Minister of Health Evans McNiel Rogers reading the restrictive measures.
ANGUILLA–Minister of Health Evans McNiel Rogers informed the Anguillian public during a press conference that regulatory measures designed to preserve and protect the public health and safety of the people of Anguilla from the consequences of the global spread of COVID-19 would be put into place effective immediately, from March 27 to April 10.
These measures approved by Executive Council on Friday, March 27, under Section 8 of the Public Health Act, R.S.A. c.P125, are comprehensive and far-reaching. While an official curfew has not been imposed, Rogers said residents not identified as essential personnel would remain confined to their residence and their outdoor space for the two-week period ending April 10. He said, “The more cooperation we get from the citizens and residents of Anguilla will allow us to better monitor and follow-up on any suspected cases.” Exempted from this confinement are personnel identified as essential to the continued functioning of the island during this period.
Persons restricted to their premises will be allowed limited movement for essential visits to a doctor, pharmacy, grocery store/wholesale food and drink suppliers, commercial bank/credit union/money services businesses and restaurants offering take-out services only, and outdoor exercise between the hours of 5:00am and 6:00pm. The penalty for violating these measures is a fine of EC $2,500 or imprisonment for a term of six months or both.
In an effort to further limit public gatherings during this period, all places of worship and religious instruction are closed, along with all day care facilities, schools and bars. Weddings and funerals are limited to a total of 12 persons. Private parties, sporting events and all social events are also prohibited.
Present at the press conference was Premier Victor Banks and Permanent Secretary of Health, Merwyn Rogers. Banks said, “Restrictions on the movement of people and the conduct of public gatherings are an important aspect of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The increased restrictions were triggered by the Thursday evening, March 26, confirmation of two COVID-19 cases on the island – one being an imported case and the other a local transmission. To date there has not been any evidence of community transmission.
Banks stressed that the next two weeks was not a vacation. He said, “This is a strategy to stem the spread of the pandemic. You staying at home is to protect all of us, so whatever you do at home is to ensure that we contain this pandemic. We do not want you to be infected, nor do we want you to infect anyone.” He said “The economic consequences associated with these measures are definitely not more important than the lives that we intend to secure by the ‘lock-down’. However, economic consequences are important and must be assessed and we must find ways and means to mitigate the impact. We are all in this together.”
He said following the turn-around of the pandemic, there would be an effort to restart the economy quickly and get everyone back to work. “This can only be realised if we exercise the measures and restrictions being put in place today [Friday – Ed.] to manage this pandemic.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/anguilla-increases-restrictions-to-protect-against-covid-19