Supermarkets will be allowed to remain open but all businesses must operate remotely, said Premier Joseph Farrell on Sunday as he announced a national lockdown.
The 14-day lockdown goes into effect Sunday February 7, 2021 starting at 6PM and ending on Sunday February 21, 2021 at 5:00AM.
The lockdown is among new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the island, as four active cases have been confirmed by the Ministry of Health.
“This may not be the end,” Premier Farrell said, adding that health teams are in the field tracing contacts of the individuals identified as positive for the virus. “Given the gravity of the situation, we must curtail the spread of the virus.”
During this period all schools, business places and Government offices must close and employees within the Public and Private Sectors should operate remotely where possible, except for essential service providers.
Supermarkets and other essential services will be allowed to open during the lockdown period and as such shopping hours will be allowed. The Government is therefore encouraging persons to avoid panic-buying at this time.
“We have learned from previous lockdowns. You will still be able to access health facilities, the pharmacy and shop,” explained the top official. All businesses are expected to close at 6PM tonight and there should be absolutely no traffic except for essential services.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme will continue tomorrow (Monday February 8, 2021) and individuals are to attend to the clinics based on their pre-arranged appointments.
Non- Essential Government Offices to Be Closed
Public Officers were notified via a circular issued by the Honorable Deputy Governor, Mrs. Lyndell Simpson following Cabinet’s decision to close all non-essential businesses for 14 days effective 6PM Sunday February 7th , 2021.
The Deputy Governor advised that only essential Government of Montserrat staff should attend their workplace during this period. The following have been identified as essential government services:
The Royal Montserrat Police Service (to include Marine and IBSU), Fire and Rescue Services;
Ministry of Health and Social Services (All Departments);
Airport Management and Air Traffic staff;
Government Information Unit;
Cesspool Operators and Driver;
Supreme Court Registry (Births and deaths);
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (at the direction of the DPP);
Attorney General’s Chambers (at the direction of the Attorney General;
Department of Information and E-Government Services (DITES);
Ministry of Finance (Budget and Economic Team);
General Post Office;
Consular/Passport Services; and
the Montserrat Volcano Observatory.
The Deputy Governor has requested that public officers finalise the necessary arrangements to allow them to work from home, as a matter of urgency, “From tomorrow Monday February 8th 2021 all non-essential civil servants are required to work from home and not return to the workplace until Monday 21st February 2021, unless otherwise directed.”
In the statement, Mrs. Simpson stated that due to the nature of their jobs, some non-essential staff will continue to deliver their work remotely and are subject to redeployment to “assist with filling any capacity caps arising from the Government of Montserrat’s COVID-19 response.
The full circular issued to public officers can be accessed on the Government of Montserrat website at the following link: