Sunday 31 May, 2020

Acting PM calls on supermarkets, shops to accept cheques during curfew



Acting Prime Minister Santia Bradshaw has assured Barbadians who have received cheques and are unable to deposit them, that they can still use them at grocery stores to obtain food supplies.

It became necessary for her to give this reassurance since many financial institutions have placed a hold on the deposit feature at their ATMs and banks along with credit unions remain closed during the 24-hour curfew period due to social distancing.

"We are mindful that some persons will not have been able to cash their cheques on Friday. Those are the persons we are trying to target with this measure because we know there are persons that shop day by day. Those are the persons we think have the greatest need right now," she said.

The Acting Prime Minister initially made the statement during her latest press conference (April 7) to lay out the changes for how citizens will be able to access goods from supermarkets going forward.

She indicated that shoppers with pension and welfare cheques as well can use them at groceries and supermarkets with the institution of the new online and curbside pick-up systems. She also spoke to the baskets of goods that each supermarket is providing in varied price ranges.

Following the press conference, the Acting Prime Minister further reiterated this point when she was featured on the call-in program Down To Brasstacks.

The public was told that the new measures are being done in an attempt to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to make sure Barbadians maintain access to goods and services during the 24-hour curfew. Bradshaw affirmed that there will not be a repeat of the social distancing nightmare that occurred on April 3, when the curfew commenced.


Video caption: Persons rushed to gather essentials on learning that supermarkets were closing at 5 pm on April 3.

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As it relates to some people who need to deposit funds via ATMs in order to use their Visa debit or credit cards, she disclosed: "We have been in discussions with the banking sector and the necessary arrangements will be put in place to facilitate those persons who require to make those necessary deposits."

However, she also stressed that grocer's are accepting cash as well for the deliveries and curbside.

Concerning some services that are not accessible through ATMs and at Credit Unions, the Acting Prime Minister indicated that at current there are no facilities available for citizens to access those services, but stated that there must be amendments made for those who only can access funds outside of the use of ATMs.

The list of regulations for the access of food supplies can be accessed on the Government Information Service Website.

Supermarkets re-open under the new regime from today (April 8).

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