Although all business will close during the two-week national pause, there will be some services which will continue operations during the period February 3 -17.
Speaking during the latest COVID -19 update press conference, Attorney General Dale Marshall said that before the new order takes effect in the coming days between February 1and 2, the current directives would continue and “for those people who feel there are no protocols you can do what you like and go where you like, that is not on”.
Mr. Marshall explained that under the new directive, essential services would continue as normal, while other services such as bakeries, bread depots, tyre shops and others would operate to keep some basic normalcy for Barbadians while the island fights the spread of COVID-19.
He said bread depots would open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. while bakeries for the baking bread, would operate from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cognisant of the need to facilitate the continuation of some financial arrangements, Mr. Marshall said during the first week of the shutdown, February 3 to 10, banks and credit unions would open to provide back office services such as credit card and ATM card support, electronic payroll and night deposits. No face-to-face retail banking services would be offered to the public during this period.
The Attorney General said normal banking services would resume from February 11 until the end of the directive on February 17, while Western Union money transfer services would be unavailable during the two-week pause.
Mindful of the need for Barbadians to pay their bills and avoid penalties for late payments, Mr. Marshall said SurePay would also be open Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The Attorney General also announced clearance for cleaning services to operate and delivery services for groceries, fruits and vegetables, medical supplies from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Distribution traders to supply goods to essential services and business that are exempt between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Farming operations Mr. Marshall added would be allowed between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.; while fuel manufacturers, fuel storage facilities and distributors will operate for the entire day.
The AG underlined: “Gasoline stations presented some challenges for us on the last occasion and we are mindful of the importance of gasoline stations to keeping Barbadians on the road. But equally, we want to make sure that we eliminate that side of gas stations that encourages people to congregate. So, we will be allowing gas stations to open for the sale of products relating to motor vehicles, petroleum products including LPG, we call it bottled gas, and they will also be able to engage in the sale of top-ups for mobile phones, and pharmaceuticals every gas station has Aspirin, Panadol, inhalers and things of that sort.”
He continued: “So, you will be allowed to buy those. But gas stations will not be allowed to sell items for human consumption, including intoxicating liquor, other than the pharmaceuticals. So, in other words, you will no longer be able to pop into the Automart for hot dogs, hamburgers, juices, beer and things of that sort, bread and so on.”
Mr. Marshall also revealed that hotels, villas and other rental accommodations will be permitted to operate “at the bare bones level” and pointed out that gaming rooms, spas, gyms, discos and other ancillary activities for guest entertainment will remain closed.
Restaurants, the Attorney General said, would not open for delivery curbside pick-up, takeaway or for any purpose. Furthermore, restaurants situated within a hotel would operate for room service only.
Mr. Marshall also stated that manufacturing companies producing goods for export, animal feed, pharmaceutical manufacturers, beverage, dairy products, food processors and food distributors will be allowed to operate from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
He added that pharmacies for personal shopping and the filling of prescriptions would be permitted from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. while a list of select minimarts to be opened could be available as early as Sunday, January 31.
The Attorney General noted that sugar factories would work all day, supermarkets from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and private veterinary services would operate as needed.
As Government also fights to contain the spread of dengue, Mr. Marshall said swimming pool services would be permitted to clean pools to prevent mosquito breeding in stagnant water.