Barbados has announced a 24-hour curfew. In most countries, this means people need to stay home in most circumstances but allows for them to carry out essential activities. This usually means shopping for groceries, going to and from work if an essential worker, taking pets out for a walk, or traveling to a family member’s home to provide care. However, in Barbados, beginning at 5 pm tomorrow, Friday, April 3, 2020, all Barbados supermarkets and mini marts will be closed until further notice.
People can only be on the road if they are seeking medical attention or going to the pharmacy, if they are part of essential services, or if doing business with any of the businesses are exempt under the order.
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw said in a press conference that large groups of persons continue to congregate despite the current measures in place not to do so and in the face of persistent warnings. Stakeholders and members of the cabinet sub-committee on COVID-19 met this morning with the owners of a number of supermarkets, gas stations, and bakeries across the island who unanimously expressed concerns about people ignoring the restrictions to stay at home.
After the PM met with the Chief Medial Officer as well as the Minister of Health and Wellness, all agree that they can no longer delay the closure of supermarkets and mini marts across the islands based on current trends. Therefore, a 24-hour curfew has been imposed beginning tomorrow.
The government is in discussions with supermarket and mini mart owners to see how through electronic commerce as well as by staggering the allowance of persons into stores across the country to be able to access these services, particularly those most vulnerable, to be able to allow them to fulfill their grocery needs.
These restrictions do not apply to village shops, although there will be a restriction of no more than 3 people shopping at these places at one time and no alcohol will be sold. Most basic groceries can be bought from these village shops.