…bars, rum shops to remain closed
…13 new COVID-19 cases recorded
Government has taken a decision to extend the National Covid-19 Measures for the new year, in which the 22:30h (10:30pm) to 04:00h (4am) curfew will remain in effect through the month of January, 2021.
The measures will take effect from January 1, 2021 and will end on January 31, 2021 – unless earlier terminated, extended or amended by notice of the Health Minister after an assessment of the prevailing public health conditions.
These emergency measures are made pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2)(b) of the Direction by the President, given under the Public Health Ordinance, Cap 145, and published in the Gazette, Legal Supplement – B, 16th March, 2020.
After a rapid assessment of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted by the Government, it has found the measures are needed to keep the population safe.
The Order notes that the current measures are extended to allow for further assessments and consultations to develop updated protocols to aid in the combatting of the COVID-19 spread.
Now, places of worship are allowed to operate but religious leaders are to ensure that where there are multiple services, that there should be no less than 45 minutes between the sessions to allow for sanitisation.
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.
Persons required to work beyond the curfew are asked to have an official identification document or proof of workplace in their possession.
In addition, from 04:00h to 21:30h, 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 stores; or other maintenance services.
Outdoor dining at a restaurant shall only be permitted between these hours, with tables fixed six feet apart and a maximum of four persons that are three feet apart per table. Food services are still permitted to conduct delivery and curbside pickup.
Persons are still required to wear a mask, covering the nose and mouth, when in public. However, exemptions are given to children under the age of eight; where a person is in a vehicle, vessel or aircraft alone; and any other accommodation alone.
No one is permitted to host or attend private parties, banquet halls, bars, public swimming pools or water parks, wakes or vigils, clubs, meeting fraternity or any other social activity. Drive-in movies are permitted.
Both private and the public sector will have their staff on rotation while those in the health sector will be subjected to priority treatment. Meanwhile, only the National Public Health Reference Laboratory is authorised to conduct COVID-19 tests. Anyone who tests positive is required to comply with the requirements imposed by the Health Emergency Operations Centre to prevent further spread.
Failure to comply with the mandatory mask requirement would make persons liable under Section 152 of the Public Health Ordinance.
Meanwhile, as of Thursday, December 31, 2020, a total of 13 new COVID-19 cases were recorded.
This now raises the total confirmed cases to 6332. Statistics show that five persons are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), six in institutional isolation, 337 in home isolation and 12 in institutional quarantine. To date, 5820 patients have made complete recoveries.
A breakdown of the new cases shows that two new cases were detected in Region One (Barima-Waini); three in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); four in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) and four in Region Five (Demerara-Mahaica).