Following a meeting of the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) and based on advice from the Command Centre, the Government of Saint Lucia has amended the COVID-19 Prevention and Control Protocols effective Wednesday March 17 th 2021 until Friday April 16 th 2021.
Saint Lucia experienced a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in January and February 2021, and the Government put measures in place to address the rise. These measures included instituting a State of Emergency, a daily curfew and strict public health protocols.
At the presentation to NEMAC on Thursday (March 11 th ), Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar George explained that we are still in a critical position when it comes to COVID-19, although we have recorded successes, and the current epidemiological curve indicates an encouraging downward turn in the rate of transmission.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet in announcing the new decisions said he was encouraged by the response to the vaccine drive and called on Saint Lucians to continue to observe the protocols in order to keep the number of COVID-19 cases down.
“Though we are adjusting the curfew and making other slight changes to allow more businesses to operate, we must remain vigilant,” stated Prime Minister Chastanet. “We have seen how quickly things can transform in the COVID-19 environment and we must do what works which is wearing our masks, washing and sanitizing our hands and social distancing. The adjustment of the protocols is not a reason to let down our guard.”
Among the decisions announced was a curfew adjustment effective March 17 th during the hours 9:00PM to 4:00AM daily. During the Easter Weekend (April 2 nd – 5 th ) the curfew will run from 7:00PM to 4:00AM daily and thereafter it will go back to (9:00PM to 4:00 AM.
The announced decisions EFFECTIVE MARCH 17 th are as follows:
WORK FROM HOME AND REDUCED CONTACT MEETINGS
All agencies and businesses will continue to implement a Blended Service/ Operations Approach where possible for the employees. Staff and board meetings being held virtually/online platform as much as possible. Separate provisions apply for key approved sectors e.g. Essential Services, Construction, Manufacturing, Call centers,
The curfew is adjusted 9:00PM to 4:00AM daily and during the Easter Weekend when it will be from 7:00 PM to 4:00AM daily and therefore revert to 9:00PM to 4:00AM.
BUSINESS OPERATING HOURS
All business operations and commercial activities must end by 8:00PM daily, as guided by curfew enforced through the State of Emergency. This requires all businesses – including supermarkets and restaurants – to completely shut its doors and business activities by 8:00PM in order to curb movement past 9:00PM.
RESTRICTIONS ON SOCIAL GATHERINGS
Social Gatherings are restricted to no more than ten (10) people of immediate family. In public and private settings, individuals are encouraged to limit their contact as much as possible and adhere to all the necessary protocol as well as mindful to general hygiene procedure. No allowance is given for mass
gathering social events of any kind or loud music permits.
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 Ministries of Equity and
Health. Special religious rites, including Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals will be limited to a maximum of fifty (50) individuals (inclusive of observers and the service leaders). Funeral and wedding services should be by invitation only. Dates of burial services are not to be formally advertised.
Boat Excursions for up to 10 persons. This is only permissible for Crewed Yacht Charters and family boaters. Excursion plans must be reported to the lighthouse ahead of the journey. Absolutely no day boat party charters will be allowed.
RESTRICTIONS ON ALCOHOL SALES
The sale of alcohol is permitted at Supermarkets, Minimarts, Gas Stations, Restaurants and Bars. Stand-alone bars to operate during the business hours of 11:00AM until 8:00PM, allowing ONLY Take-Away services. Licensed restaurants are permitted to serve liquor as part of dine-in services only. Strict measures of protocol enforcement and a NO TOLERANCE POLICY will be in effect. Licensed restaurants and bars to display all necessary licenses and revised capacity as per COVID-19 protocol for their establishment in a conspicuous place
RESTRICTIONS ON SPORTING ACTIVITY
All competitive and high-contact sporting activities, inclusive of in-door and outdoor trainings, local competitions or social activities are prohibited. Provisions apply for individual or immediate family households to exercise in a safe, open-air space. GYMS are permitted per square footage and
protocols.Special permission granted for training athletes requiring one-on- one coaching/training for non-contact sports example tennis and swimming. Special permission also granted for 1-on-1 personal training.
SCHOOLS ARE ALLOWED IN-CLASS TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION FOR THIRD TERM
Schools are to follow strict protocols and regulations issued by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Educations continuity plan for schools in Saint Lucia to operate safely on a specified system. Further information on the commencement of in-class learning and dates will be communicated by
the Ministry of Education.