Government has revised some of its recently implemented COVID-19 shopping arrangements and has also given permission for computer stores to reopen to facilitate online shopping.
Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw made the disclosure yesterday at Ilaro Court, during a press conference via Zoom, with Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Bostic.
Ms. Bradshaw told the media: “Given the steps now being taken to utilize online teaching while the country fights COVID-19, as well as the growing number of workers who are operating from their homes, computer stores will be permitted to open to facilitate online shopping for computer equipment and peripherals, such as ink, paper, cables and the other items that are connected to the use of devices.
“Customers will only be allowed to access their purchases by a curbside pickup, using the alphabet system and operators of computer stores will also be facilitated to do delivery. There will be absolutely no instore shopping.”
The acting Prime Minister said that over the past few days, Cabinet, the Emergency Operations Centre and members of the parliamentary group had examined the effectiveness and necessity of some of the recently implemented measures.
She explained that the evolving situation required constant review of Government’s response plan as the scientific evidence and behavioural responses of the population emerged.
She outlined the additional changes agreed to as:
- Effective immediately gas station operators will discontinue use of the alphabet system of surnames for the purchase of gasoline, diesel, kerosene, liquified petroleum gas and cellular top ups.
- Grocery shopping at supermarkets and minimarts may now start at 7:00 a.m. and run until 4:00 p.m., while maintaining the previously mentioned break at 11:00 a.m. Supermarket operators can continue to process shoppers in the queues at the cut off times.
- In light of the public holidays on April 28 (Heroes Day) and May 1 (May Day), individuals who would have shopped on those days using the alphabet system, will now be permitted to shop during the times allocated to essential workers, on Sunday, April 26, between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and on Thursday, April 30, between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. These time slots have been selected based on feedback from operators of supermarkets, who note that the shopping traffic has been quite manageable at those times.
Ms. Bradshaw reminded that a strict curfew remains in place between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., except for essential services.
“Movement during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. is allowed only for permitted activities, such as essential shopping or banking during the allocated periods based on the alphabet system, to purchase petroleum products, or to seek medical or dental attention.
“The maintenance of the regime of restricted activity is critical if we are to continue to record favourable results in our efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19,” she stressed.