SABA–The stay-at-home measures implemented in Saba to curb the outbreak of the coronavirus will be lifted tonight, Saturday, May 9, at midnight, Island Governor Jonathan Johnson said in his COVID-19 update.
Today, Saba will be completing the stay-at-home measures, which consisted of two incubation periods for the coronavirus – adding up to 28 days – which started when Saba had its first COVID-19 case, the governor said.
As this was not an introduction case but, in fact, a local transmission, an ordinance was put in place to drastically reduce movement in Saba to contain the spread of the virus.
So far, all contact tracing, quarantines, isolations, and testing have brought forth negative test results. Therefore, there is no indication that the virus is spreading in the island, the governor said.
As the number of positive cases has been limited to two cases, with one patient recovered, it was decided to lift the stay-at-home measure by midnight.
Governor Johnson urged Saba’s residents to still observe social distancing, where possible, and to adhere to the guidelines government and business owners have in place for the safety of the community.
Restaurants will be allowed to open for dinner and churches may have services on Sunday, while adhering to hygiene measures and physical distancing. All other services and businesses may reopen as of Monday.
After meeting with school principals, teachers, day-care centres, and representatives of extracurricular activities this week, the decision has been made to reopen schools and after-school activities on Monday, May 18. How the reopening will occur and what procedures will be in place will be communicated by the schools and educational organisations themselves, Johnson said on Friday.
The governor said he had met Friday with some business representatives and contacted others to discuss best practices and safety measures for when the businesses reopen to the public. Other companies will be informed today, Saturday.
Johnson said he has also reached out to church representatives to discuss with them the necessary safety measures during services when they reopen Sunday.
Government offices will remain closed until Wednesday, May 13. Until their reopening to the public, designated civil servants will be at the offices preparing for the reopening.
The island’s borders will remain closed and a 14-day quarantine is still in place for persons returning to Saba.
“It is the responsibility of us all to keep each other and ourselves safe,” the governor said. “I know that everyone is excited to be able to go swimming, driving, to go to church services, or out to eat; but while doing so, please continue to be vigilant and maintain physical distancing, where possible. Also, continue to practise good hand and cough hygiene.”
While the four-week lockdown has contained the virus and reduced the risk of COVID-19 spreading, Saba residents must adhere to the measures put in place “to ensure that all of our efforts do not go in vain. Let us continue to work together for the safety of our families and the community as a whole,” said Johnson.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/saba-ends-its-stay-at-home-measures-today-at-midnight