Ghost town

Ghost town: Pedestrians walk past closed businesses on Charlotte Street, Port of Spain, normally a hub of activity, as newly implemented Covid-19-related restrictions are in effect. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

You will still be able to purchase items at your neighbourhood parlour, visit a mechanic for auto repairs, if needed, and get your mail over the next three weeks.

These businesses and others will continue to operate while businesses deemed to be non-essential have been required to close.

The Government has updated the Covid-19 guidelines under the Public Health Ordinance to include the types of businesses that are allowed to remain open and those that have been ordered to close until May 23, while efforts are made to bring Covid-19 numbers back down.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the new restrictions on Monday, which included the complete shutting down of roadside food vending, as well as the closure of non-­essential retail businesses.

The Public Health Ordinance, published yesterday, outlines ­exactly which businesses will be affected:

• All retail businesses must remain closed. However, exceptions have been made for those deemed to be necessary. Those allowed to remain open must close by 8 p.m. daily.

• Supermarkets, groceries, markets, green grocers, retail membership stores, bakeries, poultry depots, fish stalls/shops, fruit and vegetable stalls/shops, parlours and corner shops have all been given the green light to continue operating.

However, the Ordinance states that these establishments must not exceed 50 per cent capacity at any time during operating hours.

• Businesses involved in manufacturing and processing food and beverages are also exempt from the order to close. This includes businesses involved in the production of animal and fish food as well as businesses involved in the manufacturing and distribution of veterinary drugs and products related to veterinary health.

• Activities related to agriculture and food production are ­allowed to continue.

• The Ordinance lists financial institutions as among those that will be allowed to operate during the “lockdown” period.

• Banks will remain open as well as the Unit Trust Corporation, National Insurance Board, National Lotteries Control Board and its agents, credit ­unions, insurance companies and services, brokers and capital market companies.

• Retail services that process and maintain systems for processing financial and insurance transactions will also be allowed to remain in operation.

• Retailers for newspapers and media houses as well as hardware stores, businesses that fall under plumbing and electrical services and those involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power will not be required to close.

• Need appliance repair services over the next three weeks? The Ordinance states that establishments that service appliances and electronics will also remain open.

• Open also are petroleum stations and convenience marts and retail businesses that support the petroleum industry.

• Businesses that support the retail sale and services of refrigeration systems and products can remain open, as well as those that support the aviation, maritime and public transportation sectors.

• Businesses involved in auto repair and maintenance, mana­ging hazardous waste, packaging and bottling items, postal and shipping services and food processing facilities are exempt from the order to close.

• Health services and businesses that support these services can continue to operate.

These include public and private hospitals, laboratories, infirmaries, nursing homes and hospices, ­funeral homes, crematoria and burial grounds, pharmacies and other medical services such as dental, optometric, ophthalmologic, physical therapy and occupational therapy.

• Businesses that provide medi­cal supplies to pharmacies and hospitals can continue to operate.

• The Ordinance allows for retail energy services to continue, including IT and OT technology for EMS (Energy Management Systems) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and utility data centres; cybersecurity, cybersecurity risk management and back-up data technology; vegetation and traffic management; and environmental remediation/monitoring, instrumentation, protection and control.

Also to remain in operation are establishments that support retail, sale and services in the chemical services sector, construction sector; ICT sector, water and sewerage and fire and safety supplies.

Closed

The Ordinance also lists businesses that will not be allowed to operate until after May 23 as follows:

• Spas, hairdressers, nail and beauty technicians.

• Religious organisations are to remain closed to the public for the conducting of religious services, but they may conduct wedding and funerals with no more than ten people in attendance.

Religious organisations can, ­however, conduct religious meetings and services for broadcasting or live-streaming once this activity does not require more than five people.

• Theatres, dancehalls, gaming houses, betting offices, gyms and fitness centres are all prohibited from opening, in addition to restaurants, food vendors and bars.

Other measures in effect under the Ordinance include the requirement to wear a mask in public or while in a vehicle, and the banning of all group sports, with the exception of athletes training for national and international events.

Public gatherings are still limi­ted to five people, while beaches, rivers and public pools remain off-limits.

• Daycares and preschools are still to remain closed.

The Complete list of businesses allowed is as follows:

A — Supermarkets, groceries, markets, green grocers, retail membership discount stores, bakeries, poultry depots, fish stalls or shops, fruit stalls or shops, vegetable stalls or shops, “parlours” and “corner shops”, provided that not more than fifty per cent of the establishment’s ordinary retail capacity is surpassed at any time during operating hours.

B - Banks, financial institutions, non-banks, remittance facilities, Unit Trust Corporation, National Insurance Board, National Lotteries Control Board and its agents, credit unions, insurance companies and services, brokers and capital market companies and retail services in the processing and maintenance of systems for processing of financial and insurance transactions and services (e.g. information technology, payment, clearing and settlement, wholesale funding, insurance services and capital markets activities) and the provision of support for financial operations, such as services in relation to staffing, transactions, data, technology and security operations centres.

C — Retailers for newspapers and media houses;

D - Hardware stores including plumbing establishments and retail electrical stores and electrical establishments in support of the generation, transmission and distribution of electric power.

E - Establishments that service appliances and electronics;

F - petroleum stations and convenience marts attached thereto;

G - establishments that support retail, sale and services of:

(i) - refrigeration systems and products;

(ii) the aviation and maritime sector including aircraft, marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers;

(iii) retailers that support air transportation, air traffic controllers, ramp personnel, aviation security and aviation management;

(iv) the maintenance and operation of cargo by air transportation, including flight crews, maintenance, airport operations and other on- and off-airport facilities workers;

(v) the repair of ships and the storage and delivery of goods at, or from, ports, docks, wharves, storage facilities and warehouses operated in connection with ports, docks or wharves;

(vi) the public transportation by water-taxi, ferry, motor vehicle, bus, including buses operated by the Public Transport Services Corporation;

(vii) automobiles including repair and maintenance facilities;

(viii) the management of hazardous and waste materials;

(ix) packaging and bottling of items;

(x) postal and shipping services;

(xi) food processing facilities;

(xii) livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities at pet and animal feed processing facilities;

(xiii) human food facilities producing by-products for animal food and beverage production facilities;

(xiv) animal and fish food, feed and ingredient production, packaging and distribution, manufacturing,

packaging and distribution of veterinary drugs;

(xv) of veterinary health, manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed and bedding, etc., transportation of live animals, animal medical materials, transportation of deceased animals for disposal, raising of animals for food, animal production operations, slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce;

(xvi) in support of construction relating to agricultural and food production including land preparation and any activity related to agriculture and/or food production;

H - Retail health services such as–

(i) public and private hospitals, laboratories, infirmaries, nursing homes and hospices, funeral homes, crematoria and burial grounds;

(ii) pharmacies and hospitals;

(iii) the provision of medical supplies to pharmacies and hospitals including sanitary and hygiene products;

(iv) the provision of dental, optometric, ophthalmologic, physical therapy and occupational therapy;

(i) retail energy services such as–

(i) IT and OT technology for EMS (Energy Management Systems) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and utility data centres;

(ii) Cybersecurity, cybersecurity risk management and back-up data technology;

(iii) vegetation and traffic management; and

(iv) environmental remediation/monitoring, instrumentation, protection and control;

J — establishments that support retail, sale and services in the petroleum industries such as–

(i) petroleum stations and convenience marts attached thereto;

(ii) petroleum product storage, pipeline, marine transport, terminals, road transport;

(iii) crude oil storage facilities, pipeline and marine transport;

(iv) petroleum refinery facilities;

(v) petroleum security operations centres and support emergency response services;

(vi) petroleum operations control rooms or centres;

(vii) petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting and retail for use as end-use fuels or feed stocks for chemical manufacturing;

(viii) companies that provide services to oil and gas services; and

(ix) onshore and offshore operations for maintenance and emergency response;

K - establishments that support retail, sale and services in the natural gas, propane and petrochemical industries such as–

(i) natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations;

(ii) underground storage of natural gas;

(ii) natural gas processing plants and those that deal with natural gas liquids;

(iv) Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities;

(v) natural gas security operations centres, natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms or centres and natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls;

(vi) drilling, production, processing, refining and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, petrochemical products or use in electricity generation;

(vii) propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls; (viii) propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centres;

(ix) processing, refining and transporting natural liquids, including propane gas, for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing; and

(x) propane gas storage, transmission and distribution centres;

L- establishments that support retail, sale and services in the chemical services sector such as–

(i) chemical and industrial gas supply chains, chemical manufacturing plants, laboratories and distribution facilities;

(ii) tank truck cleaning facilities; and (iii) the production of protective cleaning and medical solutions, personal protective equipment and packaging that prevents the contamination of food, water, medicine and other products;

M- establishments that support retail, sale and services in the production and transportation of chlorine and alkali manufacturing, single-use plastics and packaging that prevents the contamination or supports the continued manufacture of food, water, medicine and other essential products, including glass container manufacturing;

N- establishments that support retail, sale and services in the construction sector;

O- establishments that support services in the information, communication and technology sectors;

P- establishments that support retail, sale and services in water and sewage;

Q- establishments that support retail, sale and services in fire and safety supplies.

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