BELIZE CITY, Wed. Apr. 1, 2020– During the national state of emergency, media workers have been granted essential service status. This basically means that reporters and camera crew and other support staff of the various media houses can traverse to and from work, but those who are able to work from home are being encouraged to do so.
Late this evening a press release was issued on essential service workers.
The release said, ”Authorized essential workers as outlined in Schedule One of S.I. No. 46 of 2020, who are required to work and move without restrictions during the curfew hours, will be allowed to move freely at any place or any time, while observing social distancing protocols, with a pass, authorized and signed by the Minister of National Security.”
Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, however, in remarks about the media he made on Color Blind Production said, ”We run into problems with some news people, you know. They have been clamoring for essential service status and they have been granted it. But, like I said, not because you are essential service means that you automatically get a pass to be out there after 8:00 p.m. Even so, I would encourage the news people to start the news earlier, finish the news earlier and have their people work from home. So if your news starts at six-thirty try to make sure that it is finished by seven-thirty so you can be home by eight because it is not automatic that you will be allowed to be out after eight. The question will be, what purpose do you have after eight? What purpose if everything is shutdown.”
For workers in the print media who might be out after 8:00 p.m. or could be heading home from work, the government-issued pass should be helpful in the avoidance of unnecessary police scrutiny.