As COVID-19 cases continue to increase, Barbados is once again heading into lockdown mode. Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced what was termed “a period of national pause” effective from Feb. 3 to the 17. 

During this time, bars, gyms, restaurants, and shops will be closed. Essential services in the public and private sectors will remain in operation including supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations. Supermarkets will remain open from 8 am to 3 pm during the week and close on Saturday and Sunday. Pharmacies and gas stations will remain open on weekends. Wearing face masks is also mandatory in all public places. 

Curfew, which currently runs from 9 pm to 5 am, has also been extended, starting from 7 pm and ending at 6 am daily. Anyone found in violation of these protocols will be penalized. 

Last week, Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic confirmed community spread in Barbados. 

“For those cases where we would have exhausted our efforts in terms of finding a link, based on the public health officials reports, we have reached the stage where we believe, and we are declaring that there is community transmission in Barbados,” said Bostic during a Covid-19 update.

The more contagious British strain of the virus has also been detected on the island.