The government of Barbados has announced an adjustment to the hours of the curfew that was imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
In making the announcement on Saturday, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the curfew will be moved from 9:00 pm (local time) to midnight starting on Monday.
Speaking at a COVID-19 update, the prime minister said that following consultation with various stakeholders, it has been agreed that the curfew hours will be shortened and reviewed after four weeks, during which individuals will still be encouraged to be vaccinated and maintain the protocols.
“The easing of the curfew is no excuse for people to abandon the protocols and to abandon in particular mask wearing, or the other things that are necessary to keep us safe. We also recognise that parallel to what we are doing here, that as I said, we will expand and roll out the safety zones such that persons can feel more comfortable in doing what they have to do.”
She told reporters that the concessions regarding the curfews are in response to several requests from across the country.
“And we hope that whether it is in Oistins where the cries from those vendors were greatest, or whether it was in Baxter’s Road, or whether it is in restaurants that Barbadians have been going to, or whether it is for persons for whatever reason playing individual sports may want to play a little later in the evening…,” she noted.
The prime minister reminded Barbadians that the pandemic is a marathon and that “while the country is at a stage where the seriousness of the pandemic is accepted, the fact remains that there are other critical issues that have to be addressed to allow people to live and support their families and to continue to keep their businesses afloat”.
“Against that backdrop, I encourage all Barbadians to continue to walk with us in that direction in which you have been walking. I made the point that literally, since the middle of August we have done exceptionally well in being able to increase the vaccination rates. We would like to see it go further.”
Meanwhile, the prime minister also called for an expansion of mobile testing sites in communities and has asked officials in the Ministry of Health and Wellness to “look to see how else we can go into the nooks and crannies of this nation to give persons that sense of comfort that they can have access to these matters”.
She reported that Barbadians had been very responsive to Government’s vaccination efforts, and disclosed that 66.3 per cent, or two out of every three people over the age of 12, had taken the vaccine.
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