Beach hours extended and sea excursions may resume, despite increased virus numbers, while residents question Cabinet’s motives
After growing condemnation of its earlier decision to curtail beach use, the Cabinet has revisited this restriction.
The hours had been cut to 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays and to midday on weekends. But effective immediately, beaches will be open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.
Initially, the Cabinet said this relaxation would have taken effect on Saturday, October 9.
At that time, Minister of Information Melford Nicholas had announced that the decision was taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He said that residents were using the beaches and offshore islands to have parties and, as a result, there had been a significant uptick in infections.
However, at that time, active cases were much lower than at present. Therefore, residents are questioning why this decision has been taken now amidst increasing numbers.
On the weekend, a radio host made it public that the Cabinet, last week, had granted permission for pleasure craft to return to normal operations; but this was not mentioned in the Cabinet Notes.
In this week’s release, however, it is announced that excursions to the off-shore islands are permitted for pleasure craft and other vessels for commercial and private purposes.
This is dependent on the operators, crew and patrons abiding by the COVID-19 protocols on board the vessel, and they must also be vaccinated.
Since these excursion operations were permitted to resume, residents are now speculating that other businesses are being allowed to reopen to avoid further backlash.