Dreaming of a Caribbean island vacation this year? It’s possible – but it’ll take more planning than those pre-pandemic trips you went on a whim with before. While Caribbean destinations are open (and ready) for tourists once again, certain COVID-19 restrictions remain, like a national curfew. While restrictions vary island-to-islands, here are three Caribbean countries that have either dropped their national curfews altogether or relaxed them.
Barbados: Curfew Removal As A Valentine’s Day Gift To The Country
As of Monday, February 14, 2022, Barbados lifts its daily curfew, which previously ran from midnight to 5:00 am in an effort to curb COVID. Health Minister Ian Gooding-Edghill notes that 65% of Bajans over 12 years old are now fully vaccinated, with 57% of that group also boasting a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
In addition to the complete removal of its national curfew, Barbados made other strides towards resuming normal activities. Party cruises can return, operating at 100% capacity, with proof of vaccination and rapid antigen tests to board; an officer of the COVID Monitoring Unit will be on board all cruises. All other pleasure crafts and private boats can also return to 100% capacity—no vaccination or testing requirement. Cricket capacity gets bumped up to 80% capacity, public transportation to 100% capacity, and maximum hiking party size to 30 persons. Barbados also removed their 5 am – 7 pm restriction for beaches & national parks, too.
Guyana Removes Curfew with Immediate Effect Over The Weekend
Guyana discontinues its COVID-19 curfew with immediate effect over the weekend; a memo from National COVID-19 Task Force was issued on Friday, February 11, 2022. However, all other COVID-19 restrictions have been extended until at least 31 March. Swimming pools also reopen at 50% capacity, although swimmers are expected to be vaccinated. However, Guyana’s Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony indicated that if more people get vaccinated, the government may remove other measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus.
Some of these measures include mandatory wearing of a facemask in public spaces, social distancing, presenting a negative COVID test to enter the country and buildings; the hosting of parties, and no more than 10 people gathered at one place. The curfew, first instituted in 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19, was in effect from midnight to 4 am after several adjustments.
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations decrease, Jamaica announces revised yet relaxed measures which include a new national curfew. Nightly curfews are reduced in Jamaica by an additional hour, running from 11:00 p.m. to five o’clock the following morning, for a two-week period, ending 5:00 a.m. on February 25. Additionally, worship services will no longer have a cap of 100 persons but instead, base capacity on the size of the venue.
“The maximum number of persons allowed to attend will be based on the size of the area designated for worship, divided by 36 sq. ft. As an example, a church with a worship area of 5,000 sq. ft. would be able to have 138 persons present,” the Prime Minister outlined.
In two weeks’ time, the Caribbean island of Jamaica will review the measures and “consider a further widening of the guard rail” like curfews and more. Perhaps, more nations in the region will follow suit.