Government moves to end SoE today

Prime Minister Dr Rowley in the House of Representatives. File photo/Office of the Parliament. -
Prime Minister Dr Rowley in the House of Representatives. File photo/Office of the Parliament. -

THE House of Representatives will sit at 1.30 pm on Wednesday to debate a motion moved by the Prime Minister to revoke the State of Emergency (SoE) and lift the 9 pm-5am curfew. The motion requires a simple majority vote.

President Paula-Mae Weekes, by declaration on May 15, placed the country under a SoE for 15 days, on the basis of a public health emergency owing to the rapid rise in infections and deaths from the covid19 virus.

The House of Representatives, by resolution on May 24, extended the SoE for three months and then for a further three months on August 25.

The SoE was due to end on November 30, as any further extension would have required the Opposition's support for a three-fifths majority vote in the House.

But Dr Rowley announced at a press conference on Saturday that the Government will move the motion today to end the SoE.

He said the purpose of the SoE was to give the State time to roll out its vaccination programme. However, with that programme now stalled amid heightened vaccine hesitancy, which has seen close to 300,000 members of the target population still unvaccinated, the PM said the time has come for SoE to end as the country moves forward to living with the virus which is now endemic in Trinidad and Tobago.

However, he pointed out that while the SoE and curfew will end on Wednesday, all other public health regulations remain in force in an effort to restrict the spread of the virus.

These restrictions include vaccinated-people-only safe zones for some businesses, masks to still be worn by everyone out in public spaces, public gatherings restricted to ten people, no public parties or fetes, religious services still at 50 per cent capacity, only 25 allowed at gravesides for burials, public transport still at 75 per cent capacity, public consumption of alcohol still banned and all beaches and open waterways such as rivers being closed to the public.

Public swimming pools have been added to safe zones for vaccinated people only.


"Government moves to end SoE today"

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