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Mar 31, 2020

State of Emergency Described In Full Details

Belizeans across the country continue to prepare for a nationwide shutdown to come into force on Thursday morning.  Tonight, there is more clarity on the latest COVID-19 response and how government’s decision to effect a sweeping state of emergency will affect everyone for the next thirty days.  It is mandated that persons who are not considered essential workers must stay off the streets between eight p.m. and five a.m., nighttime hours that have been designated for a countrywide curfew.  Additionally, there are three classes of business activities which have been okayed by government to remain open during the lockdown.  We begin our newscast with Prime Minister Dean Barrow expanding on the imminent state of emergency during a press conference held in Belize City this morning.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There are going to be three categories into which business activities will be placed.  One is the category of closure, you know that already under the previous statutory instruments there were some businesses that we obliged to shutdown. Under the state of emergency the list of businesses that must be closed will be expanded, greatly expanded, and so there’s that first category of businesses that must close, a category that, I repeat, will have to be expanded in terms of number of businesses required to be closed.  It has to be expanded from what it currently is.  That’s number one.  Number two then, will be the category of businesses that are allowed to open and to conduct their activities during prescribed daylight hours.  There will be some differentiation there, for example, government offices will close at four, the AG will tell you the hours of closing for other businesses that are allowed to remain open.  And finally, there is going to be the category of essential services.  The distinction between the essential services and the generalized category of businesses allowed to remain open is that essential services are going to be able to operate during curfew hours when the other regular businesses that are open will not be able to operate.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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