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NOC recommends curfew for general elections night

BELMOPAN, Mon. Oct. 26, 2020– Late this evening, the National Oversight Committee (NOC), in a press release, said that it had met this morning and had taken special note of Director of Health Services (DHS) Dr. Marvin Manzanero’s report of October 26, 2020, and was concerned that 332 new COVID-19 cases were discovered through testing over the past week.

The NOC said that “even more alarming was the fact of six more deaths, including the first pediatric fatality.”

The NOC has therefore agreed to recommend to Cabinet, for COVID-19 safety reasons, the imposition of a curfew on election night. The proposed curfew would start at 8:00 p.m. and last until 5:00 a.m. the following day.

There will also be no relaxation of the restrictions pertaining to “clubs, bars, casinos, and street vending.”

“Belize is experiencing a COVID-19 surge, with the likelihood of this being heightened because of the General Elections on November 11,” said the release

The NOC has taken action in response to reports of “the continued lax behaviour and violation of the safety protocols mandated by law,” and said that it is now “more critical than ever that Belizeans adhere to the legal and protective guardrails: physical distancing; hand washing and mask-wearing; no gatherings of more than 10 persons; and a ban on all non-family, close quarters interactions.”

The NOC did, however, approve the reopening of gyms, but said that the resumption of operations by gyms and fitness centers would now take place on November 30 instead of on the requested date of October 30.

The NOC also said that it has agreed to fast-track private sector rapid testing, with an accompanying protocol for the contact tracing that would need to be conducted after any private sector detection of positive cases.

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