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Residents “loitering” in defiance of curfew rules since restrictions were relaxed on Thursday are being warned they face arrest.

Police say they have seen an increased number people and cars on the streets “without a proper reason” in recent days.

“Residents are reminded that the mandatory 24-hour curfew lockdown is still in effect, and only essential workers and persons with valid curfew passes – or where it becomes absolutely necessary for anyone to acquire essential items or emergency services – are permitted out of their homes,” a statement released Friday said.

“Persons loitering around public places, sightseeing or going to the beach is strictly prohibited. Residents are also urged to be reasonable and considerate with their use of time in order to reduce long lines and waiting hours when conducting business at shops, supermarkets and pharmacies,” the release continued.
“Social distancing and all other health protocols must always be observed. Failure to conform to the curfew restrictions is an offence and may lead to an arrest.”

The curfew window was widened two days ago to allow certain businesses to operate between 6am and 6pm. Residents must be in their homes from 6pm to 6am until the lockdown rules are reviewed again in three weeks.

Government chiefs warned Antigua and Barbuda is “not out of the woods” with regards to the coronavirus spread. But the loosening of constraints would ensure a “degree of economic activity to keep us sustained”, Information Minister Melford Nicholas explained.

Social gatherings of more than two people remain prohibited.

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