COVID-19: Trinidad Government Extends Stay at Home Order as Deaths Climb to 8; People to Wear Masks in Public

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday April 6, 2020 – An order for residents to remain in their homes, which was to end on April 15, will now remain in effect until the end of the month, and people who must leave their homes will have to wear masks, as authorities try to prevent further spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has resulted in eight deaths in the twin-island republic so far.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who made the announcement today, also said all restaurants and food services in the country must be closed from tomorrow, including for curbside pick-up or delivery which was previously allowed.

On a day that the Ministry of Health reported the number of fatalities from the country’s 105 cases had reached eight, Rowley announced at a press conference that the stay at home order would be extended to April 30.

“We expect that by the 15th of April, it is quite likely, certainly possible, we may be in a worse situation than we were when we first started…and we will take additional action to intensify compliance with that instruction, not relax it, ” he said.

Prime Minister Rowley also said that effective immediately, all members of the public are to wear masks once outdoors.

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said cloth masks would be distributed to the public by the end of this week, but stressed that the N95 respirator masks would be left for frontline healthcare workers.

The Prime Minister also announced adjusted opening hours for essential businesses. Hardware stores, and electrical and plumbing businesses will be allowed to open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, Monday to Saturday; stores that offer retail services such as discount stores, supermarkets, fruit/vegetable stalls, bakeries, corner shops that provide food are to be closed to the public by 6 p.m.; wholesale stores for provision of food/medicine are to be closed by 4 p.m.; and pharmacies are to close by 8 p.m.

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