ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Dominica is exploring the possibility of removing mandatory mask-wearing, which has been used to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has killed 68 people and infected 14,852 since the first case was detected in March 2020.
The country’s health minister Dr. Irving McIntyre said that the authorities are examining the data, both locally and internationally, before making a decision.
Several Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have, in the past few months relaxed several of the measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus that has killed and infected thousands of people in the region. Last weekend, the Trinidad and Tobago government said it would take a decision on mandatory mask-wearing by mid-July.
“We have been looking at the data, both local and internationally, and we are moving in the direction that very soon we shall be removing the mask mandate in the open spaces. As for closed spaces we might just have to keep it still,” Dr. McIntyre said.
He added: “But as for open spaces, spaces that are not really shared, not a closed environment and the risk is not as much…(such) as on the roads, the savannah, people just walking. There is no scientific evidence that at this point in time you should be wearing a mask in the open spaces in terms of infection control and spread of the virus.”
“We are definitely looking into this, lots of countries, regionally and internationally have looked into it already and we are just in that process as well,” said the Health Minister, urging people to get vaccinated against the virus.