Govt. retracts permission for more businesses to open | THE DAILY HERALD

~ After posting it online ~


PHILIPSBURG–Government on Monday retracted a declaration granting permission for a list of additional businesses to be open, after it had been posted on online on Government’s Facebook page.

  The retracted declaration from the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) had stated that businesses such as barbershops, salons, shoe repair services, financial institutions such as money transfer services, cosmetic stores, car wash and tire repair services, and notarial and law offices were allowed to open, some on an appointment-only basis. 

  Prime Minister and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Chairperson Silveria Jacobs said in a national address released on social media late last night that while it had been determined to allow some additional businesses to open, after perusal of the list of businesses coupled with efforts being made to restrict movement of the population, it was decided to retract the declaration.

  She said a new regulation will be made public today, Tuesday, March 31, which will go into effect tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1. In the new regulation to be publicised today, food supply establishments, wholesalers and retail (supermarkets etc.) will be allowed to continue their operations. However, restaurants and bakeries will not be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. Vendors with vending licenses will not be allowed to open as of April 1.

  Also, while telecommunications and utilities companies will be open for technical services and their back offices operational, they will not be open to the public. Essential government services will take place by appointment only. Insurance companies will also operate by appointment only.

  Other “main businesses” that were allowed to be open can remain open at the stipulated times. No other businesses that were not allowed to open previously will be allowed to open.  

  She made clear that barbershops and salons will not be allowed to open. Jacobs apologised for the “confusion” caused by the release of the declaration. She said the original intention was that additional businesses were going to be allowed to be open to offer their services, but given that there has been an increase in coronavirus COVID-19 cases, restricting the further movement of people is more important at the moment than providing these additional services.

  She urged the public to not take children out in public for errands or trips.

  In giving an update on COVID-19 cases, Jacobs said no updated information had been received on positive cases, as results are pending. However, she said that up to yesterday, there had been 336 persons in self-quarantine, 129 in self-isolation and 52 tested of which 6 are positive, 27 negative and 19 pending.

  One of the persons who had been hospitalised returned home, but over the past 24 hours, four persons who are pending testing may also be COVID-19 positive, she said.

  Jacobs said there is still too much movement on island, hence the retraction of the declaration. She stressed that the regulations are in place for the safety of the populace and their families and urged everyone to practise social distancing, proper hygiene and to stay home in an effort to combat the highly infectious virus.

Source: The Daily Herald