FLASHBACK... Customers wait their turn to get supplies at a hardware store, in April 2020. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

As the country continues to operate under Emergency Powers regulations, as well as COVID-19 protocols, many citizens have been wondering about how certain businesses will continue to operate—in particular, hardware stores.

Concern has mounted since the Prime Minister’s announcement of even tighter curfew hours over the weekends, which took effect from Sunday 6 June 2021.

On Saturday June 5th, PM Dr Keith Rowley MP announced the revised weekend curfew hours, urging citizens:

“Please do not come out to congregate. Come out for emergencies and essentials only.”

Dr Rowley said Government’s new mantra was to vaccinate and operate, and that the tighter restrictions are aimed at eliminating gatherings, a trend which was still being noticed despite the extra lockdown measures taken in recent weeks.

Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh MP, has since clarified whether hardware stores will reopen any time soon, saying they will remain closed, in an advisory issued by the Health Ministry on Sunday.

The advisory titled Continued Closure of Hardware Stores, stated:

“In view of the many questions emanating from the public in relation to the status of hardware stores, the Minister of Health wishes to advise that, at present, hardware stores remain CLOSED pursuant to regulation 3(8) of the Emergency Powers (No. 2) Regulations, 2021 made by Her Excellency the President on May 29th, 2021, by Legal Notice No. 176 under section 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.”