Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa has announced that changes are coming next week to the Statutory Instrument regulating the Covid-19 protocols. Minister Musa explained in an extensive interview yesterday that changes do not translate to the lifting of the curfew or other restrictions.
Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries: “As you know when we introduced the SI last month and we made it very clear then that it would be an indefinite SI we thought it necessary whenever we are presenting regulations that we cannot do so in a piecemeal manner, it has to be a very comprehensive SI that includes all regulation and so that SI currently is still in place. I know that there is a huge misconception out there that perhaps the SI had an expiration date when in fact it did not but what I can assure the public is that the Ministry of Health and its task force has been reviewing the regulations and towards the ending of the month which is next week starting on February first we will see an adjustment in these regulations. That might not necessarily mean a lifting of the curfew but maybe an adjustment in the curfew I think that is the number one concern out there particularly for the restaurant owners they would want to see an adjustment made because they find that eight o’clock is too early in order to serve their customers and so we are looking at that. The Ministry of Health and the task force which is made up of medical professionals that have been guiding the ministry have been looking at these things. As you know last month in December the dialogue that was happening in the public is that contemplation of a complete lockdown so imagine that we are here today, a lot of people are here today clamoring for us to open up back because the numbers have been going down and so I just want to start from that position to say that we have come a long way but we are still very much in the middle of the woods. This pandemic is not going away, this is the year of the vaccine and so we as the public we have to make the very selfless decision to consider front line workers, to consider doctors, some of whom have passed away, to consider police officers who have passed away, to consider even a member of the House of Representatives who has passed away.”
As we have been reporting the new cases have seen a significant decline in the daily Covid-19 data while the cases of recovery are increasing. Despite the good news, Minister Musa said this is not the time to let down our guards.
Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs & New Growth Industries: While it is that I hear the anxiety and the build up and the clamor now because our numbers have been going down for us to reopen we have to consider and we have to give ourselves a pat on the back for coming this far, that we were able to make it through December, make it through New Years without a huge spike and so we did not lockdown. When you look at the rest of the world, you look at Poland, Austria, the UK all of these countries are on complete lockdown but Belize has not and so we need to be very grateful to our front line officers, we need to be very patient with the process. Like I said the regulations remain in place but come February first we can expect an adjustment in those regulations. The numbers like I said are going down and we are very grateful and I want to take the opportunity to thank the Ministry of Health on the excellent job that they’ve been doing in managing this crisis.”
Changes to the Covid-19 regulations will take effect on February 1.