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Minister of Health and Wellness announces new public health measures related to COVID-19

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Posted: Friday, July 30, 2021. 4:57 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: In a lightning-round press briefing held moments ago, Minister of Health and Wellness Michel Chebat announced several critical changes to the continuing public health protocols occasioned by COVID-19, to take effect Sunday, August 1.

First, as a consequence of the rapid rise of the COVID-19 figures, an expansion of the definition of frontline workers in the statutory instrument to encompass employees of business process outsourcing firms and civil aviation workers will be passed.

“The implication of that is as you know, is that those who are not vaccinated by the 31st of July, 2021, will be required to now present a negative COVID test to their place of employment,” the Minister said. Later, he said some time would be given to these workers to allow them to get vaccinated.

The national curfew has been moved back to 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly beginning Sunday.

Next, every tour operator and tour guide must present their vaccination card prior to entering any designated protected area or national site.

Casinos and gaming establishments are now limited to 50 percent of site capacity.

Possession and manufacture of faked immunization cards will be subject to fine and confinement and police officers can ticket offenders for these offences. A new COVID Enforcement Unit will be created specifically to enforce COVID regulations at businesses.

Finally, a lockdown of Santa Elena village, Toledo District, takes effect from today.

The changes to the statutory instrument are expected to be printed and distributed shortly.

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