More businesses to reopen, emphasis on safety

Barbadians will be allowed to engage in expanded shopping and areas of business from Monday, May 18. 

However, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said the 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew remains in place and asked Barbadians to follow the protocols related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic when going about their business.

During her presentation, she repeated that the changes were guided by safe work, for safe people, in a safe country.

Mottley was addressing the country at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on May 14 and was joined by ministers and members of the Social Partnership. 

The Prime Minister said the Alphabet system of shopping will remain in place, however, people can shop any time on their designated day. Normal banking hours will resume and banking can also be done on both days.

From Monday, other businesses which will be allowed to reopen under Phase 3 of Government’s plan are: Small cottage industries, repair services such as for fridges and air condition units, book stores, flower shops and home furnishings.

Mottley said protocols for safe delivery and installation of appliances have been established, bearing in mind that not all appliances can just be left at the door.

The Prime Minister said the Environmental Health Department and Ministry of Labour worked with ministers and the social partnership on protocols for these businesses.

Hairdressers and barber shops will also be allowed to reopen.

Restaurants will only be open for drive through, delivery or take away. The Prime Minister specified that take away must be ordered beforehand.

Housekeepers can also return to work but not before Wednesday, May 20, as training and sensitisation must take place first for homeowners and employees.

Churches can offer services but normal services and funeral services should be limited to 20 people. Mottley said Minister of Labour Colin Jordan and Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde will further discuss those details with churches.

There will be extended hours for beach access. In addition to the 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. time which was implemented on May 4 when Government relaxed restrictions, beach access will now also be allowed from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily.

Non-contact sport will be allowed – walking, running, road tennis and, for spectators, the rules of physical distance should be observed.

Gyms will not be allowed to open just yet, neither will betting and gaming houses, nor restaurants for in house dining.

Government initially delared a Public Health Emergency on March 27 and imposed restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. The public health emergency was further extended until June 30. 

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