The mask mandate implemented by the Government for the entire period of the COVID-19 pandemic may soon be a thing of the past, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced yesterday.
Speaking during the opening of the Fish Fry Facility in Carenage, Rowley said he was expecting to have a discussion with Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh soon to see whether the health regulations could be amended to allow citizens to wear masks voluntarily.
The Prime Minister, who returned home on Thursday night after a three-week absence while undergoing medical check-ups in the US, said he made the decision to review the mandate after seeing multiple local gatherings of people without masks.
“I was out of the country. And it seems as though your nervousness of COVID has disappeared,” Rowley said.
“You had me very, very concerned and I counted the days and I looked at the outcome and it appears as though we can be a whole lot more interactive without being irresponsible. So it may be that the mask may come off very soon.”
The mask mandate will effectively be the final COVID-19 public health protocol to be lifted, which would see life return to as close to a pre-pandemic norm.
Yesterday, the COVID-19 testing requirement to fly into the country was also lifted.
During yesterday’s opening ceremony, Rowley noted that the Carenage Fish Fry facility was comparable to the Oistins Fish Fry in Barbados. He said the local facility has all the elements to make it a similar tourism success.
The Prime Minister said the residents now had a duty to ensure that this is not a place that becomes run down, or an environment where crime is associated with the location. He said such negative developments will defeat the purpose behind the establishment of the facility.
He also called on the officers of the Carenage Police Station to patrol the facility extensively.