St Lucia removes ‘State of Emergency’ weekend curfew to remain in place

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Castries, St Lucia: The Minister of Health, Wellness and The Elderly Affairs – Moses Jn Baptiste, announced that decision had been taken to extend the COVID-19 protocols till the end of October month. These protocols will be in effect from October 16 to 30. 

The decision has been taken after discussions and dialogue with the COVID-19 management Centre. 

Following are the new COVID protocols – 

  • Confinement to the residence on weekends will be in effect from Monday to Friday from 7 pm to 4 am; Saturday confinement starts at 7 pm and ends on Monday at 4 am. (which means that there will be a 24-hour lockdown/confinement on Sundays). 
  • During confinement, an individual can attend the religious ceremony on Sunday but must return back to their homes by 1 pm. 
  • One can host or attend a mass crowd event or a social event except with the ten or fewer individuals of his or her immediate family or household.
  • Religious ceremonies are permitted based on the footage of the organization in keeping with the established COVID-19 response plan. Special religious rites, including weddings, baptisms and funerals, are allowed with 50 or fewer people.
  • The sale & disposal of intoxicating liquor at bars, Ram shops, and grab and go restaurants has been suspended (all of these establishments will be supported with an economic package very soon). 
  • The sale & disposal of intoxicating liquor from a supermarket, gas station or a wholesaler and approved dine-in service restaurants without a valid and legal license will be permitted.
  • The Dining services will be available at approved restaurants and food establishments only; Takeaway grab and go, and delivery services will be allowed at the other establishments.
  • The recreational and social activities at hotels will be allowed on the property during the restricted hours, provided that such activities occur on the property. Water sports & the other water-related activities such as – boat rides, Skiing must be suspended during the 24-hour weekend restrictions. 
  • Educational institutions might be open for face-to-face classes to facilitate structured supervision from October 18, 2021, for grade k, grade 6, form 4, form 5 and the special education schools. The Ministry of education sustainable development, innovation science technology and vocational training will tell the confirmed dates to the public. All other classes shall continue to use distributed learning.

Besides this, Prime Minister – Philip J Pierre, while addressing the nation, cited that he is aware of the pain and difficulty people have and are going through because of the significant public health measures that the government put in place to curb the spread COVID-19 virus. 

Following his statement, PM added, “Late previous week, we sadly learned that more St Lucians had been infected by the more infectious and deadly Delta variants, which had been detected in the nation earlier this year. This has certainly created more challenges for our country and for other countries having to deal with the Delta variant.” 

He further noted that the state of emergency would end on October 16, 2021, but advised that even after that, people must follow the COVID-19 health measures. As the state of emergency will end, the St Lucian government would not reinstate it as the nation will adopt the COVID-19 Preventions and Control Act. 

Apart from this, the Health Minister has added that there is a steady decline in the transmission rate in St Lucia.