Tougher curfew measures in Barbados as COVID-19 cases reach 45

Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw during her address to the nation.

A mandatory quarantine period for all visitors, restrictions on when to leave home, a ban on the sale of liquor and a change in the operating hours of all essential businesses are among the measures acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw announced in an address to the nation last night.

Stopping short of a virtual “lockdown”, Bradshaw said this toughening of the restrictions was in direct response to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases from 34 to 45 because people had failed to heed the call by Prime Minister Mia Mottley just five days ago to stay at home.

At the time, Mottley announced an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, the closure of all non-essential businesses and mandatory quarantine for all visitors from the United States and United Kingdom.

“These measures were all intended to reduce the amount of person-to-person contact and exposure of the population and so reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. They were designed to protect us all,” Bradshaw said.

“And while we have been heartened by the response of the majority of Barbadians to these restrictions, we have also witnessed a significant number who have ignored them and have continued to put themselves, their families and the entire country at risk.

“And this reckless and irresponsible behaviour has continued in spite of the warnings from the COVID-19 Czar [Richard Carter] on Monday, that the Government of Barbados was prepared to further extend and strengthen the restrictions should this behaviour continue,” she added.

Bradshaw said Government was provided with several models by epidemiologists and public health specialists at the University of the West Indies which showed the projected development of COVID-19 in Barbados.

“We do not like what those models tell us regarding the extent of sickness and death that is likely, in light of the behaviour we are seeing across this country”.

Bradshaw said anyone who contravenes the following directives “without reasonable explanation” could spend a year in jail, be subject to a fine of $50 000 or both, if convicted under the Emergency Management (COVID-19) Order, 2020.

The acting Prime Minister announced several measures which include:

A mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Government facility for all persons entering Barbados and from April 3, 2020 until midnight April 14, 2020 all non-essential services shall remain closed.