Barbados under curfew from Sunday

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Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley (Photo: CARICOM)

(Nation News)-Barbados will be under a curfew from Saturday March 28 to Tuesday, April 14, 2020.

And Prime Minister Mia Mottley is warning residents that the Royal Barbados Police Force will deal accordingly with all persons found to be moving about who are not part of the essential services.

On Thursday night, Mottley announced Barbados had reached Stage 3 of the national response plan to COVID-19 with 24 confirmed cases of the virus. She said there were more than enough testing kits on the island and pleaded for people to desist from spreading rumours.

Mottley said this curfew would start at 8 p.m. through 6 a.m., in the first instance and April 15 would be the first day Barbadians would be able to move around freely, provided it isn’t extended.

This will be possible as Government declares a public health emergency, rather than a state of emergency. She said in relation to the curfew “the Government of Barbados is not playing”.

“Law enforcement shall be instructed to apply and enforce the law fairly, transparently and without fear. All persons not falling within the stated ambit of essential services and not having good reason for being on the road after 8 p.m. and before 6 a.m. shall be dealt with in accordance with the spirit and intent of the law,” she said, adding a quarter of the world was on “lockdown” for its own good.

The Prime Minister said Barbados has enough food to last and there is no need for a mad rush to the supermarket.

Essential services which do not fall under the curfew include:

The uniformed organisations of Barbados

The security organisations

Royal Barbados Police Force

Barbados Fire Service

Barbados Prison Service

Immigration and Customs

Medical and paramedical professionals

Caregivers

Hospital providers

The provision of electricity, telecommunications, media and broadcasting services

The provision of essential transport

The collection, storage, purification and distribution of water

The collection, storage, treatment and disposal of garbage or refuse

The removal and handling of the deceased

From 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. other services will be allowed to operate and these will be addressed by Attorney General Dale Marshall, Minister of Health and Wellness Jeffrey Bostic, communications czar Richard Carter and acting chief medical officer Dr Anton Best in a media conference on Friday.

These include:

Grocery stores

Pharmacies

Restaurants for take away or drive-thru only

Shops

Commercial bakeries

Butcher shops and abattoirs

Fishermen

Farmers

Gas stations

Critical areas in the Government will be identified and these will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays.

Parliament will meet tomorrow to put the legal framework in place for these measures. (SAT)