Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) says several businesses and local churches have now been cleared to operate in the Virgin Islands, having met COVID-19 requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.
Hon Malone was at the time speaking at yesterday's Friday, July 10, 2020, House of Assembly (HoA) sitting, where he announced that engagement was also had with entities that provide janitorial, car rental, taxi and trucking services.
90% of businesses meet COVID-19 requirements
"Mister Speaker, in terms of workplace preventive measures, the members of the Compliance Teams and Social Distancing Task Force inspected close to 1,400 businesses with approximately 96% of these meeting the requirements for re-opening."
Hon Malone continued, "In addition to the businesses that met the re-opening criteria, 64 churches were approved based on their compliance with established procedures."
Further, of some 18 schools inspected, 16 were approved to operate once a decision is made by Cabinet on the re-opening of educational facilities.
"Continuous monitoring of the entities that were approved to reopen is ongoing... and to date, 514 post-approval inspections were conducted to ensure sustained compliance with the requisite COVID-19 prevention measures related to physical distancing, hand washing and respiratory etiquette."
Continue doing your part to prevent spread - Hon Malone
According to Hon Malone, all must continue to do their part to keep themselves and others safe from COVID-19 infection and said despite the low infection rate in the territory, the community cannot be allowed to become desensitised or complacent with the pandemic still ongoing.
Local COVID-19 measures include the wearing of face masks/coverings by all individuals when in an indoor or outdoor public space and the maintaining of six (6) feet of physical distance between individuals when in an indoor or outdoor space.
On the business and organisation end, they must ensure that employees, customers and visitors wear face masks/coverings and adhere to all social distancing measures approved by the government, else face a range of penalties for defiance.