“…don’t make a fuss over it, comply.” This was the call from Archbishop Robert Rivas OP of Castries as he delivered a statement on the updated COVID-19 protocols in the archdiocese.
Effective Friday, January 22, all daily, regular church, and religious services may operate using a blended approach of physical and online services. Where there is physical service, such an assembly is limited to 25 people inclusive of religious officials.
Separate provisions apply for special religious rites, including christenings (baptisms), weddings and funerals. Those services may operate using a blended approach of physical and online, but where there is physical service, such assembly is limited to ten people. This recommendation shall be in effect for a ten-day period.
In a brief video clip, the Archbishop commented while it is not very easy for persons to contend with these “constant changes”, it is not something that is only happening in St Lucia.
“So, I am here to appeal to you, please, don’t react negatively to the call for new measures for the next ten days beginning on Friday. There are things that you may not like about the measures being taken. I have heard very strong language used in respect to measures taken to counteract this COVID-19 pandemic.”
He urged all to support the Ministry of Health and the government in its measures. “The new measures are for our good. They are not simply an imposition upon us…. We are our sisters and our brothers’ keepers, and we have to act responsibly,” Archbishop Rivas said.
The Archbishop mentioned other measures taking place including the restriction on alcohol sales. Liquor licenses have been suspended at supermarkets, minimarts, gas stations, restaurants, and bars effective immediately Wednesday, January 20, for a 21-day period. Additionally, public consumption of alcohol is also prohibited, particularly as a feature in small social gatherings at public beaches, rivers etc.
All business operations and commercial activities must end by 9 p.m. daily. This recommendation shall be in effect as of Friday, January 22 for a ten-day period.
Archbishop Rivas ended by asking all to pray that the COVID-19 vaccine will reach all the islands in the Caribbean “as soon as possible” and that this new strain of the virus “will not come our way”.
“This little invisible enemy is taking its toll. But we cannot allow it to defeat us. I thank you for your collaboration, for your support and for following the protocols,” he said.
Pointing to his face mask, he reminded all to continue wearing their masks everywhere they go: at church, work and at the supermarket and to teach children and the elderly how to comply with the COVID-19 protocols.