The St Lucia Government has announced a relaxation of some of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, but said the 10-hour curfew, zoning, and stay-at-home policy would remain in effect.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet in a radio and television broadcast on Sunday night, said that the new measures went into effect yesterday, and again appealed to St Lucians to maintain the implemented policies that have so far been successful in reducing the spread of the virus for which there is no cure or vaccine.
“I know it has not been easy. Nothing about this crisis has been easy for any of us. I am heartened by your response to the virus and trust that this will continue until such time as we no longer need protective measures,” he said.
“We will also allow the construction sector to open up under strict protocols already outlined by the Ministry for Infrastructure,” Chastanet said, adding that “this week we will allow the operations of private doctors and clinics.
“Considering that many local designers, tailors, and seamstresses are making masks to assist with the protocols we will allow the opening of fabric and haberdashery stores.”
Chastanet said that the 7:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew, the zones, and stay-at-home orders would remain in effect, noting that while St Lucia appears to be COVID-19-free, it should not give citizens a false sense of security.
“We must have the ability to take decisions quickly if the situation suddenly changes,” he said, noting that the policy of having 10 people at church gatherings is being amended to accommodate more.
Chastanet told the nation that although the past several weeks have been challenging, his mother always reminds him that “behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining”.
He said that the period of lockdown and quarantine has been for many a period of rest and reflection, a reassessment of priorities, and for others a new focus has emerged.
“Many of you have spent much-needed time with your families and with God. As your prime minister I have always believed in the resilience of the St Lucian spirit and I know that we will emerge from this crisis as a stronger and better people and as a stronger and better nation.
“There is no problem we cannot overcome if we tackle it together. If there was ever a time for us to be all in, it is now. Stay free, stay strong, stay united,” he added.
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