Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has announced that the 24 hour curfew imposed on Saint Lucia in the battle against COVID-19 will be reduced, while a system of zoning will also be introduced and strictly enforced by the police.
Appearing Sunday evening on the National Television Network (NTN), Chastanet explained that the 24 hour curfew will be maintained until Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 5.00 am.
However he stated that on Monday, April 6, 2020, while the 24 hour curfew is still in effect, bakeries will be allowed to open and provide delivery service of bread only.
“That means that they could bake the bread but persons are not allowed to go to their shops to buy the bread,” the PM told his audience.
He said bakeries will be providing some form of delivery service.
“We are also going to be allowing the supermarkets, the mini marts, distribution of food items, gas stations, cooking gas – to operate only to restore their shelves,” the PM stated.
By way of explanation, Chastanet told the nation that only individuals working in those companies will be able to come out on Monday to restock and get prepared for the rest of the week.
He made clear that no mini bus or transport will operate except in the case of essential services and the restocking of the food industry.
The Prime Minister said the prohibition on the sale of alcohol will continue.
“On Tuesday we go back to our SI-44 (Statutory Instrument 44), so those who can find our SI it’s number 44 – these are the services that we’re now going to be basically open, so in essence what we are going to do is we’re going to reduce the curfew from a 24-hour curfew to a 10-hour curfew which will be from 7.00 pm to 5.00 am,” Chastanet disclosed.
“So that is going to start 5.00 am on Tuesday morning all the way through the Easter Monday,” he announced.
“We are going to allow all services provided in SI-44 – so basically allow the services to operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday – they will be able to operate from 7 to 4.00 pm. They will be closed on Friday, which is Good Friday. They will also be closed on Sunday which is Easter Sunday,” the PM said.
He reiterated that the 24 hour curfew will still be in effect on Monday, April 6, 2020, except for the persons working at the grocery stores, whole sale stores, bakeries, persons in charge of filling up LPG cylinders, persons working at petrol stations – all of whom will be allowed to break the curfew to start preparing the country to transition from the 24 hour to the 10 hour curfew on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
According to the PM, while under the 10 hour curfew customers will be allowed two per family to shop in their own communities.
He said greater detail will be provided on Monday April 6, 2020, in regard to where the zones are and what people are expected to do to remain in their zone.
“Only two people will be allowed to be in a private vehicle at any one time,” he asserted.
The PM warned that the police will be monitoring and enforcing the zoning.
He also announced that the police will be patrolling when supermarkets are open to ensure compliance with social distancing and health protocols.
“The police will be working with the business community to ensure strict enforcement of these protocols,” he explained.