Supermarkets start banning customers without masks

There is now a ban by some supermarkets on customers who are not wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19.

But while some supermarkets are turning away such customers, masks are in short supply due to the COVID-19 crisis and masks which Government promised to distribute haven’t materialised yet.

The development has arisen after the Health Ministry’s advice last Sunday to members of the public to wear masks when going outdoors to conduct essential business to curb COVID-19 spread. This was based on the recommendation by the US’ Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to Americans use masks.

But the wearing of masks wasn’t stated as T&T law or placed in Public Health ordinance regulations on the COVID crisis.

After Health conveyed the recommendation, Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced her teams would make masks to distribute. Government then subsequently said it would also be distributing masks by the end of this week.

On Tuesday, the Local Government Ministry stated that regional corporations’ Disaster Management Units would assist the Health Ministry in mask distribution. But yesterday several corporations said they had no word on masks and Local Government Minister Kazim Hosein said he was awaiting word from the Health Ministry on the matter.

The availability of masks became even more important after the Supermarkets’ Association of T&T this week issued a notice that customers were “strongly advised” to wear masks.

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