ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The government of Grenada Tuesday said it intends to remove all remaining measures put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) next month even as it urged citizens to continue to practice the health regulations to reduce new infections and deaths.
Health and Social Security Minister Nickolas Steele, speaking at the weekly post Cabinet news conference said that Cabinet had discussed the issue “and made a decision that if the current trends continue” the remaining measures would be removed on April 4.
“If the picture hat we are seeing continues to be the reality then we believe that on April 4…the final bits of restrictions can be and should be removed,” he said, noting that these restrictions are linked to vaccine differentiation, the wearing of masks “and any restrictions with respect to gatherings related to the spread of COVID-19”
Several Caribbean countries have been reporting significant declines in the number of new cases of the virus and Steele said that in the case of Grenada where 216 people have died and 13, 690 others infected over the past two years, the health authorities have also reported significant declines.
“That is our sincere hope that this will happen (and) like everything else it is up to us to ensure there is a certain amount of what happens elsewhere. We will continue to monitor and analyze between now and then (April 4) an even after that monitor and analyze the situation locally, regionally and globally and adjust accordingly.
“But Cabinet does believe based on the information received and consultation with our various national, regional and international partners that on April 4 the vaccine differentiation and mask mandates can be removed.
“However, let me be very clear on this. Like every other place that is private, the management or owners of those places have a right to dictated the conditions for entry,” Steele said, adding “we respect and would not interfere with any institution, any private establishment saying that they would still want to have in the interest of their patrons…that you must be vaccinated to enter”.
He said the government would respect those rights, adding “we are not out of the pandemic, we re trying to get to that new norm with the pandemic.
“There are still certain good practices that I do hope remain,” Steele said, making reference to the sanitization of hands before entering a building.
He said given that much time and resources had been allocated to dealing with the pandemic, the new “normal” allows for the health authorities to deal with other areas of the health services that had been put on the back burner because of resources and personnel.