THE change in curfew hours for this weekend was made to stop anticipated large gatherings for Father’s Day.
Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith, who made the change in hours, said: “We anticipated plans for limes and family gatherings so with all of that taken into consideration, we changed the curfew hours. Just by people being upset, proves that was the plan.”
Legal Notice 180 changed weekend curfew hours from 7 pm to 5 am the following day to a 19-hour lockdown beginning at 10 am and ending 5 am the following day. The extended hours were first implemented on May 31 for the Indian Arrival Day celebration and then repeated days later on June 3 for Corpus Christi. On both days both pharmacies and groceries remained closed since they were only allowed a window of 5 am to 10 am to operate.
Saturday, being Labour Day, the extended curfew hours were expected after the Prime Minister alluded to it at his media briefing on June12. The Sunday lockdown was not anticipated. Griffith’s claim of planned gatherings seemed to have merit as many took to social media to complain that their Father’s Day plans were now ruined.
Griffith, when asked about complaints from labour union leaders that the curfew hours for the holiday was “overkill,” said the lockdown measures are aimed at an invisible enemy and not an attack on the unions.
“Based on that logic, then are they also saying that the curfew hours on Sunday should be seen as a frontal attack on all fathers? Operational requirements to deal with combating this invisible enemy are not being formulated to target union movement or fathers. Neither will such requirements stop simply to facilitate them.
“The locking down of a weekend that seemed earmarked for widespread gatherings, could very well be the determining factor that could assist in state-policy decisions being made to lift restrictions much sooner than later. Had it not been done, the numbers could very well increase, hence delaying such an ease in restrictions in the near future.”
Griffith encouraged those who may be perturbed by the lockdown to think of the bigger picture.
"I urge everyone, do not lose sight of the bigger picture and let us continue to work toward the overall outcome. I do appreciate these measures are growing more and more challenging to appreciate. However, we must continue to adhere to the restrictions. We are working against an unseen element, and there is light at the end of the tunnel."