Government’s extension of the curfew to manage the COVID-19 crisis has brought with it a special arrangement that will allow Barbadians to leave home to conduct essential business at supermarkets, fish markets, hardware stores and banks.
The new arrangement was announced last night by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley in an address to the nation.
Revealing that the curfew would now end on May 3, instead of April 15, Prime Minister Mottley stressed that the arrangement would “mean that persons can leave their homes on average two days a week to do the essential things in life”.
Further explaining the rationale behind it, she said: “Let’s get real, people need food. We’ve accepted that and while the initial shut down was restrictive, we expanded it this week to include elements of electronic commerce, which probably will be the way of the future, but which the capacity of the supermarkets are not yet ready to absorb and a number of them would have had to have asked persons to stop the ordering to give themselves a chance to meet the backlogs in orders.”
The measure, the Prime Minister added, is intended to limit vehicular traffic and “the number of human beings moving on the road at the same time”.
It also aims to allow shoppers sufficient lead time to clear the supermarkets, and the latter time to restock for the next day.Shopping-schedule-during-curfew_v2
While assuring Barbadians there was no shortage of food on the island, Ms. Mottley said there was no need for people to rush, but instead to “take it light; take it easy”. And, she stressed it was not about what people wanted, but it was “more a time for what we need”.
The Prime Minister further pointed out that if people could just go about their business in a manner that could defend the physical distance and the other things necessary to protect each other, then we could “get through this thing alive”.
The new arrangement goes into effect from this Wednesday, April 15, and will see Barbadians being allowed to do business with the above-mentioned entities on specific days and at specific times, according to the alphabetical order of their names. It also has built into it days and times for health-care and other essential workers, as well as for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Ms. Mottley, while acknowledging that curbside pickup and delivery would still be encouraged, said supermarkets would open for limited hours from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m. and again from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Pointing out that the two dedicated days for seniors (persons over 70) would be on Tuesday and Sunday mornings, the prime Minister said: “And, that will allow them to go in when nobody else is in the supermarket because when all is said and done, we know that our seniors and those who are vulnerable are the ones that we need to protect as far as possible.”