The St Lucia government has announced several measures including a relaxation of the curfew and the resumption of the inter-island ferry services with the French island of Martinique as the island gradually re-opens its economy as it deals with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The government statement said that the new measures, which also includes allow bars and restaurants to open from 8.00 am to 10.00 pm (local time), will remain in effect until August 31.
“The decisions by the Cabinet of Ministers have been taken following consultation with the Command Centre and based on the data related to the number of active COVID-19 cases in St. Lucia,” the statement said, urging all citizens to get vaccinated and to follow the protocols in order to further decrease the spread of COVID-19.
The Allen Chastanet government said that it is also “mindful of the sectors impacted by COVID-19 and anticipates the latest measures will assist the transportation, food and beverage and events sector as well as linkage industries”.
As a result, it said, the new curfew hours will be from 1:00 pm to 4:00 am daily and that faith-based organizations may hold special religious rites including weddings, baptisms and funerals with a maximum of 100 persons in attendance.
In addition, graduations and school leaving ceremonies are permitted based on square foot of the building and in keeping with all established COVID-19 protocols and social events with up to 150 fully vaccinated persons are permitted after authorization through the Ministry of Health and the Commissioner of Police.
The government is also allowing public omnibus operators to increase their passenger load and that returning nationals and visitors with a negative PCR test and who are fully vaccinated will not require quarantine.
It said random testing will be done at all arrival points, adding “notwithstanding, the chief medical officer retains the power to place visitors in quarantine in order to protect public health”.
“The public is further advised that all public health measures such as mandatory mask-wearing in public, social distancing and washing and sanitizing of hands remain in place,” the statement added.
St. Lucia has recorded 5, 238 positive cases and 84 deaths since the first case occurred in March last year.