SoE and curfew will be lifted, with health regulations remaining in place; Opposition MPs welcome move as long overdue
The State of Emergency (SOE) and curfew have been revoked by the Parliament, with the revocation set to take effect on December 23 at midnight.
The Resolution was debated in the Lower House today, December 16, with Members supporting the lifting of these measures after almost two years.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne, who moved the Resolution, says the SOE was one of the primary tools available to the Government in combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
He claims the Government now has access to other means with which to continue to fight the infectious disease, and these have shown remarkable results.
However, Browne says that in spite of the SOE being removed, certain strict health measures will remain in place.
Meanwhile, Jamale Pringle, MP for All Saints East and St. Luke, reminded the House that the Opposition has long insisted there was no need for the SOE to be extended more than five consecutive times.
Pringle was curious to know under which law the public restrictions – including the number of people allowed to gather – would be maintained, since the Government side had disagreed that the Public Health Act was sufficient without the SOE.
However, Pringle says he is delighted that the SOE is being lifted, since many businesses and others who are now struggling will be able to get some relief.
Barbuda MP Trevor Walker also supported the revocation of the SOE and the lifting of the curfew, adding that this should have been done a long time ago.
The SOE came into effect on March 25, 2020, by way of a proclamation of the Governor-General, on instructions of the Cabinet.