By Caribbean News Global contributor
BRADES, Montserrat – The government of Montserrat has decided to lift the curfew and ease the restrictions which were implemented in early February following the confirmation of active COVID-19 cases on the island. The new regulations, under the Public Health (COVID-19 Suppression) (No.10) Order, S.R.O. 15 of 2021 took effect Sunday, February 28 at 5:00 a.m.
As of Sunday, the number of persons allowed to gather is 50, all businesses, schools at all levels, and religious establishments are allowed, however, COVID-19 precautionary measures such as the wearing of face-coverings, cleaning and sanitization and social distancing must be adhered to.
The wearing of face-coverings will be mandatory in a public place. Therefore, a customer, visitor, staff or, employee is required to wear a face-covering when entering while conducting business and while working in a public place, business, organisation or department, or place of business.
The following individuals are however not required to wear a face-covering:
(a) Children age 3 years and under;
(b) A person who has a medical condition, health condition, cognitive condition or disability that prevents him/her from wearing a face covering;
(c) A customer, when the customer is dining at a restaurant or food shop;
(d) A customer, when the customer is drinking at a bar or rum shop;
(e) A person if a request is made of the person to remove his face covering temporarily for security and identification purposes;
(f) A person who is driving in a motor vehicle with no passengers in the motor vehicle;
(g) A person who is driving in a motor vehicle with a member of his household;
(h) A person who is on a beach or road or in a park or other similar open public place provided there are no other persons within six feet of that person; and
(i) A person who is on a beach or road or in a park or other similar open public place with a member of his household provided there are no other persons within six feet of that person.
Under the new regulations, a parent or legal guardian is responsible for ensuring that a child over the age of 3 – wears a face-covering in a public place.
The list of persons allowed to enter Montserrat has been expanded to include:
- A parent, child or sibling of a deceased person, once the parent, child or sibling of the deceased person has been granted permission by the Minister of Health to enter Montserrat for purposes related to the death of the person, to include attending the funeral of the person.
- A parent, child or sibling of the spouse of a deceased person, provided the parent, child or sibling of the spouse of the deceased person, has been granted permission by the minister of health to enter Montserrat for purposes related to the death of the person to include attending the funeral of the person.
As it relates to non-resident technicians, S.R.O. 15 of 2021 will require non-resident technicians to make an application to the minister of health for approval to enter Montserrat prior to submitting the online access declaration form.
The non-resident technician will still be required to take a PCR-COVID19 test or RNA COVID-19 test on arrival in Montserrat.
If a non-resident technician intends to remain in Montserrat for more than five days, the non-resident technician must take a PCR COVID-19 test or RNA COVID-19 test on day five of his stay in Montserrat.
The requirements for non-resident technicians must be followed whether the nonresident technician is a Montserratian or a non-Montserratian; and a person shall only qualify for the measures applicable to a non-resident technician, if the person entered Montserrat as a non-resident technician with prior approval from the minister of health.
Restrictions regarding visits to a person in self-quarantine, a designated quarantine facility or place of isolation, a patient in the hospital, a person in a residential care establishment or facility and a detainee or prisoner in a correctional facility will remain in place. Therefore, no one is allowed to visit the aforementioned except with or approval from the chief medical officer or hospital or the manager of the residential care facility or the superintendent of prison.
S.R.O. 15 of 2021 expires on March 29, 2021. The full S.R.O is available here.