Barbados will go back into lockdown for a two-week period that will include an 11-hour nightly curfew in an attempt to bring the COVID-19 outbreak under control, Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced Tuesday night.
However, Barbados’ borders will remain open even though the island will go into a period of lockdown effective midnight, February 3.
Mottley also confirmed that the country had recorded three cases of the UK variant of the virus.
She pointed out: “We can’t shut down completely because we’re an island, and there is no way any of us in this country can predict the combination of permutation of instances, or opportunities, or needs that we will have to deal with. And as a result, we keep the airport and air flights travel open, but we minimise significantly the numbers.”
Ms. Mottley said that borders would remain open to facilitate visitors who need to return home, and those who were still desirous of coming to Barbados.
Health officials have confirmed that Barbados is now in COVID community spread with the deaths of three elderly people in a week.
According to Mottley the country has to “act decisively”.
New COVID measures for Barbados
1. As of midnight February 3 to February 17, there will be a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
2. Only supermarkets, pharmacies and gas stations will be open, and only essential activities in the public and private sector will continue.
3. Supermarkets will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. but will close on Saturdays and Sundays during the lockdown period.
4. Village shops, bars, restaurants and gyms will be closed for the duration of the 15-day period, while banks will be closed from February 3 to 9.
5. The wearing of masks in all public places will also be mandatory.
Meanwhile, Mottey said more details about the measures will be released during the next few days.
She also said as of February 3, there will be new travel requirements.
All persons entering Barbados will be required to have a negative PCR test that was done no more than 72 hours before arriving.
They will also be subject to a rapid antigen test on arrival, and mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility for five nights up from two.