Jogging And Hardware Stores Among Possible Exemptions As Curfew Extends For Another Week


The 24-hour lockdown in Antigua & Barbuda will now go into a third week.

Confirmation came from Prime Minister Gaston Browne who said health officials from PAHO have advised the next two to three weeks will be very vulnerable for the Caribbean.

“We have been asked to be extremely careful with the elimination of the restrictions that we have put in place because, you know, we could eliminate those restrictions and then end up with a significant amount of community spread so based on the advice that we’ve had from the health officials, we have agreed that we will actually extend the curfew for a further week”.

The Prime Minister said the details of the extension will be discussed at Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday and will be announced to the public via a subsequent media briefing.

“We will try and relax a few areas, for example, we want to create an opportunity, a window for people to go jogging, to exercise and perhaps to expand the list of businesses that could operate” the Prime Minister revealed.

Browne said he believed the country has made some progress with the current measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“It is true that, you know, it has taken some time for us to settle into a new pattern of normalcy, if I may call it that. There’s a new norm now of social distancing. I think people are getting it”, he said, adding, “I was making the point recently that, a few days ago, I saw a vagrant, a well-known one, wearing a mask and I said to myself, our people are getting it”.

“What we need to do now is try and engage in as much businesses as possible to open without compromising our policies but people will have to be attentive and to pay attention to need to wear a  mask while at the same time ensuring that there is adequate social distancing”, he said.

“We will have to obviously, through trial and error, continue to expand the amount of businesses that could operate. We can’t do so too soon especially those businesses that involve in a lot of social engagement. Those will remain closed for a longer period”, Browne assessed.

However, the Prime Minister said “I suspect, hardware stores and few more businesses we should be able to expand that list and to allow for more business transactions because I half suspect that in many instances, I mean, having been practically closed for two weeks, other than for essential services, that there are some significant strains now emerging and we have to make sure that we protect the population, the health of the population as a priority but at the same time try and satisfy the needs of the people of Antigua & Barbuda to move and to access certain services as best as we can”.

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  1. Great news. Hardware stores are essential to keep things running smoothly while we’re locked in. Also, how about getting road crews out to fix the potholes and craters in the local roads. Fig Tree Drive from the Pink Church to Old Road is abominable.

  2. It would be great to extend the shopping hours for food so we don’t have to line up with so many other people whilst waiting to go into the shops. If food shops were open a few more hours then there probably wouldn’t be any lines.

  3. I would have thought, that the lock down and curfew was the best opportunity for BHM to work quickly to finish the roads and get ahead of schedule. Why was this not done? Thailand and some other countries with extensive roads projects used this to their advantage.

  4. My car needs new tyres. Tyre services essential. Can’t drive on these bad roads loaded with potholes without this service available. Please open them up at least twice a week.

  5. The supermarket opening hours should be longer or back to the normal hours. If you want to have less people in one space, why do you want to have so many people standing in line in the morning just to get in? There are so many people waiting in the parking lot to go in the store every day.
    In order to sanitize the whole supermarket won’t take longer than 3 hours. So in theory, it’s possible to keep it open for 21 hours to reduce the numbers of people inside at once.
    The virus which survive on the paper surface is supposed to be up to three hours. So you can close the store for three hours and sanitize it. The virus on the cans, metal surfaces or plastic are active for much longer time. But if the supermarket won’t clean the every single surfaces of the canned food or the plastic items, there isn’t any point of having the store closed for 19 hours a day.
    These essential store hours should be longer not shorter!

  6. As the govt see it fit to add additional business places to the essential list, i am hoping that operators of these establishments will be very vigilant and ensure the number of customers to conduct business will be limited to 5 to 10 persons at any given time, properly masked and properly sanitized before entry……

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