Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Officials in Barbados relax movement and business restrictions beginning May 4. Nightly 2000-0500 curfew in effect.
This alert affects Barbados
This alert began 03 May 2020 02:52 GMT and is scheduled to expire 19 May 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: Movement restrictions
- Location(s): Nationwide (map)
- Start Time/Date: May 4
- Impact: Transport and business disruptions, increased police presence
Authorities in Barbados have announced a significant modification of the movement and business restrictions, imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). A nightly 2000-0500 curfew will replace the 24-hour daily curfew beginning May 4. Most businesses will be able to reopen, though the government has asked owners to establish social-distancing protocols, monitor their employees for fever, and prevent their employees from leaving the workplace for lunch when possible.
Under the new regulations, restaurants, salons, barbershops, entertainment establishments, and stores that sell books, clothing, housewares, flowers, souvenirs, gifts, and sports equipment must remain closed. Noncritical government offices will likewise remain closed. According to Prime Minister Mia Mottley, these businesses and offices may reopen under a future phase of relaxed restrictions; however, the government has not provided a timeline for such a phase. Beaches may only open 0600-0900.
Authorities have asked that all people continue to follow the previously mandatory shopping schedule to the greatest degree possible. This schedule based stopping times according to the first letter of the shopper's surname as follows:
- Surnames beginning with A-B: Monday 0800-1100, and Friday 1300-1600.
- Surnames beginning with C-F: Wednesday 0800-1100, and Saturday 1300-1600.
- Surnames beginning with G-K: Thursday 0800-1100, and Monday 1300-1600.
- Surnames beginning with L-R: Friday 0800-1100, and Tuesday 1300-1600.
- Surnames beginning with S-Z: Saturday 0800-1100, and Wednesday 1300-1600.
- Senior and disabled citizens: Tuesday 0800-1100, and Sunday 0900-1100.
- Healthcare and other essential workers: Tuesday 1300-1600, and Sunday 1100-1400.
Additionally, officials are enforcing a mandatory quarantine order for any person entering the country. All persons arriving on the island from any country by air or sea will be placed in a government facility for 14 days as part of the mandatory quarantine. While Barbados' airports remain operational, several commercial passenger airlines have canceled international flights, and flight availability is severely limited. Cargo aircraft continue to operate normally.
The measures in place will significantly impact business and transport in the country; increased police presence is probable. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Barbados government correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent weeks, in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.