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GOB comes up with three-month plan to control COVID-19 spread, lift restrictions

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Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2021. 6:18 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Prime Minister John Briceño said he believes his government is doing a decent job controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus but asks people to get vaccinated and to keep adhering to the COVID-19 protocols, on Wednesday morning on Channel 5’s Open Your Eyes.

“It comes down to the basics social distance, wear your mask, wash your hands and then get bloody vaccinated, sorry, get vaccinated. I mean that’s it,” he said clearly annoyed with people not getting vaccinated as fast as GOB would like.

“We’re doing everything that we can possibly do to keep this under control,” said the Prime Minister.

“When COVID-19 started, it was the alpha [variant]. It was contagious, but it was nowhere close as Delta. This is by far more contagious. So, when you take that into consideration, then obviously we’re doing a pretty good job.”

“We know that we can’t live in a bubble. We can’t lock up the entire country. We tried it on two Sundays and it dipped a little bit. We’re starting to see the signs that it’s going to go down and by the end of the month we expect then to see that it’s starting to go down some more,” said the PM.

The PM said that we have to be careful because if we open up too fast and start moving around freely, then the rate of infection will start to go up again quickly.

He said that GOB told the Ministry of Health that they had to come up with a long-term plan because the business community needs certainty, they need to be able to plan. In tourism, he said, people book in advance, so we cannot have week-to-week plans.

We have to strike a balance, he said, because people need to work so they can put food on the table. And to that end, the government, on the recommendations of the Ministry of Health has come up with a three-month plan to lift restrictions.

He said that if during October we lower the positivity rate to below ten percent.

He said that the low-movement Sundays were removed, and it was agreed that BPOs operate at 50%, that churches could open to 50% of the congregation for people fully vaccinated.

The curfew was set for 9 pm but that if the positivity rate goes down to under ten percent by the end of October, in November the curfew will start at 10 pm and 11 pm on weekends.

Some contact sports will be allowed to have competitions by October 20, but all involved have to be fully vaccinated.

By end of November, if we go to 5 percent or below, then for Christmas, curfew would start at 11 pm and at midnight on weekends.

And by the end of the year, said Prime Minister Briceño, land borders could be open for people who are fully vaccinated.

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