by Linda Straker
- No Movement Weekends discontinued
- Retail stores allowed to resume normal operations with 50% capacity
- Dine-in services will resume for fully-vaccinated persons only
- All businesses will have to resume in compliance with health and safety protocols
One month after the announcement that Grenada will be operating under strict Emergency Powers Regulations, that among other things restricts the movement of citizens, the Government has announced a discontinuation of the “No Movement Weekends” and a reopening of non-essential businesses.
As part of a strategy aimed at containing and controlling the spread of Covid-19 after community spread was declared by health authorities in early September, Government announced that there will be a curfew between 7 pm and 5 am, non-essential businesses will be closed and there will be no movement of citizens on weekends expects for testing and vaccination purposes.
Grenada began recording an upsurge in cases in mid-August and by early September, records were showing a positivity rate as high as 30% among those who got tested after exposure to the virus.
In a mid-morning National Address to the Nation, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell who is also the Minister for National Security, said that positive cases are reducing and the Cabinet has agreed to new measures after receiving advice from relevant health experts.
“Given the positive trend we are now seeing and the optimism of the health experts, that this will continue, the Cabinet has agreed on a number of measures that will, in essence, provide an easement of the regulations that have been in place for the last few weeks,” the Prime Minister said in the address which preceded the weekly Tuesday post-cabinet briefing.
Effective Wednesday 5 October and continuing until Tuesday 19 October, the nightly curfew will continue but will be from 7 pm to 4 am. “The no-movement weekends will be discontinued. This measure has certainly helped to curb the rate of infection, but health experts have continuously indicated that we must learn to live with Covid-19, therefore it is imperative that we seek to resume a degree of normalcy while continuing to safeguard our people,” he disclosed.
“Retail stores across the country will be allowed to resume normal operations but we encourage store managers to maintain 50% capacity in-store at all times and ensure that workers and patrons alike, are following the recommended protocols — the proper wearing of masks, appropriate physical distancing, avoiding large gatherings and regular hand sanitisation,” he announced.
Other businesses that will resume operations are those in the foodservice sector, but dine-in services will resume for fully-vaccinated persons only. Gyms and fitness centres are also permitted to resume operation.
“Likewise, daycare centres and businesses in the beauty sector including hairdresser salons and barbershops. However, there is one caveat which is based on consultation with representatives in the private sector to help facilitate continuity of operations in the event of future spikes that could otherwise force another shut down of operations,” he said while justifying that sector reopening.
“Having consulted with stakeholders in the following industries and acting on their general recommendation, employees in the foodservice, accommodation, fitness, beauty, child and elderly care sectors, must be fully vaccinated, or in cases where they have received only one dose, the second dose must be administered within a specific period after the resumption of operations,” he said.
Beaches will be accessible for an extended period between 4 am and 4 pm daily but there should be no picnics, mass gatherings, or parties at these locations. Attorney General Dia Forrester said that all businesses will have to resume in compliance with the health and safety protocols that will mandate the physical distancing, wearing of face masks, and hand sanitising.
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