by Linda Straker
- Grenada continues to be under a State of Emergency
- Regulations are now under Public Health Act
- New regulations take effect as of 12 am on 17 September 2020
Grenada continues to be under a State of Emergency. Regulations for containing and controlling the spread of Covid-19 are no longer under the Emergency Powers Regulations, but are now under the Public Health Act and will not have to be renewed fortnightly, but will become the new normal.
“In March we had to take drastic measures to control the spread of Covid-19 and these measures are no longer applicable. We don’t have a curfew, we don’t have new cases and we are all adjusting to the new normal with the health protocols in place,” said Health Minister, Nickolas Steele.
In April, the Parliament approved a 6-month extension for the state of emergency which would expire on 17 October 2020.
The new regulations take effect as of 12 am on 17 September 2020 and will continue until its repeal. There will not be a fortnightly renewal as was legally required when the regulations were under the Emergency Powers Act.
The Public Health Act regulations which were gazetted on Wednesday, 16 September comes days after the House of Representatives approved regulations under the Quarantine Act. This regulation is yet to receive the approval of the Senate. It covers the necessary regulations to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from persons arriving at any port, by land or by water.
Some significant differences under the Public Health Act regulations, when compared to the Emergency Powers regulations, are:
- masks will be exempt for children age 0–5 and the deaf;
- does not apply to a person on a beach or public park, if he or she maintains physical distancing of no less than 6 feet from any person outside of his or her household;
- the penalty is now a maximum of EC$500.
“A person who contravenes or fails to comply with these Regulations, or any direction for the purposes of these Regulations, shall be guilty of an offence and, on summary conviction, liable to a fine not exceeding $500 and to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months,” states the regulation.
The new regulations provide for a maximum of 75 people to attend weddings and funerals, but social activities-based gathering continues to be at 20. However, the regulation provides for the Minister of Health in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer to grant permission for special events promoters once they are satisfied that the plan in place can work in the best interest of public safety with regards to Covid-19.
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