Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit has announced new measures as concerns increase over a growing covid-19 cluster.
During an address to the nation on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, Prime Minister Skerrit explained that this cluster is as a result of “an individual or individuals who entered Dominica illegally and took part in a biker’s activity along with a ‘jam’ at a location in Pottersville, known at the LOT, on Sunday, July 25, 2021.”
As of Tuesday, 10 cases have been confirmed in relation to this cluster, as well as 2 imported cases bringing the total active cases on island up to 12.
All confirmed cases and those whose rapid antigen tests were positive have been placed in isolation or quarantine in a Government facility.
In a bid to reduce further spread of the virus, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments recommended measures, which Cabinet has approved.
Prime Minister Skerrit outlined these measures during his address, including a curfew order for the next seven days.
“The measures are as follows a Curfew Order will be in effect from 6:00 pm to 5:00 am daily from Tuesday August 3, 2021 for the next seven days; however, in the case of the weekend the curfew will begin at 5:00 pm on Saturday, August 7, 2021 and will continue throughout the day on Sunday, August 8, 2021 and end on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 5:00 am. Curfew will then resume the night of Monday August 9, 2021 at 6:00 pm. All non-essential businesses are to remain closed. Essential workers including people working at the ports, healthcare workers, banks and credit unions, hardware stores, telecoms and broadcasting, pharmacies, farmers, security services, utilities—the exhaustive list will be published,” the Prime Minister announced.
This measure will also exclude Workers and People who are travelling in and out of the country, seeking medical care, shopping for necessities, banking but by appointment only, caring for a family member, pet or livestock, involved in construction, farming and manufacturing, all of whom will be allowed to continue their activity.
These new measures also forbid any public gathering such as private parties and other social gatherings.
“The hours of operation for businesses that are allowed to open are from 6:00 am to 4:00 pm. All businesses must ensure physical distancing measures of six feet apart are maintained and should control the number of customers inside of the premises to ensure no more than four customers per isle. ALL Bars and nightclubs will remain closed. Restaurants No dining-in (take-outs only). No consumption of alcohol in the public. Churches and other places of Worship are to remain closed. Weddings are to be limited to five people while funerals are to be no more than ten individuals. The following will NOT be permitted: private parties, recreational or sporting events, social events, meetings of fraternal societies or of clubs, group tours and loud music,” the Prime Minister stated.
Persons found disobeying this order will be fined five thousand (5,000) dollars.
“Public Transportation will be restricted to three individuals per row. There will be no visitation to the Hospital, Prison, Infirmary or Quarantine Facility. The airports and seaports will remain open. Remember that masks are mandatory by law and the penalty for people who fail to comply with the Order has been increased to $5,000,” PM Skerrit added.
The Prime Minister then urged citizens to get tested while following the sanitization protocols.
“These measures are not intended to scare the population, but to ensure that we act quickly to avoid a deterioration of the situation. I make a special appeal to the people who have been contacts of the individuals who have tested positive for the virus, or individuals who have attended any of the events which I mentioned earlier, to come forward and get tested. Meanwhile we remind all residents to remain vigilant and adhere to the Covid 19 protocols. Wash or sanitize your hands often, cover your mouth if you are coughing or sneezing, wear your masks. Avoid moving from home to home, avoid family visits. If you have flulike symptoms, call the hotline at 448 2151, 448 2153, 448 2156, 611 43 25, or 1 800 219, so you could get tested,” PM Skerrit further stated.