Longer opening hours for supermarkets

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As Barbados continues to respond to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation here, more changes have been announced to the recently implemented alphabetical shopping system.

Among them, says acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw, is that gas stations will not be subject to the surname system and the supermarket hours have been extended.

During a national broadcast/media briefing from Ilaro Court with Minister of Health Jeffrey Bostic on Monday, Bradshaw said people can use service stations to purchase gas, diesel, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas and to get top-ups.

Since the system of shopping according to surnames went into effect, members of the public complained about being turned away from gas stations and the associations representing the public service vehicle owners and operators had called for dialogue after some of their members were also refused, despite providing an essential service.

Secondly, the ABC system will remain in effect at supermarkets, markets and banks, but supermarkets will now open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the break still occurring at 11 a.m.

Additionally, those people who would have been affected by the National Heroes and May Day public holidays on April 28 and May 1 respectively, will now be permitted to shop on April 26 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on April 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. during the same hours as the essential workers.  

With more people working from home and students doing e-learning computer stores can now open to facilitate the sale of equipment and supplies to support remote work. Orders can also be made online for curbside pickup or delivery, but there will be no in-store shopping.

Bradshaw said the 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. curfew remained in place with the associated conditions for shopping, banking and seeking medical attention.  (SAT)

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