Giftland Mall to operate pharmacy, supermarket only from April 1


…as GCCI urges businesses to modify operations

The Giftland Mall has announced that it will be closing its doors in a few days, due to the coronavirus threat in Guyana. However, certain key stores will remain open.
In a statement to the public on Thursday, the Giftland Mall said the temporary closure will take effect from April 1, 2020.
However, the FoodMaxx Supermarket and Shoppers Pharmacy will remain open to facilitate basic shopping. Opening hours for these stores remain from 10:00h to 19:30h.
“This closure is due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has placed our country and the world in unprecedented times. Given that the main counter against the spread of the virus is social distancing, the mall will be closing temporarily in the interest of its staff and customers,” the Mall said in a statement.
Customers, however, will be required to abide by the guidelines enforced in-store by the FoodMaxx Supermarket to combat the spread of the virus.
The pricing structure will remain the same throughout this period, but management has cautioned that prices may increase if the cost of the items rise. Moreover, for now, all ATMs will be accessible, unless indicated otherwise.
The announcement by the Giftland Mall comes even as the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is encouraging businesses to modify their operations to safeguard their employees and customers during this public health crisis.
“Whilst waiting for directions from the National Authorities, the GCCI is encouraging members of the business community and the general public to voluntarily practise social distancing,” the private sector umbrella body has urged.
In addition to social distancing, businesses have also been encouraged to avoid large gatherings, and allow their employees to work from home where possible.
Businesses such as restaurants, bars and similar services should discontinue ‘dine-in’ services for customers and facilitate takeout, delivery and ‘drive-thru’ options, the GCCI said, while urging transportation providers (minibuses, taxis and speedboats) to sanitise their vehicles after every trip.
Moreover, the GCCI has asked that businesses disseminate guidelines on sanitation and hygiene to employees, in addition to providing them with sanitising materials.
In another appeal, the GCCI urged businesses not to price gouge on materials needed during this time.
Meanwhile, the GCCI is pleading with citizens and the business community to take the advisories issued by the relevant authorities seriously.
“The private sector body called on citizens to change their behavioural patterns and adopt the approach known as Social Distancing; this means to avoid close physical contact with other persons so as to reduce the spread of the virus,” the GCCI said, as it pledged its willingness to assist the Government in its efforts to increase its resources to effectively fight the disease.
The National COVID-19 Task Force (NCFT) warned on Wednesday that it is contemplating the imposition of “extreme measures” to restrict the movement of people due to their “cavalier” approach to the guidelines being issued by authorities.