Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs
~ Residents should stay home if no urgent need to be out ~
PHILIPSBURG--Supermarkets and grocery stores, bakeries, banks, gas stations and pharmacies are allowed to open from 8:00am to 6:00pm today, Thursday, April 16, and tomorrow, Friday, April 17, to serve the public, but must observe strict social distancing guidelines.
Funeral services can also be conducted as well as services at funeral homes, provided that no more than 20 persons participate. The latter is only possible if seating capacity allows for social distancing to take place.
The public must take measures to protect themselves by wearing a mask and sanitising their hands and persons without an urgent need to be on the road are advised to remain at home. The opening of the essential services is part of measures from government to relax the two-week lockdown ahead of the 14 days to allow residents to obtain essential items that they may need.
Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs outlined the measures at the end of a more than six-hour-long meeting of the Central Committee of Parliament on Wednesday night.
For the opening of the essential services mentioned today and tomorrow, the public is permitted to make use of the public road from 7:30am to 8:00pm to purchase food and other essential goods necessary for their basic needs. Supermarkets will be allowed to continue with the delivery of food and essential goods to consumers. Jacobs said there is no need for consumers to “flock” supermarkets if they do not have an urgent need and there is no need for “binge shopping.”
The ministerial regulation authorising these changes was signed on Wednesday. In addition to the ministerial regulation, the national decree would be amended to extend the state of emergency under new conditions. The details of this will be explained in the coming days. Moving forward, as of next week it is expected that residents will be allowed to shop three days a week – Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The relaxation of the lockdown measures was taken after evaluation by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is chaired by Jacobs. It was advised that the possibility be created for persons to be able to do their grocery shopping and other essential needs to maintain at least their basic needs.
“Stay home if you do not have an urgent need,” Jacobs said. “You are allowed only to move for urgent and necessary reasons.”
She urged the population to adhere to the safety measures for their own health and that of the population noting, “The life you save may be your own.”