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Fight against COVID-19 - Security committee meets ahead of the coming into force of more stringent restrictions |17 April 2020

Fight against COVID-19 - Security committee meets ahead of the coming into force of more stringent restrictions

The security committee during its meeting yesterday (Photo: Joena Meme)

The security committee chaired by President Danny Faure met again yesterday to discuss the measures and operations to be undertaken during the curfew-like restrictions that come into force today.

Dubbed as the prohibition of outdoor movement regulation, the additional measure places restrictions on movements from 7pm until 6am wherein everyone should remain at home except for key workers in critical services.

Meanwhile shops will close from 6pm until 6.30am the following day.

The prohibition of outdoor movement regulation will be in place until April 29, 2020.

While employees working in essential services are allowed to go to work during the day, only those on the list of critical services will be able to move about after 7pm. This list will be made available to the public.

Each department and authority involved in yesterday’s meeting – department for risk and disaster management (DRDM), health department, police force, defence forces, department of legal affairs – have been tasked to execute the points discussed in the meeting.

Assistant Commissioner Ted Barbe noted that the police force expects to reinforce its patrol operations as from this evening with the assistance of the military.

The police force expects to increase the number of check points to include secondary roads and extend patrols into sub-districts.

He explained that a majority of people are abiding by the restriction of movement order but a handful has continued to travel around at night.

“We even encounter well-educated people who keep insisting that they have the right to move about regardless of the pandemic. We have not seen a lot of homeless people roaming about and generally we are satisfied with the cooperation from most people,” he stated.

“Those who have not been compliant have been arrested and charged, and a task force has been set up to investigate these matters to show that we are serious, and we are bringing these cases to the attorney general for prosecution.”

Now with the prohibition of outdoor movement, Assistant Commissioner Barbe said that police would not be lenient towards those who are on the road after 7pm with the required pass indicating that they work in critical services.

In regards to some of the police force’s other law and order services, the assistant commissioner said that “nothing will change in regards to police work but we are encouraging people to call if they need to get into contact with us”.

With the large number of people who flocked to town during these last two days due to the social security payout, Assistant Commissioner Barbe added that the police force is also bracing itself for next week when most people start getting their salaries.            

On his part the principal secretary of DRDM, Paul Labaleine, explained that, although the evening has been restricted to critical workers, there might be exceptions due to emergencies.

“For instance, there might be a sewerage issue somewhere and a contractor is needed. We have discussed that they will be able to call the authority in order to get necessary clearance to move about.”

He stated that DRDM is also geared and ready to respond to any situation when required.

“We want these next two weeks to go smoothly and we want people to obey the regulations,” Mr Labaleine said.


Elsie Pointe

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