And with the uptick in numbers, the detection of a new variant and the recent wanton disregard by the public for the Covid-19 regulations, the Government has decided to buckle down on the regulations and their enforcement. These new measures will come into effect on Sunday, July 4. These would include an adjustments to curfew hours, restrictions on church services and restaurants. Home Affairs Minister Kareem Musa listed out the changes.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “The curfew, will come continue in place so there will be an extension of the curfew. From Sunday through to Wednesday night, it will remain at 10pm, but there will be an adjustment in the curfew from Thursday to Saturday night. The new curfew will be 11pm so it is just a reduction of one hour, but a very important reduction, because we have seen where these various establishments, restaurants, like the minister said under the guise they’re actually operating like bars that is where that is a critical hour where things get out of control and people start the party, which again is not allowed under these regulations. In terms of church services as you know, last month we had agreed to extend church service to two hours, we are now cutting back to the one hour church service. And again, that is with 50% capacity inside the church. We are also encouraging and I believe we’ll be putting it in the protocols to cordon off every other pew to ensure that we get the 50% capacity. In terms of restaurants we will continue with the 75% capacity for outdoor dining. We will also continue with 50% for indoor dining but, and here is the change, we will not be allowing dining inside a restaurant that does not have a free flow of air that is not properly ventilated. And so, you cannot have an air conditioned restaurant proceed has to be a free flow ventilation indoor restaurant so it is allowed to have 50%, but it has to be a free flow of air. In addition to that, when it comes to restaurants. We will also be reactivating the use of justices of the peace. If you recall, last year at Christmas time we had requested of Justices of the piece to go into these establishments, these supermarkets and these home stores to regulate the social distancing and to ensure people were wearing their masks inside these establishments and we fared off pretty well. So I want to thank the justices of the piece for coming in big for us over the Christmas holidays, but we will be calling on them again to now come in to the restaurants and other establishments so that we don’t have a continuation of the partying atmosphere. With respect to the BPOs, we’ve been seeing some increase in numbers at BPOs and so we have decided that starting this Sunday, there will be a capacity limit of 50% inside the BPO.”