, weddings and funerals would be limited to 100 individuals, including observers and the service leaders.

No sports activities are permitted, or they are permitted for a given period time-limited to field capacity and game structure. No audience, spectators and crowding are not allowed. Gyms have been allowed to operate while following all COVID-19 protocols. Special permission may be granted for training athletes requiring one-on-one coaching/training.

All educational institutions would operate as per set school hours. School operation for the new academic year would be assessed in the middle of August based on the transmission rate. The final decision on which schools would operate fully or use the alternate days approach will be specified.