Barbados announces 48-hour lockdown

The Government on Wednesday announced a weekend curfew as part of efforts to further restrict the unnecessary movement that it said is contributing to the spread of COVID-19 here.

The announcement came from Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic at a press conference, even in the midst of an existing “national pause”, that includes a 7:00 pm to 6:00 am curfew, which is due to end on February 28.

Bostic expressed concern that despite the current period of pause, which includes the limited operation of businesses, people appeared to be “leaving home for the sake of leaving home”.

Referring to the high volume of traffic on the island’s roads, the Health Minister said he made a recommendation to Prime Minister Mia Mottley and the Emergency Operations Centre “to do a little more” to significantly inhibit travel throughout the island, particularly over the coming weekend.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic

“This is a major part of the problem.… Accordingly, the Honourable Attorney General will very shortly be issuing a new directive, in which we shall impose a weekend curfew, whereby effective Friday 7:00 pm to Monday 6:00 am, it shall be unlawful for persons not in possession of the appropriate pass, or not involved in the vaccination exercise, either as a service provider or recipient of the vaccine, to leave the confines of their homes,” he said.

“Simply put, if you are not directly involved in Operation Seek and Save or the National Vaccination Exercise, and if you are not coming from a medical facility on legitimate business, then you shall have absolutely no permission to be on the roads of Barbados from Friday 7 pm to Monday 6 am.”

Bostic said the pending weekend ban also applies to beaches and public parks which are open from 6:00 am to 9:00 am during the current period of national pause.

The Health Minister noted that the Royal Barbados Police Force would be instructed to apprehend and prosecute all persons violating this order.

As of Monday, Barbados has recorded 2,457 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the latest 126 of which included results of samples taken over a 12-day period.

There are now 731 active cases on the island. There have been 28 deaths since March 2020.