Press Release from Ministry of National Security
However it’s critically important to remind the community that we still must ensure that we are following the health guidance to protect and safeguard all our residents from the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Any approved business will have significant operating restrictions in keeping with the social distancing guidelines. And the reality is that we must manage the expectations of those organisations and businesses that are seeking permission from the Ministry to operate.
As it stands the updated amendments are effective tomorrow, Monday, 20th April 2020.
To assist businesses, we have created an online form so that businesses can make application to operate. The form will available later today and the public will be advised when the e-form is live. Guidance Notes will be included with the online application form to assist applicants.
The Ministry will review submitted applications and contact applicants (during business hours) within 24-hours of receipt of a completed application. This e-form will enable the Ministry to grant approvals.
I want to make it clear however, that the submission of an application does not automatically mean that a business will be given approval to operate. And any business that opens contrary to the Emergency Powers (Shelter in Place) Regulations is liable to prosecution.
As a reminder the updated amendments will include the following:
- Roadside sales by a licensed fisherman;
- Roadside sales by a registered commercial farmer;
- Laundromats under certain restrictions;
- Pet shops under certain restrictions;
- Hardware stores (including paint stores) under certain restrictions;
- Plant nurseries under certain restrictions; and
- Shipping and freight companies under certain restrictions;
- Delivery Services (Including Couriers & Taxis)
If a business under any of the above categories is granted approval, it will require written authorization from the Ministry of National Security prior to the commencement of operations. If you do not receive this authorization prior to operation you will be in contravention of the law. We understand some businesses have advertised, however we would urge they to wait for approvals to be received before sending notices to customers.
Lastly, as we work through this process, we are asking for the public’s patience. We are receiving a considerable volume of calls and emails, and these will likely not receive an immediate response because our team is engaged in the critical work of overseeing our approval processes.
We recognise that these are testing and anxious times for our businesses. We empathise with you, and we are working to assist where we can.
But the reality is that we have a responsibility and a priority to protect our citizens – these are your loved ones, your family members, your friends, your neighbours.
And these restrictions are in place to save lives.