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The context of the State of Emergency

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Posted: Wednesday, May 27, 2020. 12:00 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: His complaints of being taken out of context aside, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says he will have no issue with removing the State of Emergency when it expires, currently at the end of June.

The Commissioner was speaking with a journalist last week when he suggested that depending on the situation, he would be supportive of extending the current curfew of 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. to the end of 2020.

The Commissioner claimed he was speaking in the context of a potential ‘second wave’ of COVID-19.

But he did point out that he is understanding of the Government’s position, that of society and especially the strain on Police and security forces generally, and so it is not his call to make.

Williams pointed out that if those unemployed continue to be out of work, there may be a temptation for criminal activity to support their families, and so there is a need for work to rebuild the economy. A decision to lift the regulations must take into consideration what is happening both in and out of Belize.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Attorney General and Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte, supported by the National COVID-19 Oversight Committee and Task Force, have promised potential further loosening of restrictions, subject to a continued positive trajectory in cases and other developments, including Belizeans continuing to faithfully observe the regulations.

 

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