MOH loosens COVID-10 restrictions; drops social distancing Loop Barbados

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Barbados News

The three-foot physical distancing rule will not be included in the next Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Protocols) Directive when it is released on Monday, August 29.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Ian Gooding-Edghill, made the disclosure on Friday after the arrival of 14,400 doses of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), which were gifted to Barbados by the British government.

The Health Minister explained that the decision was made “on the basis of the information available to us”. However, he pointed out that despite the change to the Directive, Barbadians were expected to maintain their social responsibility as the pandemic was still ongoing.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr Kenneth George, pointed out that the directives were used as tools to change behaviour and “to curtail some basic human rights”.

“We’ve learned so much about the COVID pandemic for over two years… we cannot continue as before. We know too much. Unfortunately, persons have lost lives along the way but with respect to moving forward, we can’t use an environment of fear or restrictions to combat a respiratory disease. Therefore, when we say we have removed the three-feet requirement, we are putting the onus on the Barbadian public with respect to responsibility and taking care of themselves.

“How can you do this? If you are in a circumstance that you are unsure of, put on your mask, particularly if it’s indoors. If you are in a situation where you feel you may be at risk, you do the right things. I believe that the removal of the reference to three feet is a good thing. However, what we are asking the public to do is to continue to use good judgement at this time with respect to moving forward in a COVID-19 environment,” Dr. George emphasised.

The Chief Medical Officer said that, at present, the two major public health interventions are mask wearing and vaccination. He added that these are “what will get us through this current climate”.

Dr George further noted that public health officials were in the process of discussing other measures which would give people more freedom in terms of moving around, while protecting public health.

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