CHAIRMAN of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee this week said there will be zero tolerance for COVID-19 protocols violation.
Fedee who echoed the sentiments of the police noted that businesses found violating the protocols could face a complete shut down for as much as two weeks “once the police would have found them to be in breach of the protocols that have been instituted for the safety of the general public and for themselves.”
Fedee’s announcement came amid another death due to the virus, the fourth recorded to date. This individual, known as case #272 came to the Respiratory Hospital as a critical patient and passed away while in care, according to the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Prior to press time yesterday the total number of cases diagnosed in country to date stood at 274. A total of 17, 231 COVID-19 tests have so far been done in country with 83 cases labelled as active and 187 said to have recovered from the virus.
A list of COVID-19 protocols are expected to come into effect next week Tuesday to run up until January 11, 2021. The list is as follows:
Work from home/reduce contact meetings: All agencies and businesses to continue to implement a blended service/operations approach where possible for employees. Additionally, where possible there should be a complete move to staff and board meetings being held virtually/online platform. Separate provisions apply for necessary sectors e.g. essential services, construction, manufacturing, call centers, etc.
Business operations to stop by 11:00 p.m. daily: All business operations and commercial activities must end by 11:00 p.m. daily as guided by The COVID-19 Prevention & Control Act, Section 17 (2) (b). This requires all businesses including supermarkets and restaurants to completely shut its doors and dismiss staff by 11:00 p.m. in order to curb movement past 12:00 midnight. Separate provisions apply for necessary sectors e.g. essential services, construction, manufacturing, call centers, etc.
Social Gatherings Restricted to 25 people: In public and private settings individuals are encouraged to limit their contact as much as possible and adhere to all the necessary protocols as well as mindful general hygiene procedure. No allowance is given for mass gatherings, social events of any kind or loud music permits for the four week period.
Protocols for Sporting Activity Including Gyms: All non-contact sports are allowed for the given time period. Gyms are approved to operate in keeping with all necessary protocols and capacity limited by square footage. Special permission granted for training athletes requiring one-on-one coaching/training for contact sports.
Religious services limited to square footage for regular services: All daily or regular church and religious services are permitted in accordance with social distancing protocols. Religious institutions may carry out services according to the square footage of the church. This is guided by each institution’s guidelines and protocols approved by The Ministry of Health. Special religious rites including christenings, weddings and funerals will be limited to 50 individuals inclusive of observers and service leaders. Churches must strictly enforce exit plans from the church compound.
Restriction on alcohol sales: The sale of alcohol is permitted at supermarkets, minimarts, gas stations, restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars to operate during the business hours until 11:00 p.m. allowing dine-in and take away services. Strict measures of protocol enforcement and a no tolerance policy will be in effect. Restaurants and bars to display revised capacity as per COVID-19 protocols for their establishment in a conspicuous place.
Special Permissions- Education: Schools are to remain physically closed and exclusively operational via multimedia modules. However special allowances are made to facilitate the following:
At the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and other tertiary institutions- to facilitate small group face to face instruction for labs and practicals within the physical school setting.
At the secondary school (forms four & five) – to allow for small group face to face instruction particularly for the completion of school based assessments and labs.
At the primary schools (grade six) – to allow for face-to-face small group instruction on the school compound.
Special Permissions- Christmas: Special permissions and suggestions indicated to facilitate safe and effective practice of specific sectors during the December Christmas season:
–Private sector and public service to encourage use of shopping days in order to reduce long lines and Christmas shopping rush
–Slaughterhouses and butchers to remain open according to strict protocols.
–Banks, credit unions and other services are asked to increase working hours and teller numbers where possible to reduce on excessive lines and ensure protocols adoption.
No parties of any kind including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Assou Square, National Day Jouvert, corporate/staff parties etc.