Posted: Friday, August 21, 2020. 3:33 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The following revisions to regulations under the extended State of Emergency, now in effect since Thursday, will last for two weeks.
The daily curfew will now be uniform through the week, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. seven days per week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced.
This will help persons traveling from Belize City across the country get in on time as previously some found it a tight squeeze to get home before shutdown.
The Prime Minister said there would be some consideration given for certain NGO organizations to able to respond for emergencies, such as the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT), and those businesses not initially considered can submit to the National COVID-19 Oversight Committee.
Spas, beauty salons, and barbershops will now operate by appointment only: no more than one customer may wait for service, but this can be flexible in terms of the number of stations available.
With these and subsequent regulations, the Prime Minister said, the rules must be applied with “dexterity and flexibility,” not to draw “a coach and four” through them. If what has happened to date is not enough to put the fear of God into us, he said, he does not know what will.
No private parties are permitted with persons from outside the immediate household of the occupant, and all recreational and competitive sports are prohibited; parks and playgrounds shall not be used; weddings are limited to ten persons outside of the main attendants and other social events including banquets, balls and receptions are also proscribed.
The churches fall silent again for worship services, but funerals may proceed with ten family members and the officiant and mortuary worker at the burial grounds. In the case of COVID-19 related deaths, there will be no obligation to cremate persons.
The following businesses will operate as essential: sugar, citrus, and food production factories; oil production and exploration; port operation and associated services; public utilities and independent energy producers.
Gyms will close for the next two weeks, while restaurants will be limited to takeout, delivery, and drive through services on the basis that the air in the restaurant when contaminated can be oppressive. In the case of publican special license owners, Barrow said, owners are getting around the rules by, in his words, “putting a bowl of peanuts or a tin of Vienna sausage in front of the carousers and it continues unabated…”
Streetside vendors will be limited to delivery and pickup. Persons on transport are asked not to eat there-on to avoid contaminatory spread and likewise palling around at gas stations.
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