More than 400 customers, many of whom were pensioners seeking to change their cheques, were attended to at one commercial bank in San Fernando on Day 3 of the Stay-at-Home measures.
In anticipation of the large turnout of pensioners, however, precautionary measures were implemented at Republic Bank, at Lower High Street, San Fernando to ensure social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Markings were placed on the pavement in keeping with the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines for customers lined up outside the bank. A tent was also erected outside the bank with chairs to accommodate the pensioners. Only a limited number of people were allowed in the bank at a time.
Police officers and the bank’s security also assisted in ensuring that customers comply with the social distancing guideline. Across at the Ministry of Social Development Social Services Centre in San Fernando, people were not maintaining social distancing. Through the burglar-proofed door, the security and staff spoke to customers and allowed only five people or less in the building
Branch manager Davy Samaroo-Singh said the tents were erected specifically for their elderly customers.
“We just trying to have this preparation in place for the pensioners today and hopefully tomorrow in an effort to try and provide some kind of accommodation and as well maintaining social distancing stipulations.” However, she said getting people to stand on the marked off areas on the pavement has been a challenge.
“People are not adhering to it so you have to continue to go the line and tell people to maintain the distancing.”
Although non-essential businesses remained closed, there was an increase in the number of pedestrians and vehicles on the streets compared to days one and two of the Stay-at-Home restriction. San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello appealed to members of the public to stay indoors.
He was also concerned about video clips of people still attending limes and house parties.
“I am making a special appeal to people please desist from doing this, you talking about saving lives. That kind of reckless behaviour is unacceptable,” said the mayor.