The Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments has taken the decision to relax the covid 19 protocols and restrictions, effective April 04, 2022.
The gradual decrease in active cases has contributed to the decision to lessen the country’s covid restrictions. Since the surge in July 2021, Government has continuously assessed the covid 19 situations to make rational decisions for the safety of citizens.
With time, protocols were revised and lifted such as special events hosted for vaccinated individuals and the return of face-to-face learning. All of which will gradually drive the country back to a sense of normalcy.
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon. Dr. Irving McIntyre, speaking on Monday, March 28 2022, explained that school, churches and public transportation will now be allowed to operate at their normal capacity.
“Restrictions on religious gatherings have been removed. Churches are no longer restricted to a maximum attendance of a hundred and fifty and may operate at full capacity. Public transportation is allowed to operate at full capacity. Restrictions on educational instruction have been removed. Daycares and preschools will be allowed to reopen in keeping with public health protocols developed for these establishments with effect from April 4th. Primary and secondary schools will return to full face to face learning for the third term on April 25th. All other educational institutions will resume normal operations in keeping with their own academic schedules,” Dr. McIntyre stated.
The restrictions on social activities have also been reviewed. All bars are allowed to resume normal operations and the restriction on music and congregating have also been removed. Night clubs will be allowed to reopen with a limited number of people.
“Nightclubs are allowed to reopen for under three hundred patrons with strict adherence to health protocols. Restrictions on social activity such as private parties and sporting activities with fewer than three hundred in attendance have been removed. For special events with over three hundred patrons a special event permit is required. Proof of vaccination or a negative antigen test result within twenty four hours of entry is required and other health protocols will be applied. Sporting events with above three hundred patrons will be hosted under the revised special event protocols. Night clubs hosting events for over three hundred patrons must also comply with the special events protocols,” the Health Minister explained.
The general protocols were also revised. Physical distancing of six feet will no longer be mandatory at businesses and establishments. Visitation rights have also been lifted.
“Restrictions on visitation to the prison, hospitals and home for the elderly have been removed. The public should note that these institutions will formulate internal policies for visitation in keeping with health protocols and these protocols should be strictly adhered to. The mask mandate remains in effect and will be reviewed in May. The removal of the mask mandate will depend on an increase in vaccination numbers and further reduction in covid-19 cases so we are all urged to continue following the protocols. All business establishments, churches, schools, and forms of public transportation are required to conform to the safety protocols such as sanitizing and the wearing of masks,” Dr. McIntyre went on to say.
Changes have also been made to travel protocols to further ease travel to and from Dominica which will support the full reopening of the Tourism sector. Vaccinated passengers will be allowed to tour under the established protocols.
“For the cruise sector all vaccinated passengers, will be allowed to disembark and tour freely in keeping with the established cruise ship and tour protocols. Cruise sector workers such as taxi drivers, vendors and tour guides must be vaccinated or present a negative forty-eight hour antigen test result and Safe-In-Nature pass,” Dr. McIntyre explained.
The requirement for pre-arrival testing and testing on arrival for vaccinated travelers at all ports of entry to include sea farers and yachtees has also been removed.
“Pre arrival testing and testing on arrival for vaccinated travelers at all ports of entry to include see farers and yachtees has been removed. Pre-arrival and testing on arrival in place for unvaccinated travelers at the travelers’ cost. Testing on arrival for symptomatic travelers will remain effect. Travelers who test positive will be isolated in keeping with the local isolation protocols. Children twelve years and under will assume the status of the parent or guardian. Travelers will no longer be required to fill and submit the pre-travel form online,” Dr. McIntyre added.
The Ministry of Health reminds the public that they are responsible for their health and should continue to do what is right in order to keep themselves and their families safe.