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CARICOM Leaders Agreed to Phased Relaxing of COVID-19 Restrictions

The fiftieth meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) this week approved a strategy for the re-opening of economies in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The Council which is made up of Trade Ministers and officials agreed to a framework centered on the development and adherence to defined metrics related to the Covid-19 virus, which will guide in the reopening process.

The strategy recommends a graduated model which sees governments relaxing restrictions in a deliberate, phased and incremental manner based on the transmission risk profile of the pandemic in specified geographical locations, sectors or businesses.

The framework suggests establishing a national public private consultative mechanism to govern the relaunch of economic activity at the Member State level; minimum standards which must be attained before relaxation of restrictions and communications to build public trust. There is also the proposal for Certificates of Operation to be issued to businesses that have been verified to be compliant in the protocols established for the industry.

The fiftieth meeting of COTED held virtually yesterday, 6 May 2020 was chaired by the Grenada Minister of Economic Development, Trade, Planning and Labour, the Honourable Oliver Joseph; with Ministerial representation from most CARICOM Member States. The Premier of Montserrat, the Honourable Joseph E. Farrell also attended the meeting as well as representatives from the public and private sectors.