The National Lotteries Control Board will be back in operation come Monday. The announcement was made today by the Prime Minister as Phase 4 of the government’s roll out plan, in coping with COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, was announced. It was further noted that all retail outlets would be allowed to reopen come Monday. Beauty salons and barbers shops will however remain closed.

Dr. Rowley further said that all retail operators and malls would need to close by 6pm daily. Additionally, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh called on retailers to do the responsible thing and ask their customers to wear their masks. Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said it was apparent that mask compliance by much of the population is now a challenge. He said Public Servants at government institutions would be required to wear masks and said while persons could not be arrested or charged for not complying with mask wearing, government will continue to appeal to citizens to do the right thing. He said legislation to get compliance from the population would be a very last resort but noted that he had told the attorney general that making laws that cannot be enforced, is senseless.

Separately, in an impromptu move this afternoon, Dr. Rowley increased the number of persons allowed to enter a funeral parlour at one time to 10. It had previously been five. The Prime Minister said he felt this was necessary to aid grieving persons, offering them comfort during their time of loss.

Questioned on the time of closure for restaurants and the science behind it, Prime Minister Dr. Rowley said reduction of exposure is a requirement in dealing with the management of the COVID-19 virus. He emphasised that the stay at home order remains in effect until Phase 7 is reached and highlighted that in the absence of a curfew and government’s bid to get people home, the 6pm closure of restaurants and other retail outlets has been effected.