Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced Saturday that the Sunday curfew will be moved from 6 pm to 9 pm from September 26.
After a few weeks of Barbadians being mandated by law to be inside their homes by 6 pm on Sundays, as one of the strategies to control the rising cases amidst the Delta variant, Mottley said statistics are showing that the virus is not spreading in public spaces, but regrettably in the homes and neighbourhoods.
Speaking at a news conference in New York, Mottley called on Barbadians to play their role in keeping their households and communities safe.
“The Directive finishes tonight and in fact there will be a new directive as of tonight as well as a new proclamation from Her Excellency [Dame Sandra Mason], which will be issued and that has to be dealt with in 30 days in Parliament. So that is really the only major change for now.
“I pray that if we can hit the 20 000 target [of persons getting the COVID-19 vaccine] in the next two weeks, that the [9 pm] curfew would be able to go until midnight. And we have said this all along. It is not a case of holding people to ransom, it is a case of reality of public health management and the capacity to be able to reduce the numbers as we go through our day,” she said.
Putting Barbados’ COVID-19 fight into context, Prime Minister Mottley said the country has had only 7 200 positive COVID-19 cases in the past 20 months, which means that 270 000 have not had it. But, Mottley said while the statistics are relatively low when compared to other countries, the situation is serious, considering that no one knows if they will contract the virus.
She said that while 49 per cent of Barbadians have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, she is bothered that children under 12-years-old are the ones getting the virus. Prime Minister Mottley said that reality stands that children in this age group have to be contracting the virus right in their homes.
The Prime Minister also announced that Government was reaching a point where it had to sit with the private and public sectors and labour movement to determine how best to use the combined approach of vaccinations and testing.
“It is against that backdrop that we anticipate that we will have that framework that meets the needs of all Barbadians to ensure that they can be safe. We want people to be safe and we want people to go into their employment safe, to be serviced by employees safely, and to be able to go around in their leisure time activities safely,” she said. (AH)