Good evening all.
I want to thank people for the efforts to comply with the managed curfew we have in place today, Friday and Saturday. This is to help us beat the coronavirus and stamp it out over the next period.
I and Ministers are aware that there have been some challenges today accessing essential supplies and keeping safe social distances when shopping.
This is an unprecedented time and the approach we are taking is something we and shops have never had to do before. We are learning from the experience today and I am grateful for your support.
I have just chaired a meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), including the Premier, Deputy Premier, AG, Police Commissioner and Cabinet Secretary, to discuss the issue of shopping during the managed curfew and to ensure that there are no security concerns around our supermarkets in particular.
NSC has agreed some changes to help the position:
1. Supermarkets across the Territory will be allowed to stay open until 9:00 p.m. today (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) should they wish to ease crowding concerns.
2. The extensions until 9:00 p.m. applies to supermarkets only. It does not apply to others stores which all must shut by the current 6:00 p.m. deadline.
3. NSC is conscious that some people with the surnames beginning with the letters A through I have not been able to shop today. Therefore, essential shops tomorrow (Friday) will be open to those with surnames beginning A-R. Anyone with a surname beginning S-Z should not go out until Saturday.
4. Please remember that only one member per househould should go shopping. Also, any people with surnames beginning A-I who have already shopped today are asked to act responsibly and do not shop again.
5. I also want to remind people that limited essential shops are open 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. only for our those shopping for seniors/elderly and vulnerable and essential workers. They are not open for other people until 8:00 a.m. This will be enforced tomorrow and please respect it. It is vital we protect the vulnerable in our communities.
6. Tomorrow stores are putting in place further safe social distancing measures learning from the lessons of today.
7. Shops and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force will be checking ID to provide surnames are eligible to be out on that day. Make sure you take your ID with you. It is an offence to be out when you are not eligible to be on that day. This will be enforced where necessary.
8. Finally let me remind you that this is for your own safety, the safety or your loved ones and of the whole Territory.
9. The rules will be enforced tomorrow but I also ask you please to take responsibility for your own safety.
To summarize again:
-Supermarkets only will stay open until 9:00 p.m. today (Thursday, Friday and Saturday)
-Only go out to shops for essential supplies tomorrow (Friday) if your surname beings A-R (but please those in A-I who have already shopped please do not go again)
-Do not go out from 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. unless you are an essential worker or shopping for elderly, seniors of the vulnerable
-Take ID with you because shops and the police will be checking tomorrow
-And observe safe social distancing and hygiene at all times
Thank you and stay healthy.