By Caribbean News Global
TORONTO, Canada – As reported, St Lucia’s COVID-19 up-surge: The consequence of hypocritical and immoral play-acts, and Saint Lucia government and medical authorities at crosshairs of COVID-19 fact and truth; the government has implemented enhance COVID-19 protocols, while Saint Lucia Tourism Authority advertisement reads: “Enjoy the high life …”
The total number of cases diagnosed in Saint Lucia as at October 30 is 78, resulting in 50 cases now being active in the country.
“Given the current status of active COVID-19 cases and projections, the government of Saint Lucia is implementing protocols in order to curb the spread of COVID-19 to be effective, Friday, October 30, 2020, and to remain in effect for the next 30 days,” said a press release from the office of the prime minister.
Notwithstanding the Saint Lucia opposition leader Philip J Pierre requests for ‘serious and respectful engagement’ to contain COVID-19 upsurge, and prime minister Allen Chastanet previously cautioned that “perhaps the liberties enjoyed are at stake” apparently eager to implement the draconian COVID-19 law, implemented further “protocols to keep Saint Lucia safe”.
According to the statement read by the prime minister at the press briefing Friday, October 30, 2020: “On the recommendations by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) the Command Centre and following a consultative session with the National Emergency Management Advisory Committee (NEMAC) and various stakeholders, the Cabinet of ministers, has implemented the following.”
Work from home where possible
All agencies and businesses should implement a Blended Service/ Operations Approach where possible for the employees. The approach should allow for the functioning of all services and operations utilizing online platforms and standard health protocol where feasible. This will reduce the physical numbers in the workplace and curb possible transmission.
Reduced mass crowd events
Mass crowd events are reduced from 50 to 25 people per venue per activity.
Religious institutions are to be guided by the square footage of their respective spaces. Each religious institution must be aware of how many people can access the building but the maximum number of people 100 for those institutions that are very large.
Business operating hours
Cease of all business operations and commercial activities by 9:00 pm. This will assert a “Minimal Operations” approach. Exemptions will be listed. This will discourage the physical spread of people during typical hours of high-risk business activity island wide.
Extended closure of Schools compounds
Public and private educational institutions should extend the closure of compounds and ensure continued learning via alternate and telecommunication mediums. This aligns with those aimed at reduced physical activity and mass gatherings.
* Note: STATUTORY INSTRUMENT, 2020, No. 163A [ 23rd October 2020]
“Educational institutions 4.— (1) An educational institution shall remain closed until the 9th day of November 2020. MARY ISAAC, Minister responsible for health.
No consumption of alcohol on-premises
Sale of alcohol permissible – Grab and go business at bars only. All bars and restaurants to close by 9:00 pm. This will assist in limiting high-risk social gatherings and curb the possibility of community spread.
Sporting activity change. No contact sports
The hosting of any contact-sports, high-risk sporting activities and events will be discouraged. NON-contact sports will be listed. This will assist in limiting high-risk social gatherings and curb the possibility of community spread.
Limit movement – advisory
Voluntarily limiting movement between 9:00 pm and 5:00 am. The government encourages staying at home between the hours of 9:00 pm to 5:00 am in order to discourage the physical spread of people during typical hours of high-risk social activity island wide.
Meantime the government is calling on all Saint Lucians’ to join the effort in “observing the protocols and keeping Saint Lucia safe,” as of October 16, 2020, imposed fees for nationals going into quarantine facilities saying it had become too costly for the state. The rates are US$95.00 for single occupancy; US$165.00 for double occupancy and US$240.00 for triple occupancy.
Additional measures – suspending licenses for fishermen
In addition to enhancing COVID-19 protocols: “There is going to be some new protocols coming in place with regards to the border control, which will include the fishermen,” the prime minister said. “The announcement is expected Monday, November 2, 2020 … that we will be suspending licenses for fishermen to go out, for at least one week. Again, that is to regain control of our borders and we will be looking at other measures to significantly strengthen our borders.
“We are bringing in new engines, we’re putting in new surveillance teams but we are going to take the breaches at the border very seriously and we will include putting some rewards in place for whistleblowers who help us in terms of deterring people from bringing people in illegally,” he said.