Sun | Jan 16, 2022

Government lifts curfew

Published:Wednesday | December 8, 2021 | 12:07 AM
Health Minister Nickolas Steele speaking at a recent news conference.
Health Minister Nickolas Steele speaking at a recent news conference.

ST GEORGE’S (CMC):

The Grenada government on Tuesday announced that it is lifting the four-hour curfew as the island continues to “manage” the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed 200 people and infected 5,909 others since March last year.

Health Minister Nickolas Steele, speaking at the post-cabinet news conference, also announced that travellers entering the island will now have to be tested on arrival, as Grenada joined the rest of the global community in expressing its own concerns about the Omicron variant of the virus.

“We are observing what is happening with Omicron, and we are observing what is happening in terms of spikes or waves we are seeing in other islands. We are monitoring. As a result of the Omicron threat as well as the spikes we are seeing in the region, we made a decision to start back testing on arrival, but not quarantine.

“Individuals would be PCR-tested on arrival at the Maurice Bishop International Airport and allowed to leave, pending their results within 12 to 24 hours. So there would not be a quarantine, but there would be a testing,” Steele said, adding that the measure “is like most other countries that implement this system to have a sense of the epidemiological situation and the external threats.

“On the good side, though, based on our current situation, it is our belief, and cabinet has endorsed, that the quarantine that exists from midnight to 4 a.m. (local time) is to be removed, with effect from today.”

SITUATION HAS IMPROVED

Steele said the removal is as a result of the authorities believing the current epidemiological situation has improved, adding “as to how long this will remain will be based on our monitoring … it is based on other external factors”.

“It is based for us as well on our social interactions and social behaviour,” he said, adding that the cabinet had agreed to lifting the curfew because “we do believe that the midnight to 4 a.m. curfew has been having a psychosocial effect on us all”.

“As a result, the balance must always be sought and at this point in time, we believe it is possible to safely remove that curfew and, hopefully, not have to bring it back,” Steele told reporters, adding “so it is breathing space, and we do hope that this breathing space remains indefinitely … but we will adjust accordingly”.