The Supermarket Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) has said in light of the concerning numbers of covid19 cases, it has reconsidered current measures at its stores and will implement several new ones.
It said these measures will be in place until May 23.
In a release, it said members will instruct their staff to double-mask immediately and to wear face shields and PPE (personal protective equipment) where possible.
As for shoppers, it urged them not to make daily visits to supermarkets.
“A one member per family policy will be strictly implemented, with exceptions to single household persons and other such exemptions as necessary.
"We are asking the authorities to emphasise that it is an offence to congregate as such, and we are asking where possible that if multiple members of a family are present, extra persons should wait in their vehicles."
The association warned there will be long waits to enter the supermarkets.
SATT will also ask the police for SRPs and traffic wardens to help with crowd management "as supermarkets do not have any formal authority to take action against offenders. We are asking the government to support the supermarkets by advising the public to listen, adhere and comply with the policies."
Inside supermarkets, the number of shopping trolleys will be limited to adjust to the number of people who can safely circulate through stores.
It said its members have already increased available registers, among other things, to allow traffic circulation "as smoothly as possible for faster turnaround period.”
The sale of large appliances and furniture, but not mini-appliances and household items, will be suspended immediately. SATT said all promotions, advertising and "specials" have been suspended with immediate effect by all stores.
The visibility of signs, pamphlet distribution and paraphernalia from the Ministry of Health will be increased to ensure increased compliance where necessary.
It also pointed out, “It is a well-documented fact that every time a press conference is held by the Prime Minister to address further restrictions, there is a wild run on the supermarkets and retail food outlets."
Describing this trend as "baffling," it suggested the phenomenon could be avoided if the press conferences were scheduled later in the evening.