Barbados relaxes restrictions as commercial sector reopens

Barbados’ commercial and retail sectors, including restaurants and bars, are set to reopen from Monday, while the daily curfew has been shortened.

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley

Prime Minister Mia Mottley also announced during an address to the nation Thursday, that from March 21, churches will once again be able to welcome worshippers, though only a limited number, while adhering to all physical distancing protocols.

The curfew will now start at 9:00 pm instead of 7:00 pm and will run until 6:00 am.

“We are still keeping Sunday as a day closed from supermarkets and commercial and other retail stores, until further notice. But against that background, however, we are agreeing that those persons, and those businesses that need to work, with the exception of just a few, will be allowed to resume work from March 15,” the prime minister said.

Those allowed to reopen their doors include hairdressers; barbers; aestheticians; fast food restaurants for drive-thru and pick-up only; restaurants for in-house dining, with distancing protocols being observed; bars, but no congregating allowed; nurseries and daycare centres, but all protocols must be followed.

To facilitate the return to work by residents, the prime minister also announced that public health officials had extended the 60 per cent restriction on public service vehicles to 75 per cent, with the wearing of masks still being mandatory.

Meanwhile, the number of those who may attend church, weddings and funerals now stands at a maximum of 75, with persons maintaining a six-foot radius in accordance with the social distancing protocols. Funerals and weddings being held at a venue other than a church will be limited to 25.

However, wedding receptions are still prohibited, and not everyone will be allowed to reopen on Monday.

Mottley outlined that gyms; pleasure craft, whether chartered or privately owned; nightclubs; cinemas and theatres were still not permitted to reopen.