The Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor, Omar Ottley informs the public, that in accordance with his COVID-19 phased approach for the night life; business hours will be scaled back to 1 am.
The phased approach is based on the hospital's occupancy rate and capacity, to avoid a possible collapse of our health care system, while maintaining a balance in our economic activity on the island.
For clarity, the Ministerial Regulation goes into effect on Wednesday January 5th, with the understanding that all nightlife establishments must be closed by 1 am on January 6th.
4 - 7 hospitalizations (20%), scale back to 1 am. If hospitalization should later decrease to less than 4, for a period of two weeks, then the time would be reverted.
8 or more hospitalizations (40%), scale back to 11 pm. If hospitalizations should decrease to less than 8, for a period of two weeks, then the time would be adjusted accordingly.
Evidence has mounted that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible. It is far more transmissible than the previous variants, and is becoming predominant worldwide. As the WHO notes,
“vaccines are likely to have some effectiveness against Omicron, particularly for persons with a severe disease, even if the performance is reduced compared with other variants.”
The Minister is advising everyone to take personal responsibility for their health and that of their loved ones, by adhering to the COVID-19 preventative health measures. We know how to fight the virus already, we have vast knowledge at our fingertips.
In addition, physical distancing, ventilating indoor spaces, hand hygiene, avoiding crowds, and reducing one’s number of social contacts can also help to control transmission of the more transmissible Omicron variant. Please get vaccinated if you have not done so, and if you have been double vaccinated, get your booster.
The Minister would also like to advise all persons who obtains a positive result from a self test, to isolate themselves immediately. There are too many complaints of persons testing positive and still reporting to work or interacting with others. This causes an extremely negative domino effect on our country’s COVID-19 statistics and can lead to possible hospitalization of others around you.