Covid-19 - Platinum committee eases restrictions for two weeks |02 March 2021
By Vidya Gappy
Following the meeting of the Platinum Covid-19 committee at State House yesterday, some restrictions have been eased allowing more room for businesses to operate.
Chaired by President Wavel Ramkalawan, the participants attended the meeting via Zoom and yesterday afternoon, the Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gédéon, made the following announcements in a live press conference.
The new measures will be effective as of March 1 (yesterday) for two weeks.
“Certain decisions were taken with regard to the restrictions in place and this is based on the fact that we still have community transmission. But as we are seeing a slow-down in the number of cases and the trend of the outbreak, certain measures are being revised (relaxed) while some will remain,” noted Dr Gédeon.
All restaurants and businesses allowed to open now have to do a self-appraisal and submit a form to the Ministry of Health online so that the public health officers may come and visit the facility and endorse its re-opening.
“We hope to be able to do that this week and complete them by next week, if there is delay in submission. As for schools discussions are ongoing between the Ministry of Education and ourselves and they are discussing the calendar for reopening. We anticipate that post-secondary institutions will open in the middle of March and the opening of primary and secondary schools will be based on the calendar proposed by the Ministry of Education, probably towards the end of March. These measures will be reviewed based on how the situation evolves and the Public Health Orders will be officialized and published by the Attorney General’s office. After two weeks, the measures will be revised and we hope that these measures can be further relaxed but if we find that things get worse, we may have to re-introduce some measures!”
Regarding opening of private schools, the Public Health Commissioner stated that if the staff of a school have been vaccinated and they have the proper standard operating procedures, there is no restriction for reopening.
Regarding services to the public, Dr Gédeon clarified that there has been a “misunderstanding” with regard to attending to work.
“Most services – government or private – were never restricted by Public Health Order. People were encouraged to work from home where possible and they have to return to normal operating hours of public services, including SLA (Licensing), banks, utilities, etc.”
Public health measures to remain
- No gathering outside of the household
- No visits between households
- No religious gatherings except for guided funeral services
- No group sports
- No events with spectators
- Casinos, standalone bars and discotheques to remain closed
- Shops to close at 6pm on weekdays
Review of measures with effect as of March 1, 2021
Restaurants and food outlets to open once evaluated and met defined IPC criteria
- Reduced number of tables
- Clients by reservation only
- Attending bars to restaurant to open for seated clients
- Dancing and karaoke prohibited
- Strict queuing guideline for take aways
Gymnasium to open for members with set maximum number of users at any one time.
- Session duration limited (to be defined)
- No group activities
Spas and beauty parlours to open with similar IPC to hairdressers.
- Appointment only
Review of night restriction of movement from 8pm to 10pm - 4am
Shops to remain open until 6pm on weekends. Early closures have led to crowding
Public schools – Discussing opening with MOE for proposal of school calender.
Current Covid-19 situation