As of 5 am on December 1, the COVID-19 curfew, which has been in effect for more than a year will be eliminated, according to Health Minister Hon. Jamell Robinson.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Robinson, who declared that the lifting of the curfew was decided by Cabinet on November 10, also announced other easements of COVID-19 measures. He said the measures will remain in place until February 2022 unless barring unforeseen occurrences.
In addition to the lifting of the curfew, the health minister has cleared the way for churches, religious events and funerals to increase their occupancy to 80% of their normal capacity, both indoors and outdoors. He said restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and discotheques will be allowed to increase their occupancy also to 80% of their normal capacity, noting that the Ministry of Health would no longer require those establishments to file weekly reports of attendees.
He pointed out that public/private social gatherings, including functions at hotels, villas, tourism accommodations and wedding receptions, attended by 100-plus persons will continue to require written permission from the Ministry of Health, adding such events should not exceed 500.
He said also that the ban on temporary work permits for artistes will be lifted, noting also that taxi operators will be allowed to carry up to 10 guests subject to health protocols being followed and there being no more than 2 separate families on board.
The minister also announced that as of December 1, booster shots will be available for all persons that have been fully vaccinated more than 6 months ago.
“I encourage everyone who is presently eligible to get the booster shot to please do so,” the minister urged.
He encouraged to continue the basic Health Protocols such as wearing of face mask, physical distancing and where appropriate, exercise personal hygiene.
He said the country has achieved a high vaccination rate of over 78% of the adult population, while enacting a vaccinated visitor arrival policy.
He encouraged personal responsibility, stating that going forward personal responsibility will be the order of the day.
“It’s important to note that wide stakeholder consultations took place to craft the updated health regulations,” he said, informing that meetings were held with the the TCI Medical Association, the Taxi Association, owners of taverns, the Turks and Caicos Restaurant Association, representatives from the Entertainment Industry, the TCHTA and the Chamber of Commerce.