COVID-19:All non-essential businesses to close during 14-day curfew
Shoppers outside a popular supermarket in Christ Church on March 27.
Bajans are being urged to stop panic-buying as supermarkets, groceries, corner shops and bakeries all form part of the essential services that will remain open outside of curfew hours to serve the public.
Attorney General Dale Marshall is, however, calling upon all non-essential businesses to close during the designated curfew.
While speaking during CBC Newsnight Coronavirus Special (March 27), Marshall emphasized that all non-essential employees must stay indoors during the curfew that commences Saturday, March 28 from 8 pm to 6 am.
Reiterating the statement made by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Marshall stated that essential services were categorized as persons employed in uniformed organisations, law enforcement, medical and paramedical professional, sanitation and garbage collection services, water provisions, electricity, telecommunications, media and broadcast and more.
But in regard to persons employed in non-essential services: "We want [those] employees to stay at home.
"We want customers to stay at home.
"We want [those] businesses to close and therefore under the regime that will start Saturday night all businesses with the few exceptions are closed."
He stated that all construction will cease with the exemption of contractors and subcontractors working on the isolation and quarantine facility at Harrison's Point. Hardware stores will also be closed but will be reopened only for the purpose of purchasing materials for the isolation centres.
Banks and credit unions, as well as wholesale retailers, feed manufacturers, grocery shops, and minimarts, will be allowed to operate between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm. This does not mean that they have to open at 9 am and close at 5 pm though, stressed the AG. Restaurants are allowed to be open within specific hours but only take-away and deliveries will be permitted.
Hotels, rental accommodations, and villas are allowed to be open but ancillary and recreational services such as spas, gyms, salons, golf courses, and tennis courts will be suspended. When asked about gardeners who work at such facilities, the AG said that lawns will have to go unattended for 14 days because that is not essential at this time.
Persons who fail to abide by the mandatory curfew could face 12 months imprisonment or a fine of BBD $50,000 (USD $25,000).
"Keeping people apart is the way in which to prevent COVID-19 from spreading," Marshall stressed.