Posted: Friday, December 18, 2020. 12:05 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa announced that justices of the peace will be assigned to businesses of greater than 2,000 square feet to enforce face mask wearing and social distancing and that no more than 50 per cent capacity of workers and customers is observed.
A COVID-19 internal auditor will now be required at all businesses to provide and submit weekly reports on observance of regulations and employ a shift system save for essential businesses (tourism, agriculture, food, etc.)
Especially at this time, Musa noted, businesses will be more concerned with their economic health than with their customers’ health, but failing to observe the latter will lead to trouble with the former. Both the Ministry of Health and Wellness and Police Department will make spot checks and are empowered to shut down businesses that are not complying and fine them $5,000, as well as $200 per employee.
Restaurants, food vendors and similar businesses are limited to take-out or drive-through; if there are facilities for outdoor dining that is limited to 50 percent capacity. Food vendors are limited to sales from private properties.
Schools will remain closed except for distance learning; non-contact recreational sports (tennis, golf, etc.) will be allowed, but basketball, football, etc. will not. Walking, cycling, etc. will be allowed, but in single file.
On public transportation, passengers will be denied entry if not wearing face masks and 50 percent capacity will be enforced countrywide. Musa stated that public transportation is regarded by some as a “superspreader” of COVID-19. Hand sanitizer must be available and social distancing is observed before getting on.
Alcohol sales will be closed after 6 p.m. daily. The reason for this is to limit consumption in public at the parks and along the sea side.
Corozal and Orange Walk are effectively sealed off except for work, food distribution and medical emergencies; travel is also prohibited within each district.
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