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Martinique Entering 3-Week Lockdown, Tourists Ordered To Leave
Under the lockdown measures, leisure and entertainment-related businesses will remain closed. Only essential businesses, such as pharmacies and grocery stores, will be allowed to open. Locals will be restricted from leaving their homes between the hours of 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.
“Companies and administrations are also invited to participate in this lockdown effort,” said Stanislas Cazelles, the prefect of the island. “They are invited to organize service so that as many employees as possible can work from home.”
The lockdown in the French overseas territory is expected to last a minimum of three weeks. According to Cazelles, the situation will be reviewed after 15 days and the restrictions will be lifted “as soon as the health situation allows.”
Martinique’s low vaccination rate has left it vulnerable amidst the pandemic; just 22% of the population has received the first dose of the vaccine. The country’s hospitals are currently experiencing a great deal of strain, with their occupancy rates at 227% of capacity.
The CDC currently rates Martinique at level 4, its highest rating, and strongly discourages travel to the island nation. Last week, France sent around 240 volunteer medical professionals to Martinique and another of its Caribbean territories, Guadeloupe, to help reinforce the islands’ struggling healthcare workers.