Gov’t warns funeral restrictions could tighten

A warning has gone out that the Government may be forced to tighten up the protocols
for funerals because people have been disregarding them.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond
McKenzie, says the Government will implement tighter measures for funerals if citizens
continue to disregard the safety protocols for the staging of these events.

The current protocols stipulate that there should be no more than 50 persons at a
funeral, depending on the square footage of the church, and no more than 15 persons at
the burial site, of which no more than 10 can be mourners.

In addition, burials may only be conducted between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and
4:00 p.m. and should last no longer than 30 minutes.

Addressing a digital town hall hosted by the Ministry on Thursday, July 23, Mr.
McKenzie said that many persons have been flouting the funeral protocols, which were
put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“That is one area that is of real concern to us. We have seen a falling off in terms
of persons observing those protocols. Burials have now become larger than the actual
service in the church. We have advised the police and they have been moving around and
have been taking action,” he noted.

“Again, we are saying to persons that these protocols are still in place and we are
asking for persons to observe [them], because if the Government is forced to, then we
will have to put tighter restrictions [in place for] funerals,” Mr. McKenzie warned.
He noted that the first cluster of COVID-19 cases on the island was related to an
infected person attending a funeral.

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