As of Monday, April 27, certain restrictions which were imposed in Dominica on April 1 under The Emergency Powers Statutory Rules and Order (SRO) No. 15 of 2020, will be lifted.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit announced at a press briefing on Saturday, that this move will allow some more services to resume operations as the country continues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of Monday, the suspension on liquor licenses will be lifted; businesses will be allowed to open from 8 am to 4 pm, instead of 8 am to 2 pm and buses will be allowed to carry two passengers per row instead of one.
The prime minister said as time goes by, there will be a need to review the current situation and position of Dominica.
He said the recommendations came from the health team who unanimously agreed that opening hours of business places should be extended from 8 am to 4 pm Mondays to Fridays.
According to the prime minister, the health officials also recommended that passenger buses should be allowed to carry 2 passengers per row instead of one, but with strict adherence to certain guidelines.
Bus drivers or their conductors, will be required to sanitize the hands of passengers before they enter the buses. The compulsory wearing of face masks and cloth shields and the practice of respiratory etiquette will be required at all times and windows should be kept open as much as possible.
Another recommendation is the lifting of the ban on liquor licenses to allow for purchase only and not consumption at points of sale.
“We are lifting the ban on liquor licenses but you cannot go in what we call the rum shops and socialize there and drink there,” the prime minister warned. “If you have to buy liquor or alcoholic beverages, you have to purchase them and go to your homes with them. You will not be able to consume it at the point of purchase.”
Skerrit said a decision has also been taken to allow for the sale of fresh produce by vendors at the Roseau Market and Portsmouth Market.
“Mondays to Fridays, at designated areas up to 4 pm…and that in order to maintain safe distancing between stalls, preventing crowding of streets leading to the market and preventing the sale of produce on the sidewalk in the city, we have considered and we will be allowing, (of course, they will give us a day on Monday to put systems in place, so that we can get it effected on Tuesday), we will be allowing the use of space on the Bayfront for vendors with pick-up vans,” he explained.
Restaurants and food places are asked to continue with pick-up service only until 4 pm.
The prime minister said the issue of opening the ports of entry is something that is being coordinated at the regional level, “ because what we are seeking to ensure is once we reopen we are all following some of the same protocols because we are all connecting in every facet.”
The curfew will remain as is, that is, from 6 pm to 6 am with a complete lockdown on weekends and holidays.