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Businesses, charities braced for new Covid restrictions

Lines form outside of the Heron Bay Marketplace just ahead of the new lockdown restrictions (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Businesses and charities yesterday braced themselves for the impact of a second Covid-19 lockdown, set to come into effect this morning.

Kendaree Burgess, CEO of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, yesterday said the stay at home orders would be another blow to local businesses, particularly restaurants.

Ms Burgess said: “Some retail will do better than others where some homeowners will look to perform some at home maintenance projects and grocery stores and liquor stores will likely do well in the next day or so.

“Last year retail adapted to kerbside and online sales and I am sure the same will happen this time around, but few saw the same traffic they'd seen pre-Covid.”

She added that businesses were keenly aware of the need for public health and safety measures.

Ms Burgess said: “What is most important is having few surprises and knowing the rules.

“We await the details from the government so that we can better withstand the impacts of the stay-at-home policies and can better service our community.”

Zach Moniz, manager at Lindo’s Group of Companies, said business had been busy with customers attempting to stock up on supplies before the stay at home order comes into effect.

Mr Moniz said: “There hasn’t been any particular rush on certain items, like we saw last time - probably because most customers have been through this before and because we’re hoping that this will be a short shelter in place.

“We expect things to calm down at the stores significantly tomorrow, once the surname system comes into effect.

“People have been great about maintaining social distancing and not panic buying.”

The islands charities were also bracing themselves for the impact of the stricted Covid-19 measures yesterday.

Major Robert Kerr, division manager of the Salvation Army, said the charity would adapt its services for the stay at home order.

“We expect there will be increased expenses for us in the weeks ahead as we see an increased demand for our services as well as increased costs in our delivery of services as we diligently adhere to all safety protocols,” he said.

Mr Kerr said the charity’s food banks in Hamilton, Somerset and St George’ would remain open with measures in place to ensure social distancing.

Meanwhile the emergency shelter on North Street would move to 24-hour service to allow clients to shelter in place.

Mr Kerr said: “All protocols for mask wearing, sanitizing and physical distancing will continue to be adhered to.”

The charity’s Harbour Light addition programme will also continue to operate - with Covid-19 measures in place - to assist its clients.

“We will not be allowing any visitors in to the facility and of course our participants will need to remain in the centre as well,” Mr Kerr added.

“Our hot meal programme out of our North Street Citadel will be providing ’to go’ meals only.

“This will be done in a physically distanced and safe manner that will allow the participants to receive a hot meal that they will take away and eat in their own location rather than gathering within our building.”

He thanked both the Government and the public for their support, and said that anyone with questions can contact the charity at 292-2586.

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Diabetes Association said it would cut its hours to between 11am to 4.30pm because of the stay at home orders, but it would continue to offer free deliveries to clients.

“We are encouraging people to call the pharmacy on 297-8427 to reduce the amount of foot traffic in the building,” she said

“Generous donations allow us to continue to support people with or at risk of diabetes, provide low-cost medicine from our pharmacy, and for those with diabetes in financial difficulty who are either uninsured or under-insured receive medicine for free.

“We have however seen an uptake in people with diabetes needing assistance on our client assistance programme due to loss of income.

“Our diabetes Educator Sara Bosch de Noya is working virtually with her patients, and we are lucky that we are able to continue our Know Your Medicines with our pharmacists and Freestyle Libre training via zoom.”

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Published April 13, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 12, 2021 at 5:47 pm)

Businesses, charities braced for new Covid restrictions

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