Wrecking in the city of San Fernando has always been a problem for commuters. But it has now been suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions, which have led to the closure of carparks in the city.

With the government’s latest COVID-19 regulations leaving only essential services operational, the San Fernando City Corporation has suspended the wrecking of vehicles from yesterday.

The City Council took the decision during a meeting on Tuesday and a public notice stated that the break would continue until further notice. It comes as public and private car parks shut down last Thursday after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced a partial lockdown as increasing COVID-19 cases threatened to overwhelm the State’s parallel healthcare system.

San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello did not take Guardian Media’s calls on the matter.

However, through Facebook, he said the downside to the decision was that people would return to old habits, such as parking their vehicles and going about their business, without care for whom they have inconvenienced.

Giving examples, Regrello said motorists would park in front of Pennywise along Pointe-a-Pierre Road, opposite the Marabella taxi stand, resulting in single-lane traffic in the area. He said indiscriminate drivers tend to block the driveways of businesses and private residences, park on designated taxi stands or leave their vehicles in the inner city and travel to Port-of-Spain for long periods.

“These are some of the issues that the police are required to deal with. Hopefully, we would all act responsibly during this period,” Regrello said.

In light of the increased spread of COVID-19, the City Council also decided on a temporary change of the opening and closing hours of the Marabella and Central markets. In Marabella, the Sunday market will operate from 4 am-1 pm; Monday to Thursday, 6 am-1 pm; Friday, 4 am-4 pm and will be closed on Saturday.

The Central Market will operate Monday-Saturday from 5 am-4 pm and close on Sundays. The Fish Market at King’s Wharf will open from 5 am-1 pm, Monday to Saturday. The changes take effect from midnight on Saturday until further notice.