Road Town, BVI–Minister for Health and Social Development the Honourable Carvin Malone announced last Saturday the Cabinet’s decision for the Social Monitoring Task Force to be established under the Ministry of Health and Social Development.
During the official COVID-19 Update, Malone explained that the Task Force would consist of re-assigned public officers or qualified persons outside of the Public Service as designated by the Health Minister with the support of the Deputy Governor’s Office.
He highlighted that the Social Monitoring Task Force will cooperate with the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and the Environmental Health Division in enforcing the Public Health COVID-19 Control and Suppression Measures Order, 2020.
The Orders are made for the purpose of protecting public health and the prevention, control and suppression of the spread of COVID-19 virus by outlining restrictions to gathering sizes; closure of schools to in-person classes; and physical distance protocols and sanitisation measures.
The order also outlines the guidelines on the usage of face masks and face shields in public space and the penalties if persons and establishment’s fail to comply.
He also stated that Cabinet decided that the Social Distancing Task Force will ensure that the Public Service adheres to COVID-19 protocols established for the safety of staff and the management of office operations.
Though the British Virgin Islands will not enter a full lockdown, a new curfew order is coming into effect and will restrict the movement of persons from 1:01 pm to 5 am daily.
Last week Premier Andrew Fahie had hinted at a coming full 24-hour lockdown for 14 days, but Governor Augustus Jaspert announced Tuesday morning that the Cabinet agreed that such a drastic course would come at huge cost to the social, economic and mental state of residents.
Instead, a new curfew order was put in place that, Jaspert said, that “means you must stay within the confines of your home or yard between these hours (1 pm and 5 am). We need everyone to stay at home as much as possible,” he stated, adding that the limited free-time is to access essential items such as groceries, medicine and for exercise purposes.
He added: “ When you do go out, you must wear a face mask that fully covers your nose and mouth.”