Relaxed curfew will not result in Covid spike – Health Minister

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

With the national curfew now being adjusted to 00:00h to 04:00h, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony is adamant that these relaxed hours will not result in a spike in Covid-19 cases.
During today’s Covid-19 update, the Health Minister was asked to respond to concerns that the relaxed curfew may result in an increase in cases.

“The increase in cases will be determined by peoples’ attitudes and I think we’ve had more than a year and a half where people get to understand the disease and the precautions that they need to take which would be the masking, physical distancing, sanitizing,” he contended.

Dr Anthony added that the surest way to ensure there is a decline in Covid-19 cases is for persons to become fully immunised against the life-threatening virus.

According to the updated measures, from 04:00h to 23:00h, stakeholders will still be able to access services at banks, markets, supermarkets, grocery shops, gas stations, postal or shipping services, beauty salons, barbershops, hardware stores, clothing or other stores, or other maintenance services.

Other services, including food services, restaurants, bars (including those at hotels) delivery, drive-thru, curbside pickup and take away services can be accessed during this time. Self-service buffet dining is still prohibited. Gambling, pool and snooker games are not allowed at bars.

Indoor and outdoor dining is also permitted within the same hours at 60 per cent capacity, tables spaced six feet apart, and patrons must be above the age of 12, and must be in possession of their vaccination cards with accompanying identification documents.

There are still restrictions on social activities, where no one shall host or attend a private party, banquet, ball, reception, hotel swimming pool or waterpark, wake, vigil, club, discotheque, social club, civil organisation or association, fraternal society, or any other social activity. Sporting events require approval from the Ministry of Health.

Casinos, betting shops or cinemas can still operate, but only at forty percent capacity of the building or seating area. Patrons will only be allowed entry upon possession of a vaccination card to show their immunisation status.

The measures have remained unchanged for essential services to operate 24 hours a day, and these include: hospitals, pharmacies, the Judiciary, Parliament, diplomatic corps, Disciplined Services, solid waste management, airports, hotels or other accommodations; energy services, mining operations, security services, telecommunication providers, fisherfolks, limited port operations, construction, post service and freight, funeral homes, among others.

The Lethem Crossing remains open for crossing of essential goods on Thursdays and travel on Fridays. At the Moleson Creek Crossing, the Public Works Ministry will determine the days and times when it will be opened. Flights to and from Brazil are still prohibited.

“Before any person is allowed to enter Guyana, whether by land or sea, that person shall present to the relevant authorities a negative molecular biological PCR test or an approved antigen test taken within 72 hours of the date of their arrival in Guyana, and proof of vaccination,” the document indicated.

Any person who fails to comply with these measures commits an offence under section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance, and is liable, on summary conviction, to the penalty provided under that section.

Noncompliant businesses will be issued a written warning to the operator, indicating that if the operator does not comply with these measures, the business of that operator may be suspended; or where after being warned, the operator remains uncompliant, their business will be suspended for a period not exceeding 30 days.