PM announces plans for phased reopening of St Lucia’s economy

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced plans for a phased reopening of the island’s economy as the fight against COVID-19 continues.

The announcement came as it was disclosed that the country’s COVID-19 cases remained at 15.

According to Chastanet, if this trend continues, then at the end of the month, the Ministry of Commerce, in collaboration with other ministries, will work with the public and private sectors for a phased reopening of the economy.

“We’ve agreed at Cabinet to appoint a committee to work with the private sector and all the public health departments to start now, putting the protocols in place for the full operationalization of our commercial activity.”

He said the decision to plan for the reopening of commercial activities was also informed by the success the Ministry of Health has had in their contact tracing efforts. The prime minister called the contact tracing team the backbone of country’s efforts against the virus. He noted that in the most recent confirmed cases, many of the individuals were already identified and either in an isolation centre or in-home quarantine.

“Cabinet has agreed to maintain the existing partial shutdown/scale-down operations for the period of April 14 until April 26, 2020. At that point, we’re hoping to be able to announce the full opening of the commercial activities in St Lucia, but again, that’s going to depend on the results over the next couple of days, as well as the recommendation of the command centre in doing so,” he said.