After 47 days without any new local Covid-19 case, all economic and social activities can now resume and we should be proud of the way we have tackled the situation, stated the Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, this evening, in a press conference at the Treasury Building in Port Louis.
The Prime Minister announced that following the Cabinet Meeting today, decision has been taken for the lift of all business and activity lockdowns ordered earlier to cope with the Covid-19, as from Monday 15 June 2020. Consequently, beaches, markets, gyms, parks, Village Halls, Community Centres, cinema and other public places will now be accessible to the public but the wearing of masks will still be compulsory.
According to Mr Jugnauth, the country has united in unprecedented ways to crush the virus but Government is also aware that since the closing of our frontiers, Mauritians stranded abroad have faced very difficult situations. As a small island State, we have worked out a laudable repatriation plan and Government is putting in much effort in the implementation of the plan, he recalled. A total of 1 836 stranded citizens have already been repatriated, and another 800 Mauritians will come home by the end of this month, he pointed out. In July, 1 164 stranded citizens will be repatriated depending on whether they clear the Covid-19 test prior to boarding the flight.
Speaking about the education sector, the Prime Minister stated that the school calendar has been reviewed and the resumption of classes will be on 1st July 2020 instead of 1st August 2020 as previously announced. Furthermore, teaching and non-teaching staff will be given priority for Covid-19 testing, so that the resumption of classes is done in the best conditions.
Government will soon work out about the conditions and protocol that will need to be implemented with regard to the opening of frontiers, Mr Jugnauth said. The tourism industry, he added, is one of the most important pillars of our economy and in this context, the Cabinet has decided that Rs 500 million will be made available to sustain employment in this sector.
As for public transport, it will return to its central role in moving the greatest number of commuters as social distancing will not be applicable as from 15 June 2020.
Covid-19 situation update
With regard to the Covid-19 situation, the Prime Minister stated that as at date, there are two imported active cases in Mauritius. The two patients are currently receiving treatment at the ENT Hospital and are in good health. Referring to the statistics provided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Mr Jugnauth underlined that some 10% of the population have already been tested as a total of 142 889 tests, comprising 32 257 PCR tests and 110 632 Rapid Tests, have been carried.