Guyana’s President announces imminent removal of countrywide curfew

President Dr Irfaan Ali has announced that he has instructed the relevant authorities to remove the countrywide curfew that is currently in place as a measure to protect the population from the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A national curfew was instituted countrywide following the first Covid case detected in Guyana in March 2020. While the timings have varied throughout this period, the latest renewed measures stipulate the curfew as from midnight to 4am.

The Guyanese Head of State announced, during the launch of the latest edition of the Explore Guyana Magazine, that he has already had talks with Prime Minister Mark Phillips on the removal of this curfew.

President Ali emphasised, however, that persons need to exercise responsibility since the pandemic is still real. This means following the Covid protocols including the wearing of masks, social distancing, and getting vaccinated.

PM Phillips, who is the head of the National Covid-19 Task Force, confirmed that that this could happen as soon as tomorrow.

He explained that the matter is currently being discussed. “Let’s wait and see what will happen tomorrow.”

According to the PM, there is a process that needs to be followed involving the Ministry of Health as well as the Central Board of Health. This process has been activated.

Asked whether any of the other existing Covid measures will be relaxed, the Prime Minister said when a decision is made, the public will be notified.

The current measures stipulate that from 04:00h to 23:00h, stakeholders can continue to access services at banks, markets, supermarkets, grocery shops, gas stations, postal or shipping services, beauty salons, barbershops, hardware stores, clothing stores; or other maintenance services.

Other services including food services, restaurants, bars (including those at hotels) can facilitate delivery, drive-thru, curb-side pick-up and take away services between this time. Self-service buffet dining is still prohibited. Gambling, pool, and snooker games are not allowed at bars.

Indoor and outdoor dining is also permitted within the same hours at 60 per cent capacity, tables spaced six feet apart, and patrons above the age of 12 in possession of their vaccination card with accompanying identification document.

There are still restrictions on social activities, where no one shall host or attend a private party, banquet, ball, reception, hotel swimming pool or waterpark, wage, vigil, club, discotheque, social club, civil organisation or association, fraternal society; or any other social activity. Sporting events require approval from the Ministry of Health.

Casinos, betting shops, or cinemas can still operate but only at forty per cent capacity of the building or seating area. Patrons will only be allowed entry upon possession of a vaccination card to show their immunisation status.

To date, 427,680 persons or 83.4 per cent of the adult population have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine while 320,221 or 62.4 per cent have received two doses.

In terms of booster doses, 44,282 persons have received their jabs.

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