Pigeons have more freedom to walk the streets, like here on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, on Wednesday, as there are less people in the capital because of the stay-at-home measures in place for COVID-19.

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With the possible relaxation of the Stay-at-Home orders by the government on the horizon, several types of businesses, are evaluating and proposing ways in which they can safely reopen their doors to the public. Liquor marts are amongst them.

And as such they have drafted a plan of action, and are ready and willing to adapt their operations to align with what many refer to as the new normal; life in the time of COVID-19.

So what can customers expect when they visit their neighbourhood liquor mart?

Well, first off there will be absolutely no consumption of alcohol or the gathering of people at their premises to lime, regardless of the liquor license that the business possesses.

They are suggesting an opening time from 8 am to 4 pm.

Before customers enter the premises there will be mandatory washing of hands and therefore sinks and wash stations will be installed.

And of course, no one will be allowed inside without a mask.

Safety protocols and guidelines will be posted at the entrance.

In keeping with the social distancing protocols, there will be controlled entry to premises with numbers based on square footage.

Staff will be assigned to ensure compliance and control the flow of customers in the store.

There will be floor markings at designated or required queueing points such as the cashier.

Protective screens will be installed at fixed locations where staff engage with customers.

Cash transactions will be reduced and all payment devices will be sanitised after each transaction.

To help facilitate this however the liquor marts are willing to work with banks to provide point of sale devices, reduce transaction fees, and facilitate the issuance of debit cards to more citizens.

Staff will be screened daily for symptoms of the virus and this will be recorded in a logbook

There will also be mandatory personal protective equipment for staff who engage with customers.

The staff will be provided with gloves, masks and hand sanitiser

Apart from these measures that will be immediately implemented the liquor marts have also committed to installing air-purifiers in businesses where air-conditioning is the primary source of air-flow.

Operations will continue in businesses where there is adequate natural ventilation.

The liquor marts are also calling for increased checks by public health officials.

They are also proposing partnering with third parties to have home delivery services.

But liquor marts are not the only type of business that is proposing implementing new measures to help in the battle to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Automotive Dealers Association of Trinidad and Tobago has also produced safe to work protocols of their own.

The ADATT says masks should be issued to employees and be available upon request

Cloth masks must be washed and maintained by employees.

Staff are asked to wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser frequently.

“Any employee experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms are asked to stay at home and visit the nearest healthcare facility. A fit to work must be presented upon returning to work and the employee must maintain good communication with the company during this time,” the document stated.

“The company reserves the right to deny entry if any risk is determined,” it stated.

There will be a single entrance to employees and they must be screened on entry.

“Staggered working hours for employees’ arrival in order to ensure that each person is screened thoroughly,” it stated.

Security will be required to greet staff with the COVID-19 screening form and ensure temperature checks.

“The security has the right to refuse entry of employees/customers/visitor/contractors who declare three or more symptoms (temperature of 39 degrees Celsius or 102 degrees Fahrenheit and above must be flagged,” it stated.

An air-conditioned quarantine room must be set up at each location of business.

Any staff exhibiting three or more symptoms must immediately be quarantined in the room.

“Once the affected employee has left for medical care, the office space previously occupied must be thoroughly sanitised before re-occupancy,” it stated.

Each vehicle will be prepped before test drives by installing seat covers, steering wheel covers and floor mats.

One customer and one employee alone will be allowed in any vehicle simultaneously.

The passenger must sit in the back seat on the opposite side of the vehicle to the driver.

All persons entering the vehicles must be fitted with gloves and masks.

The number of customers allowed in the waiting room will also be reduced.

“Customers should be asked that all children under the age of 12 refrain from entering the compound,” it stated.

“In efforts to reduce the number of persons involved in the process of licensing vehicles, new vehicle sales is suggesting that licensing officers visit the various dealerships to reduce the number of individual interactions,” it stated.