Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley says government will have no hesitation in returning to the mask mandate if the situation with the spread of COVID 19 warrants it, and he is encouraging citizens to continue wearing masks, although the official mandate to wear masks was lifted on Sunday.
Speaking at a news conference Dr Rowley said he is aware that while the announcement that the mask mandate had ended brought mental, physical, and psychological relief, and people may want to believe that COVID is behind us, “nothing is further from the truth.”
Dr Rowley cautioned that the virus is still around, continues to mutate, and remains “dangerous.”
He urged the population not to take the position that “the pandemic is over and we can go back to normal”.
The Prime Minister noted that the BA.4 and BA.5 variants continue to pose significant threats. In fact, he described the BA.5 variant as still a public health issue that is causing problems akin to Delta, while being as virulent as Omicron.
Dr Rowley noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is advising that countries should remain masked. He urged the population to remain “extremely cautious and observant”, stating that the government will continue to monitor the situation.
The Prime Minister urged the population to cooperate and be sensible, and to wear masks to protect themselves even though the mandate has been lifted.