Dominica eases COVID-19 related restrictions effective May 7, 2020. The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre in a statement to the nation on May 6, 2020. The total number of confirmed COVID 19 cases remain at 16, with 2 active cases. Fifteen persons are currently housed at the Government run quarantine facility and 417 PCR tests have been conducted. Minister McIntyre noted that the recommendation to ease the restrictions were being made considering that there has been no reported transmission for the last 28 days, the capacity of the health care system to deal with a resurgence in cases if needed and the ability of the state to reintroduce or tighten public health measures in vulnerable settings.
The ease of restrictions means that appliance and electronic shops and clothing and textile shops can reopen for business, however they must ensure that staff and customers wear face masks, physical distancing protocols are enforced as well as hand sanitization upon entry to and exit from the business place. Access to beaches and rivers will be granted for stress management from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays to Saturdays; however there shall be no picnics, barbeques, loud music, parties or consumption of alcohol at beaches or rivers. Groups of not more than 10 persons will be allowed and physical distancing must be maintained. There will be police presence at the beaches to ensure compliance to the new measures. Approved business places can also operate for business on Saturdays between 8 am to 1 pm, in keeping with the health and safety protocols of the Ministry of Health. Bars, night clubs, game shops, hair salons, barber shops, sulphur spas, schools, churches, gyms, manicure and pedicure shops remain closed pending further review on May 11, 2020.
A nationwide curfew remains in effect, Monday to Saturday from 6 pm to 6 am, with a complete lockdown on Sundays. Dr. McIntyre also stated, “I must emphasize that adjusting the restrictive measures is not a carte blanche. It does not mean business as usual. As a matter of fact, we are in the new normal state. We must continue to practice hand washing, respiratory etiquette, proper wearing and removal of face masks, sanitizing and disinfecting homes, businesses and workplaces.”