The government of Montserrat announced on Saturday that it will be relaxing some of its coronavirus (COVID-19) protocols.
A new public health order comes into effect on February 1 and it will see the nightly curfew being removed, restrictions on crowd sizes will increase to 25, for the next two weeks, and schools can reopen.
Public servants will also be mandated to return to their offices.
Mask wearing in public areas and social distancing remain in place.
Premier Joseph Farrell said the decision to adopt these new public health measures was taken after observing a fall in new COVID-19 infections.
This month was Montserrat’s worse in its battle against COVID-19 as there were approximately 116 new infections.
Health officials had suspected that the omicron variant was behind the surge.
Genomic sequencing of samples confirmed the island was dealing with both delta and omicron.
Delta was found to be the dominant strain.
But, Health and Social Services Minister Charles Kirnon noted “if it was omicron, it might have been worse.”
A review will be done in the next two weeks to determine if crowds can be increased.
Farrell also advised that his cabinet is considering imposing a mandatory COVID-19 test requirement for frontline public servants regardless of their vaccination status.
The premier urged Montserratians to take personal responsibility during the pandemic.
Farrell called out event organisers who fail to adhere to COVID safety measures and said their actions will not be tolerated.
“That cannot continue. People, who announce these things, must adhere to the rules or else we will shut them down. You can’t pretend or announce that you are going to follow the protocols and don’t do them,” Farrell stated.
“My countrymen, recklessness in this COVID environment is not an option. We are in this together and together we can all help control the spread of this virus.”