Stuart Young---new

 Stuart Young

BARS, private members clubs, ­casinos, gaming and betting facilities and cinemas will remain closed until April 30.

This according to a new Regulation—The Public Health Novel Coronavirus No 7 Regulation, which was released yesterday and which extends the prohibition on certain activities from April 15 to April 30.

The ban on religious gatherings or ecclesiastical services in which the number of people participating exceeds ten has also been extended from April 15 to April 30.

In-dining services at restaurants, which originally was forbidden to April 15, is now banned up to April 30. And taxis, maxi-taxis, buses and other public transport must continue to carry half the number of passengers they are licensed to carry, up to April 30.

This original stipulation was up to April 15.

The borders—airports and seaports—will also remain closed until April 30.

Similarly, no one is allowed at any beach, river, stream or spring ­unless they are involved in the carrying out of a service related to that beach, river or spring (such as WASA or ­Environmental Management Autho­rity workers who have to test water at these water courses).

The ban on the beach and river liming remains in effect until April 30.

Speaking at the daily COVID-19 update at yesterday’s virtual news conference in Port of Spain, National Security Minister Stuart Young said people were still not changing their behaviour and staying at home.

“Yesterday as I was making my way to the east of Trinidad, I found it disturbing to see some of the activity and behaviour as though it is normal along the Brian Lara Prome­nade and some areas of Port of Spain, which I understand may still be going on in other areas of the country,” he said.

Young said the police were still getting reports of people gathering and some trying to “sneak” into bars.

Young reiterated the penalty for breaches of these regulations is a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

Young thanks banks

Young said he wanted to thank commercial banks for heeding his call.

“Two days ago, when the commissioner of police reached out to me just before coming to this press conference to express concern about the gatherings outside of banks, I called all the CEOs of the major banks and asked them to immediately implement outside of their open branches, markings keeping the social distancing in place. Every single one of them immediately agreed and they have implemented it, and we saw the results of that yesterday,” Young said.

Young said the Government was also asking groceries, supermarkets and other essential establishments to do the same, and assist with the social distancing policy by marking outside of their stores and their cashing areas the social distancing policy of six feet.

Young added the five-­person limit on gatherings did not apply to lines outside banks, pharmacies and super­markets and other essential businesses and services. The five-person limit applies to public spaces outside of any essential ­service and business, he stressed.

Immigration

to close next week

Young said the Immigration Division had been upgrading its software and hardware to introduce facial recog­nition and biometric fingerprint ID. He said now was the perfect time to implement this new software and hardware. He said for the whole of next week the division would be closed to the public for the renewal of passports and other services. When it reopens, Immigration would also have a new system for passport renewal based on alphabetical order, in which people with surnames between certain letters would be served on specific days.

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