ROSEAU, Dominica – Dominica, which has not recorded any new case of the coronavirus (COVID-19) for the past 46 days, will relax a number of the measures the authorities had put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
“As of 25th May, opening hours of business will be Monday to Friday up to 6:00 pm, Saturdays up to 3:00 pm (local time),” Health Minister Dr. Irving McIntyre, as the island also indicated that it has no active case of the virus.
McIntyre said that public transport buses will be carry more passengers -no more than three persons per row – and that recommendations have also been made for the re-opening of churches, restaurants for sitting-in service and gyms.
He told the nation that this could happen as soon as next weekend depending on the outcome of ongoing discussions between stakeholders and the Ministry of Health to develop the appropriate guidelines and protocols.
“All of this is being done with extreme caution to avoid sacrificing our present health status and gains that we have made so far,” McIntyre said, adding that “extensive discussions” are taking place with the Ministry of Education regarding “our students, details of which will be made available in subsequent briefings”.
McIntyre said that regarding the re-opening of the borders, discussions are continuing with other regional countries, but that the government is developing a national plan.
Dominica has also been welcoming back several overseas students and cruise ship workers, and McMcIntyre, who is also a medical practitioner, said they have all remain asymptomatic and that on completion of their quarantine at the state health facilities, will undergo further quarantine at home and monitored by the district health team.
“We urge all of those in quarantine to adhere to the quarantine guidelines and see it as their contribution to the fight against COVID-19 in Dominica,” he said, telling Dominicans that they should be cognisant of the fact that returning nationals and opening of borders will put Dominica at risk of importing cases.
But he sought to re-assure the nation that the authorities will take all necessary actions to limit that risk as much as possible.