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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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"People Feel This Has Been Going on Too Long"

Minister of Health and Wellness Kevin Bernard believes, like many Belizeans, that the curfew has been a part of the Belizean norm for too long. Since the onset of the pandemic, citizens have been restricted in their movements as a form of containing and controlling the spread of COVID-19. Well, next week the health minister is taking a paper before Cabinet that looks at revising some of the current COVID-19 measures, including doing away with the curfew. But, why make the move? This is what we asked Minister Bernard via zoom today.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

"For me and for most Belizeans, and I put myself in the Belizean shoe today, not as the Minster of Health and Wellness, but I think that what has happened over the past few years is we have learned. I think that for those persons who really wanted to get vaccinated have already done so. And, even though the Ministry of Health is now starting on a more aggressive campaign, ground to ground, house to house that is starting to try and target those persons who have not been vaccinated, there are genuinely those persons who feel that we need to start to live in some form of normalcy again. That is not to say that everything that is there will be lifted. We need to look at it responsibly in a phased manner and the issue of the curfew is one of the most prevailing points across the country. People feel that is has been going on for too long."

Even If Curfew Ends, Bars Remain Closed

So, what is next for Belizeans in the fight against COVID-19? Well, those mask mandates, social distancing, and vaccination regulations are here to stay for a while. And, if you think no curfew means nightlife returns to normal, Minister Bernard says not so fast.

Kevin Bernard, Minister of Health & Wellness

"If you look at it in the present moment, the curfew is from eleven o'clock and then at midnight on weekends. So, if we remove the curfew, there is no major issue or any effects that it will have at this point in time. Bars and night clubs will still remain closed for the time being. I think that is the aspect we are trying to look at. We want to ease restrictions, but at the same time we are not easing it and opening up the flood gates. We cannot afford that. We are trying to be responsible as we make this decision. While we will remove the curfew like I said, we will not be removing any major restrictions. For example, we need to see more enforcement by the police in terms of people adhering to these regulations. We need to beef up the role of the COVID enforcement officers to ensure that people in these supermarkets and all these locations are doing what they are required to do by law, ensure that they have the sanitization station, that they have their six feet markers properly placed in their shops, and that people understand that the bars and night clubs remain closed at this time. We feel that what is next for the people is that we need to continue to educate our people on the benefits of the vaccine."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Police Minister Supports Lifting of Curfew

And while the ongoing curfew wasn't exactly a crime fighting mechanism, it did help keep the numbers low - back in 2020. But criminals are killing in broad daylight, or early evening, meaning that the curfew is no longer a deterrent.

And while its main focus was to control the spread of COVID, the Minister of Health explained that it's time to start opening up - slowly, of course. He is in favor of removing the curfew and Musa is on his side.

Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries
"I think, and of course we have to listen to the medical experts on this, but based on how we have seen the downward trend in the rate of infection and especially the rate of hospitalizations going down so drastically I believe we're at a very comfortable place now where we can remove some of those restrictions like the curfew, I fully support that and I'm sure that will be coming up very shortly."

Channel 7

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