My fellow Anguillians.
Today I signed regulations approved of Executive Council under section 8 of the Public Health Act, R.S.A. c. P125 as a critical part of Anguilla’s COVID-19 response. These regulations take effect immediately.
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic which threatens the public health and safety of many territories and states around the globe resulting in widespread infection of persons and resultant deaths of many. Its rate of infection and territorial spread has been confirmed to now be present in territories and states proximate to Anguilla. Additionally, yester CARPHA confirmed that two cases are on island.
Therefore, under and by virtue of the Public Health Act R.S.A. c. P125, I as Minister responsible for health am empowered to take necessary measures to protect and preserve the public health and safety of the people of Anguilla from any infectious or notifiable disease. So, in consequence of the global spread of the infectious disease known as Covid-19 it has become necessary for me to take certain measures.
Section 2 of the Public Health Act RSA c P125 provides that the duties, powers and functions of the Minister shall extend to and include all matters relating to promotion or preservation of the health of the people of Anguilla, and section 3(c) of the same Act provides that in the exercise of his duties, powers and functions under section 2 of the Act the Minister shall have power to make such orders and issue such directions as he deems advisable for the abatement of any nuisance or the removal of any condition which, in his opinion, is or may become injurious to the public health or in respect of any other matter that, in his opinion, is necessary for the purpose of this Act.
Section 8 of the said Act provides that the Minister may, with the approval of the Executive Council, make regulations for the proper execution and carrying out of the purposes and provisions of the Act generally and in particular with respect to certain specified matters.
As a result of the powers and responsibilities placed on me as Minister of Health, and by virtue and in the exercise of the powers vested in me by sections 2 and 8 of the Public Health Act, I, Evans McNiel Rogers, Minister of Health, by and with the approval of the Executive Council, today made the following the order and Regulations for the specified period of 27 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. That is, for the next two weeks.
Restrictions on movement of persons
Every person shall remain confined to their place of residence, inclusive of their outdoor space, during the period 27 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. This restriction does not apply to persons working in the following establishments:
Exceptions for movement of persons
All persons restricted to their place of residence may leave their premises for the following reasons:
(a) essential visits to a doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, wholesale food and drink suppliers, restaurant, a commercial bank, a credit union, a money services business or a gas station;
(b) outdoor exercise for periods not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm; and
(c) attending a funeral or a wedding.
Prohibition on public gatherings
The regulation I have signed today specifically states that where a person is permitted to leave their place of residence in accordance with the exceptions I just mentioned, such persons shall at all times, remain at least 3 ft. away from any other person.
Additionally, any person who is permitted to leave their place of residence for:
“essential visits to a doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, wholesale food and drink suppliers, restaurant, a commercial bank, a credit union, a money services business or a gas station; or outdoor exercise for periods not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm”
are hereby prohibited from assembling in groups exceeding 5 persons in any public place in Anguilla during the period 27 March 2020 to 10 April 2020. For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of five persons for public gathering does not prohibit the assembly, for work purposes, of persons or groups who are exempted from the restriction.
However, the maximum number of persons permitted to assemble for the purpose of a funeral or a wedding is 12 persons including those persons conducting the services and providing support services.
Prohibition of restaurant sit-down services
For the next two weeks no restaurant or food establishment shall offer sit-down services. This means that food establishments are only permitted to offer take-out services during the specified period. Additionally, no restaurant shall allow the congregation of more than 5 persons at the restaurant at any particular time while also maintaining a distance of at least three feet between patrons.
Closure of Liquor licensed premises
For the next two weeks all bars and establishments or premises licenced under the Liquor Licences Act R.S.A. c. L75;
shall be closed. This means any room, house, building or place in respect of which a liquor licence shall have been issued to sell liquor therein by retail, and premises to which a beer licence or a restaurant licence shall be issued. If a restaurant is in possession of a liquor licence, that portion of the business shall remain closed for the next two weeks, however, the restaurant portion can remain open.
However, this prohibition does not apply to grocery stores or wholesale food and drink suppliers which have been licensed to sell liquor by retail or wholesale.
Physical distancing requirements
All businesses and establishments which are permitted to operate under this order and regulation shall:
(a) facilitate physical distancing of no less than 3 feet between persons inside the establishment;
(b) determine the number of persons that may be permitted in any establishment at any one time by permitting one person for every 30 square feet of floor space; and
(c) within 24 hours of the commencement of these Regulations, place distance markers 3 feet apart on the floor space of such establishments, indicating where customers must stand while waiting inside the establishment.
Closure of places of worship and religious instruction
In an effort to limit public gatherings at this time all places of worship and religious instruction shall be closed during the period period 27 March 2020 to 10 April 2020.
Closure of day care facilities
All day care facilities shall be closed during the specified period of period 27 March 2020 to 10 April 2020.
Restriction on social activities
Based on information and guidance from the World Health Organisation, early detection, containment and treatment are critical to ending the pandemic. Therefore, as a critical part of the Ministry of Health’s plan to limit local or community transmission of COVID-19, the following regulation has also been put in place:
(a) no person shall host a private party which includes any person not living in the household. Additionally, no person shall attend a private party not held in their household.
(b) no person shall host or attend—
(i) a recreational or competitive sporting event,
(ii) a banquet, ball or reception,
(iii) a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organisation,
(iv) a funeral, exceeding 12 persons including 1officiant and essential mortuary staff,
(v) a wedding, comprising more than 12 persons including the bride, the bridegroom, the official witnesses and the marriage officiant, or
(vi) any other social event.
While the Ministry is confident that most residents will abide by these new and necessary regulations, kindly note that any person who fails or neglects to carry out or infringes any provisions of these regulations, is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine of $2,500 or to imprisonment for a term of 6 months or to both.
Finally, as Minister of Health I hereby indicate that these regulations are made in the best interest of the public, in a measured way, and in keeping with public health principles as practice. Stay safe. May God bless Anguilla.
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