As the Dominica government increases measures to combat the dreaded COVID-19, Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investments, Dr. Irving McIntyre, has announced that a curfew will go into effect from 10:00 o’clock this evening (Saturday 28th March 2020).
MacIntyre made the announcement in a live media statement a short while ago.
He said that the curfew will be in effect from Saturday 28th March 2020 to Tuesday 31st March 2020.
The curfew is part of measures which have been introduced under the new Environmental Health COVID-19 Regulations 2020 of the Environmental Health Services Act #8 of 1997.
The Minister said the general provisions under the new regulations will be in effect as of 8:00 pm Saturday, 28 March 2020 until Saturday, April 18 2020, “unless the Minister, by order, notifies otherwise”.
“However, the provision providing for a curfew will only have effect from Saturday 28th March 2020 until 8:00 am to Tuesday, 31st March 2020 unless the Minister, by order, published in the [Official] Gazette, extends this,” Dr. McIntyre stated.
The general measures provided for under the new regulations include the isolation of persons infected or suspected to be infected with COVID-19, special restrictions and requirements on persons arriving from outside of Dominica and closure of the air and seaports.
Other measures entail the requirement of the provision of truthful information, the requirement to notify the authorities of symptoms, the prohibition of gatherings of more than ten people, a curfew and the closure of schools.
Dr. McIntyre warned that anyone found guilty of committing an offence under these provisions may receive a fine of $10,000.00 and imprisonment for 12 months.
The announcement of the new regulations comes in light of what the minister described as a refusal by some people to heed the call for cooperation and the exercise of personal and collective responsibility and their refusal to adhere to the guidelines, protocols and pleas from the health authorities.
“This action is detrimental to the health, well being and lives of our people and cannot, therefore, be permitted to continue unchecked,” Dr. McIntyre declared. “It has, therefore, become necessary for the government of Dominica to take stronger legislative action to protect the nation and its residents.”
He expressed the hope that Dominicans will fully cooperate and there will be no need to enforce the provisions.
“It is in the best interest of all of us in Dominica that we all heed the guidance and requests of the health authorities. May God bless us all,” the Health Minister stated.
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