The mask mandate will be removed in Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, July 17, however the Archdiocese’s Health, Safety and Environment Committee (HSE) is urging that mask wearing continues at all Catholic churches and chapels.
The HSE has carefully considered the present transmission rates of Covid-19, and the high-risk demographic profile of the church-going population and agrees with the Health Ministry’s recommendation “that face masks be worn by all worshipers visiting our chapels, churches and parish halls”, the HSE stated in its latest bulletin #26.
At the Health Ministry’s virtual press conference on July 6, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh announced mask wearing in public will no longer be mandatory. In the new regulations, masks will still be mandatory when visiting public health centres.
Deyalsingh said the ministry will issue guidelines to groups in society it recommends should still be wearing masks in public. He identified the vulnerable groups which should continue wearing masks: the unvaccinated, persons with compromised immune systems e.g., cancer, heart disease and kidney patients, the obese; elderly, and pregnant population.
The HSE Bulletin stated the Ministry recommends masks at: all retail settings inclusive of supermarkets, groceries, and malls; public transportation and transportation hub, ports of entry, mass gatherings, pharmacies, schools/educational establishments, workplaces, places of worship, beauty salons, barbershops, spas (when possible), care homes for children and the elderly and cinemas and theatres.
The HSE stated it will continue to monitor the local pattern of new Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks and update the guidelines as appropriate. It asked for the cooperation of all as the request was designed for the benefit of everyone.
The Bulletin reminded of the ongoing infection prevention and control measures when utilising any indoor space within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain: hand washing or sanitisation to be observed by all worshippers before entering and by lectors and ministers serving on the altar; physical contact—different households should not make direct physical contact, avoid crowding of aisles and entryways, no physical contact for the Sign of Peace or during the Our Father prayer; no offertory procession. Parishes are encouraged to maintain a schedule of routine cleaning and sanitising for high-touch surfaces, between all public gatherings.
The HSE advised “when people are gathered indoors, maintain adequate (natural) air circulation by opening doors and windows and utilising oscillating fans and vents on air conditioning appliances.”
For more COVID19 updates in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain. CLICK HERE