Barbers and others offering “beautification” services to clients at home should stop doing so as they’re putting people at risk. And fun-lovers also risk a $50,000 fine and possible jail if they continue going to beaches, rivers, streams and springs before April 15, National Security Minister Stuart Young said Friday.
Up to last night, T&T had 100 cases and six deaths, while 722 people had been tested.
Speaking during Friday’s COVID-19 virtual press conference, Young gave the warning as he noted new concepts and extended dates added to the latest Public Health Ordinance issued on Thursday.
Despite the “Stay Home” mandate in force since last Sunday for two weeks, he said he saw continuing normal activity along the Lara Promenade in Port-of-Spain up to Thursday and pointed out this kind of behaviour may also be going on in other parts of the country.
“We’ve gotten reports of gatherings and people trying to sneak into bars. Some still aren’t changing behaviour. Please stay home unless absolutely necessary,” Young said.
He said people have told him about social media ads announcing “beautification” workers offering to go to a client’s home to do their barbering, hair and nails et cetera.
Young said, “This (aspect) isn’t about enforcement of law, we’re pleading with people to stay home as this deadly virus is spread by contact. You may have no symptoms - fever, cough - and go to someone’s home. American scientists have said that by even by speaking too close to people it can also be spread.
“We know people want to continue life and have to earn money, but the answer (on client contact and going to people’s home) is no. Doing those non-essential activities and hiding behind walls - you’re putting people at risk.”
He also voiced concern for those planning to partake of roadside vending.
“We’re seeing people advertising on social media about roadside vending and what they’ll do over the weekend. People, understand - this is an invisible, odourless, colourless virus spread by contact,” Young said.
“If you pick up that roadside product, you run the risk of getting the virus and taking it home to your family and community. These aren’t normal times. Those in other countries who tried to live like normal, we’re seeing rising death tolls there. So ask yourself if that delicacy you plan to buy is worth it.”
On outdoor water-spot liming, he said based on expert medical advice, Government has decided it’s no longer allowing people at beaches, rivers, streams and springs unless their presence involves doing services, including testing, in those areas - like WASA or Environmental Management workers.
The ban also applies to religious gatherings which were previously conducted at such places.
“Last weekend, we continued seeing people at rivers. This is now illegal, if you’re found there, you’ll get a fine of up to $50,000 and possible jail. We hope police don’t have to enforce this but they will - people, it’s not life as usual,” he said.
The prohibition on liming at those areas continues to April 15 under the Public Health Ordinance.
On another matter, he said the limit on five people congregating is aimed at those in public non-essential spaces and not groceries, drugstores and banks, which should have social distancing measures in place.
Young said Police Commissioner Gary Griffith had called to express concern at gatherings outside of banks and banks agreed with Young’s request to put social distancing markings in place for the public. Government’s also asked groceries and drugstores to put similar markings outside premises and in cashing areas.