Further adjustments have been made to restrictive measures put in place due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Health Minister, Dr. Irving McIntyre, made the announcement on Wednesday.
“We are making further recommendations as regards to further adjusting our public health and social measures,” he said. “These include allowing reopening of appliances and electronic shops, reopening of clothing and textile shops.”
He said the public is also given permission to access the beaches and rivers under specific conditions.
“That is, between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Saturday as part of stress management. There must not be any bar-b-ques on the beaches or the rivers and there must be no consumption of alcohol on the beaches as well,” Dr. McIntyre advised. “There must not be loud music, picnics or parties on the beaches and groups, not more than 10 persons, will be allowed, practising physical distancing as much as possible.”
He warned that the police will be manning and monitoring the beaches.
“Anyone found not complying to these measures, appropriate actions will be taken,” McIntyre warned.
He mentioned further that business places are permitted to reopen and function including on Saturdays from 8 am to 1 pm.
However, according to the Health Minister, businesses that are allowed to operate, must put in place measures to ensure that their staff and customers adhere to the ministry’s preventive measures and guidelines.
“Maintaining physical distancing 6 feet with clear markings where applicable, mandatory wearing of masks upon entering and whilst in the facility, mandatory hand-sanitizing on entry and exit of the facility and giving appointments where applicable,” Dr. McIntyre noted.
He said failure to implement these necessary measures will result in the temporary closure of the offending business places.
McIntyre said that nightclubs, game shops, hair salons, barbershops, sulphur spas, schools, churches, gyms, manicure and pedicure shops should remain closed.
He said these restrictions will be further reviewed on Monday 11th May 2020.
The minister said that the adjusting of the measures doesn’t mean its business as usual and stressed that complete lockdown remains in effect on Sundays as well as the curfew from 6 pm to 6 am from Monday to Saturday.
Meantime, Dr. McIntyre said the total number of confirmed active COVID-19 cases with 14 recoveries and 2 active cases.
He said both patients will be retested this weekend with PCR testing, “and as the protocol goes, if we get two negatives within 24 hours, these patients can be discharged.”
It has been 28 days since Dominica had its last positive case. McIntrye says this is largely due to the closure of the country’s borders, effective contact tracing and isolation, an efficient primary healthcare team, the ability to have in-country testing, compliance by the public and the team effort involving all stakeholders.