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Coronavirus- Implications of the lockdown and curfew order part 3 – Mauritius

  • Mauritius
  • Coronavirus
  • Coronavirus - Country overview
  • Coronavirus - Regulatory issues

04-05-2020

On 01 May 2020, during a televised address on the occasion of Labour Day, the Mauritian Prime Minister announced that the curfew period under the Curfew Order issued by the Minister of Health and Wellness by way of General Notice No. 512 of 2020 under Regulation 14 (1) of the Prevention and Mitigation of Infectious Disease (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (the Infectious Disease Regulations) is extended until 01 June 2020.

As from 15 May 2020, a few more businesses will be allowed to operate as part of a phase plan for the partial reopening of the economy (the Phase Plan).

Phase Plan for the partial reopening of the economy

Notable measures under the Phase Plan are the following:

(a) new businesses will be allowed to operate with access by alphabetical order, namely bakeries, hardware stores, fish markets, butchers’ shops, and hairdressing salons.

(b) opening hours of supermarkets and hypermarkets will be extended until 8 p.m. but access will remain in alphabetical order, as per the present measure.

(c) access to banks will continue in alphabetical order and whilst respecting strict hygiene measures. Special counters will be set up for access by senior citizens.

(d) only persons in possession of a Work Access Permit (WAP) will be allowed to attend work and those will include caregivers, babysitters, public officers, dentists, opticians, vegetable planters and fishermen holding valid business cards, and self-employed such as plumbers, electricians, bricklayers, hairdressers amongst others. Those activities will resume whilst respecting strict hygiene measures.

(e) taxis will be allowed to circulate with a maximum of three passengers and motorcyclists will only be allowed to carry only their spouse or children.

(f) the light rail public transport system and public transport buses will operate during normal hours with restricted capacity and travellers will need to wear protective masks and abide by a marking system to respect social distancing.

(g) being given their vulnerability, senior citizens are encouraged to go out only in cases of emergency or if holding a WAP. They will be allowed to travel in public transport in alphabetical order and during off-peak hours. Home-to-home payment of old-aged pension as well as home medical visits for pensioners will continue.

(h) minors aged less than 18 years will not be authorised to circulate, except for cases of emergency.

(i) restaurants and fast-food operators will be allowed to operate only for take away, delivery services and drive-thru options.

(j) gyms, cinemas, restaurants, horse racing activities, shops and markets, casinos and clubs as well as commercial centres and malls will remain closed. Access to public beach and the holding of socio-cultural or religious activities at large scale are strictly prohibited. Weddings and funerals will take place with a restricted number of attending persons.

(k) Courts will remain closed and only urgent matters will be attended to.

(l) pharmacies will remain open without any restriction.

Digitization of the Work Access Permit (WAP) Application

The WAP, which was previously given by making an application to the Mauritian Commissioner of Police, will be digitalised to ensure that all persons including public officers, caregivers, babysitters, planters, fishermen and the self-employed who will be resuming work as from 15 May are in possession of the proper authorisation.

Covid-19 Bill

The Mauritian Government is currently working on the drafting of the Covid-19 Bill, an instrument to provide necessary legal basis to enforce post-lockdown measures. The Covid-19 Bill will soon be debated in the National Assembly, as announced by the Attorney General during a national television programme on 01 May 2020.

The Mauritian Prime Minister has, for his part, encouraged citizens to send their suggestions to the Covid-19 Bill through the platform BeSafeMoris.

The Covid-19 Bill will make provision for, inter alia:

(a) the mandatory wearing of masks in public places

(b) the social distancing of a minimum of 1 meter to be respected

(c) fines and penalties applicable in case of non-respect of social distancing

Education Sector

Measures for resuming classes for Pre-Primary, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary students will be implemented on a phase-wise basis as from 01 August 2020.

Travels

The travel bans are maintained, and the reopening of our airspace will depend both on the local and global situation.

The Recovery Plan

A recovery plan, which is in preparation, has been announced by the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, to restrict the negative impacts of Covid-19 on the Mauritian economy.

Other support schemes will be maintained following the extension of the curfew.

The above does not constitute legal advice, but rather recommendations of general application which may change depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case. Independent legal advice should be obtained before implementing any measure which may impact upon rights and obligations.

For more information contact

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