NA municipality imposes curfew for businesses


The New Amsterdam municipality has announced curfews for various types of businesses operating in the township.

Mayor Winifred Haywood 

In an effort to ensure that measures are put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country’s oldest town – New Amsterdam – the municipality has embarked on a campaign of sensitising business operators on new closing times for all businesses including restaurants and bars.
Supermarkets in the town will have to close their doors by 19:00h. Previously, some operated until 22:00h.
This was disclosed by Mayor Winifred Haywood on Tuesday. Business operators were on Monday told of the new timings of operation as the Council seeks to implement measures to prevent a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in New Amsterdam.
While the supermarkets will be allowed to go until 19:00h, restaurants will have to close earlier.
“For eating houses, we are asking that they can close at 18:00h, but then if it is that persons will have to get meals, they can offer a take-away service or they can also do delivery,” Mayor Haywood said.
All bars and liquor restaurants are being required to close by 18:00h. The Mayor said bars are also being asked to pay attention to the recommended social distance to be kept.
As a result, some bars were advised today to reduce their seating accommodations.
On Tuesday the Council went on a walkabout to sensitise business operators of the new arrangements which have been put in place for three weeks.
Speaking with this publication, the Mayor said members of the business community were very receptive. She noted that some were also appreciative of the measures being implemented by the municipality to ensure that the town is safe.
According to Mayor Haywood, persons are being advised to place safety first. The municipality is also calling on persons not to go on the road if it is not out of necessity. However, if they have to, they must use all safety measures possible.
The Mayor said the arrangements as they relate to these new operating hours have been discussed with the police regarding enforcement. Haywood said the police have come on board to assist.
“They have said to us that if there is any challenge they will come out and give us the necessary backup that we might need in the town.”
The banking industry has already indicated reduced banking hours for commercial banks. There are three banks in the town: Republic Bank, Citizens Bank and Scotiabank.
Meanwhile, several business persons who own restaurants, supermarkets and boutiques all decided to close their doors one week ago.
The move is being appreciated by the Town Council.
Meanwhile, the Regional Health Authority met with vendors in the market and explained the importance of maintaining social distance and the regular washing of hands. The vendors were told that it will be better if they can say at home.
The Municipal Market has been closed today to facilitate a sanitising excise.
The new hours the market will be from is 07:00h until 14:00h.