Barbadians told ‘stay at home’
Stay at home during the day and during the night unless you are doing business with an essential service, are an essential worker or there is an emergency.
That is the word from Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall, who on Thursday announced the changes in the Emergency Directive No. 4 which will govern the lockdown period until 28th February 2021, including the Stay At Home Weekend.
This gives legal teeth to the recommendation by Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic that the weekend be added to the national pause to curb the number of people on the road as Barbados continues to fight the community spread of COVID-19.
Marshall, like Bostic, said there were too many people moving about and too many vehicles on the road.
“We get the sense that Barbadians are not quite understanding what is expected of them. In fact, they are operating on the assumption that the only time that they have to stay in their homes is from seven in the night until six in the morning and that during the daylight hours they can do as they please and go hither, thither and yon,” he said.
Noting it was a “common sense thing,” the Attorney General said they were making it clear on this occasion.
“We have stipulated in this directive now that during the daylight hours unless you have legitimate business with any of the exempted businesses or any of the essential services … then you are expected to stay within the curtilage of your home.”
The curtilage covers the boundaries of your property.
The Stay At Home Weekend will be in effect from 7:00 p.m. Friday until 6:00 a.m. Monday.
During that time, bakeries will open for baking, but not bread depots for sales. Gas stations will be closed – fill up on Friday – and parks and beaches will also be closed.
Service at places of worship will continue with ten people only; funerals with no more than ten mourners, including an officiant and funeral director; and weddings with a bride, groom, two witnesses and marriage officer are allowed.
Marshall warned that owners of shops who applied for assistance but opened in breach of the law would be denied financial assistance from Government.
A Government-issued emergency pass will be one of the exemptions to the directive. Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are allowed to show their ID if stopped by police. Similarly, farmers and fishermen can also present their IDs as proof.
Passes are being issued to caregivers, but those are done through the Ministry of Elder Affairs. Members of the public are asked to note there will be a vetting system so expect delays, because some people are trying to finesse the system.
Marshall said passes would be revoked if they were abused by individuals.
The directive went into effect from midnight last night until midnight 28th February.