An aerial view of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados (Photo: businessinsider.com)

More businesses to open in Barbados today

An aerial view of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados (Photo: businessinsider.com)

The Government of Barbados has given the green light to a number of businesses to reopen their door today, May 18.

During a press briefing last evening, Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced that hairdressing salons, barbershops, furnishing stores, and restaurants are among a suite of additional businesses that have received approval to resume their operations.

Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley (File photo)

In addition, the Mia Mottley Administration has given its blessings for churches to reopen their doors after today, albeit with a maximum of 20 individuals in the first instance. Churches and other religious institutions will have to wait until other logistical matters are finalised pertaining to the size of the institutions.

The prime minister, however, warned that despite the relaxing of more restrictions, it would not be business as usual. Instead, businesses should operate under new protocols in a COVID-19 environment.

“In all of these, the condition is that the relevant protocols and physical distancing are observed,” Mottley urged, adding that the focus would be to ensure “safe work, safe people, while keeping Barbados safe”.

The Government of Barbados has approved the reopening of hairdressing salons, barbershops, furnishing stores, restaurants, small cottage industries, repair services, b bookstores, and flower shops beginning today, May 18. Churches may reopen after today, with 20 individuals while observing social distancing and sanitising protocols. (File photo)

In addition, small cottage industries, repair services (to repair televisions, equipment breakdowns and air condition units), bookstores, and flower shops may also reopen today.

Mottley explained that in cases where appliances had to be delivered to a customer’s home, the necessary protocols were developed — in consultation with the Environmental Health Department; the Ministry of Labour; the Attorney General; members of the private sector and the union — to facilitate safe delivery and installation.

The Government will also institute that similar measures be observed at hair salons and at barbershops, where customers and staff will be required to wear masks, and follow the necessary sanitising protocols.

A busy street in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo)

At the same time, restaurants can only operate drive-thru, delivery, and takeaway services.

Meanwhile, housekeepers will have to wait until Wednesday, May 20, before they can return to work, as the Ministry of Health and Wellness is working on training videos for them and homeowners to ensure a safe working environment.