Supermarket access split on names

| 29/03/2020 | 150 Comments
Cayman News Service
Foster’s Countryside in Savannah

(CNS): Government is segregating the community based on names to address the serious problem posed by too many people going to the supermarkets during the soft curfew and risking potential transmission of COVID-19. From tomorrow (Monday), those with last names starting with the letters A-K will be allowed to shop at the grocery stores only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while those whose surnames start with L-Z can go only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Speaking at Sunday’s press briefing, Premier Alden McLaughlin said the new arrangement should cut numbers and it could be a model to be used for other essential errands and exercising if people will still not stay home, effectively putting half the population on lockdown on alternate days. But in the first instance and until further notice, the division based on names is confined to supermarkets, which are posing the highest risk of potential transmission.

The elderly and vulnerable will be able to use the designated hour in the early mornings still but it will now be based on their names as well. The premier said that only one family member should go to the supermarket for each household and he strongly discouraged taking children.

Again and again, McLaughlin urged people to stay home, especially in light of the four additional positive cases reported by Dr John Lee Sunday, two of whom had been infected by contact with people returning from overseas, illustrating potential for community spread.

McLaughlin said he expected the positive numbers to continue to climb because, despite the best efforts by public health officials, the people who picked up the virus from travellers will not know every person that they had contact with before knowing they were positive.

Since the advice initially given by the World Health Organization (WHO), that adults who are asymptomatic do not spread the virus, is now thought to be incorrect, efforts are being made to trace all the contacts of the positive cases currently all in isolation.

“The only way that we can reduce the risk of contracting the virus is to stay away from as many people as you possibly can and stay at home Cayman,” McLaughlin warned.

However, it does appear that the community did make a much more concerted effort to do that Saturday night and Sunday morning. Police Commissioner Derek Byrne confirmed that on Saturday night, only one person was found in breach of the hard curfew who had not committed any other crimes.

Four others were arrested because they had engaged in criminal behaviour in addition to breaching curfew, including one driver who was arrested for DUI as he was multiple times over the limit. But on the whole, the police were operating from a “very stable platform” with low criminal activity, he said.

The commissioner noted that Sunday was a lot quieter; people were heeding the warnings to stay home and there was “significantly less movement”. Police officers are conducting roadblocks at various locations and questioning people to ensure they are out for a genuine purpose.

Despite some congregation on beaches, which is being managed by officers on patrol on the all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), with support from the helicopter and Joint Marine Unit, Sunday’s numbers were much lower, Byrne stated.

McLaughlin noted that while Sunday was much better, he was very conscious that it could be different on Monday. And he warned again that the public must restrain themselves from unnecessary trips and, unless exempt, they should only go out for essential errands or exercise.

How the soft curfew goes, the general circumstances relating to behaviour, and testing are all factors that will influence and inform government’s decisions, which will be adapted as the situation changes.

While government did not want to add further restrictions during the soft curfew hours, any evidence of community spread or further abuse of the soft curfew would lead to greater limits, including segregating people by name for all essential errands and not just supermarket trips, the premier said.

See all supermarket hours here


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Category: Health, health and safety, Local News

Comments (150)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Challenges always create opportunities. Many thrive in time of crisis

    Coronavirus: The good that can come out of an upside-down world. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52094332

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    • Anonymous says:

      My sister who is a nurse in a hospital (US) is sewing masks from vacuum bags. They are given one mask a day.
      When she gets home from work, she is “inspected” by our parents who are dressed in garbage bags, masks and gloves. When her temperature is checked she undresses by the front door before she steps into the house, her clothes put in a bag and proceeds to the shower for a long scrab with disinfecting stuff hair included. Mom made a video of the process and it was a hit among nurses. It is funny, but also tragic.
      Nurses and doctors get free coffee at Starbucks and “thank you”. This “thank you” makes them really emotional. They get coffee via drive through (in case you open your mouth and start bashing nurses and Starbucks)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone confirm that the returning students from the U.K. on the recently announced BA flight will be actually quarantined?! If we are just going to let them self isolate everything government and the responsible members of the public has been for nothing! This is serious! If they are not quarantined we are signing our own economic death warrant. I beg CIG to be wise, and not let this country down.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It was expressed as self isolation i.e. on the honour system. Where, even if people stick to it, they are exposing their families to the virus. The last 4 cases of the virus were 2 people who had travelled and 2 immediate contacts of those people (any chance that they were from the last time we had a dispensation for flights fromt he UK?). Minister Seymour said i the press conference that these were people coming from a high risk jurisdiction, but the quarantine hotels were still available for them IF THEY CHOOSE,. Given the risks why on earth would we make the isolation voluntary and unsupervised? Madness.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Already told my child she will be going to a hotel for two weeks.
      She said can I have the Netfix password!

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Supermarket proposal for the Hon Premier

    All large stores need to be closed to walk-in customers and open to delivery and pick-up services

    All large stores need to implement a product distribution strategy for residential delivery and store pickup services

    Food need to be ordered online, by phone, email, and Whatsapp

    Residential Delivery

    Large stores need to contract with small District stores. Small District stores need to contract with delivery drivers

    Large stores need to deliver products daily to small District stores. Small District stores need to deliver products to residential customers

    Store Pickup Services

    Large stores need to deliver pick-up orders to customer vehicles in their parking lots

    This product distribution strategy will eliminate long customer queues at large stores and eliminate long waiting times for delivery of orders

    IMPORTANT: Employees, customers, and delivery drivers need to wear masks to prevent the spread of Corona

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I can shop anytime on any day.
    I’m an international man of mystery.
    Many passports with different names, different ages and hey I can even dress up as a woman and get away with it.
    Might have to shave the legs first!
    Even have an RCIP outfit to cover the emergency services time!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Just got back from Foster’s Camana Bay. Nobody checking surname ID at door. WAY too many staff and customers milling around, chit-chatting in close quarters, blocking aisles with bodies and carts, and generally clueless to the 6 ft rule. One of their hundreds of staff need to be at the entrance with a bullhorn telling everyone they must, by-law, stay 6 ft away from other people! One lady blocked the entire aisle with her cart and body in some kind of far away day dream, without a list. Get these people out of the store!

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    • Anonymous says:

      RCIPS at Savannah were checking IDs – minimal queues on entering, no fuss, trolleys being disinfected, good spacing inside and zero checkout queue. Well stocked shelves also.

      So credit where credit is due.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rcips checking at fosters when i went, small queue. By the time i left there was no queue and no checking. Fair enough. System worked well. Great job fosters!

      Only issue was a number of elderly shoppers who seemed to think 1ft is 6ft but again fosters staff made an effort to get people to separate in store.

  6. Anonymous says:

    CEO of Naples and Fort Myers home health care provider gives a box of essentials to employees

    In Italy scuba masks are being converted into ventilators

    SWFL autoshop is manufacturing face shields for health workers

    In the US Stores are installing plexiglass shields to protect cashiers

    Anything is happening here?

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    • Anonymous says:

      “In Italy scuba masks are being converted into ventilators” – really? Seems unlikely. A scuba regulator is a demand valve – you have to inhale with a certain force before it supplies air – whereas if you need a ventilator it has to do the the breathing for you and push (and extract) the air, irrespective of whether you breathe or not. Thats a fundamentally different valve system. Even a standard O2 set, which has positive pressure i.e. feeds you the O2 even if you don’t inhale – wont have the right functionality.

      And as for the ventilators, yes, govenrment has ordered a bunch – but has to get them here first.

      • Anonymous says:

        They are not converting scuba masks, but full face snorkel masks.

      • Anonymous says:

        They aren’t using scuba regs they are using those full face masks with the central snorkel that tourists use, for makeshift cpap oxygen.

        • Anonymous says:

          Still not a ventilator then. Patient needs to be able to breathe for the self whereas a ventilator works for those whose lungs can’t handle that. All it is doing is limiting the O2 leakage. Better than nothing but not a ventilator.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The system working so far, a bit strange coming out the house for such a long time. I felt socially awkward, but it’s for a common good.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    We wish there were LIVE cams to stream how busy / not busy the supermarkets are. We really don’t want to go, but unfortunately need to after almost 25 days avoiding. No sense getting in the car if the line is already a quarter mile long.

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  9. Say it like it is says:

    Can we have a volunteer to count the personal listings in the phone directory or better still the names on the electoral register to see if these claims are true, which I expect they are.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many people do not have a land line anymore and are not in the phone directory.
      Maybe they should just check IDs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Could Alden maybe not do his little muscle flexing conferences in the middle of the school day this week? Very disruptive to learning.

    CNS: The press briefings are on the government YouTube channel, CIGTV. Instead of expecting the briefings to fit in nicely with your schedule, you could just watch it later when it’s convenient for you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not my schedule, it’s everyone’s schedule, created by their gross overreaction. How many kids are you teaching at home?

      CNS: Everyone who is teaching kids at home can watch the video when it’s convenient for them. Just calm down. The overreaction is on your side here.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So you can make it to the store before us when Alden makes his next knee-jerk announcement? No thanks.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks CNS!! All these whining spoilt people just need to say a prayer of thanks for all that they have and a prayer for all those in the world who are not so fortunate. The sun, moon and stars does not revolve around any one person no matter how special you think you are.

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      • Anonymous says:

        A love seeing CNS putting people in their place

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      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds like someone needs to stop and take some deep breaths.
        Either that or a Valium.

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      • Anonymous says:

        @8:33 am – I can tell from your posts that you are extremely frustrated. Which of course is completely understandable. We are all in the same position and share the same frustrations.

        However, I see that this is even more frustrating to you as you believe attempts to get a handle on this virus are an “overreaction”. You must feel somewhat alone in your views and Probably wish to interact with other like-minded persons who share your views. May I suggest joining a Facebook Group? Or if you can’t find a group that fits your particular needs, perhaps you could form your own?

        Your group, if you make it private, then can be a “safe space” in which you and other members of your group can express your frustrations, views and tips and tricks on how to navigate our ever changing world.

        I imagine that you may also be quite frustrated as to the very real perception that you no longer have full control over your life. Indeed, outside of your home and property, you have very little to no-control over your life.

        I can only imagine the disruption, frustration and anger that ensues in your home when at-home-schooling is interrupted in the middle of the day due to a press briefing regarding COVID19. I am also mindful, that your anger and frustration are further compounded by the fact that you deem current precautions as an “overreaction” and these press briefings as nothing more than an opportunity for Alden to perform a little “muscle-flexing”.

        Since you state that your are home-schooling, I am assuming that you are an adult and one half of the parental unit. Do you see now?!?! As an adult and a parent you still have control over what happen in your home. Yay!

        For example, you could possibly schedule an afternoon break during the time of the
        press briefings. Give the kids a 30 minute (or as needed, remember YOU are in charge!) break, have a cup of tea,coffee, or wine, or whatever you want (you are in control here!) and listen to the news briefing.

        But that may not work for you.

        Do not despair!! As CNS very helpfully suggested, you can always listen to it on YouTube at a time of your choosing that is convenient to you. Remember, the internet never closes!! It is open 24/7!!!

        Or you may simply choose to not watch the press briefing. You are in control!!

        These are just a few ideas to show you that, as an adult, in your own home, you control what happens!!!!

        2:00 pm press conferences be damned!!!

        Afternoon muscle-flexing???? Not today Bobo!!!

        I hope these suggestions help alleviate some of your frustrations and anger at the inconvenience of a press conference being held on YouTube in the middle of your home-schooling day.

        Just remember, you have control!!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody asked for your unqualified therapy session. How about you worry about you and we will take care of ourselves.

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          • Anonymous says:

            @1:46 – come now, we’re all in this together my fellow resident! I am here for you and I understand your frustration and anger and I just want to offer support.

            Now I can see that, unfortunately, you’re not in a place yet to be able to accept support or help and I’m sure that the mid-afternoon briefing only further antagonized you. Were you able to try out any of the suggestions offered in my previous comment? No worries if you weren’t able to today, there will be another press briefing tomorrow.

            I hope the news that the banks will be following the supermarkets current practice of admitting customers is not too upsetting for you. As an alternative, may I suggest looking into online banking if you have not yet done so?

            Please feel free to reach out at anytime, remember we are all in this together!!! I would love to hear any ideas that you may have that have been helpful to you in these trying times. Together, as a loving and kind community, we will get through this together!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Just to be clear, we all agree with CNS

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Why are non-exempted pool company trucks on the road driving around servicing closed strata pools? There need to be punitive fines for this kind of non-exempted corporate belligerence.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    I still dont understand why given our situation people cannot meal plan for the week and shop once, twice at most. Dont you realize the more times you go out, the more you expose yourself to catching this?

    Nobody needs to go shopping more than twice a week. Given all the complaints that were to be expected regarding the numbers of Ebanks and Boddens, they could have split the 6 shopping week days into 3 pairs and given Boddens and Ebanks a pair of days like Wednesdays and Saturdays (just an example) while keeping the A-K (excluding these two names) snd L-Z arrangement on Mon/Thurs and Tues/Fridays.

    It would only take a five minute look into the voting register to prove if these surnames consituted 5000-7000 or up to 33% of voters to make this necessary. And yes, I know we arent just dealing with registered voters but its the easiest data base to use for basic guidance right now. No plan is going to work perfectly but Im sure there is room for CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to help the govt find the best plan.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Looking at the phone book, the split should be A to I. Also, the delivery system is overwhelmed. Why not use the out of work and taxi drivers to deliver. I would be pleased to pay $20 rather than standing in the sun for two hours and risk catching the virus.

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    • Anonymous says:

      All sounds a little divisive. There are 65,000+ people in the Cayman Islands, not just Caymanians and not just those on the voting register. Also unlikely that the names Bodden and Ebanks (while plentiful) actually do make up 33% of registered voters.

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      • Anonymous says:

        1653 registered Ebanks’s and 601 Bodden’s. 2254 total.
        21,583 total registered voters, closer to 10% but still significant.

    • Anonymous says:

      The system working so far at hurleys, smooth sailing

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  13. Anonymous says:

    After reading so many selfish greedy posts, I’m so glad at least some of you are beginning to see sense. You are too complacent Cayman and living in some kind of bubble, and really disillusioned to think you all are going to get away Scott free from this virus. It’s sweeping the world of fine, upstanding highly intelligent people that have lost their lives to this horrendous highly transmissible disease!! Do you all think you are immortal?? You can’t even drive around your little island without killing yourself and any other poor innocent people in your path. What chance do you think you are going to have with this disease. Step back, take a massive deep breath and sort your heads out!! Currently, there are very few confirmed cases of this virus there. How many have it and don’t realise??? That is the burning question! How many panic buying idiots here have already passed it on? I can assure you from past experience we are faced with in the U.K. there are literally thousands that don’t know they have it. To a certain extent, I can understand that if you have no symptoms you are all well…..Don’t have that fool you! Some people don’t get symptoms and are carriers! This is not a joke or some mad trial Cayman. This is REAL like something out of a Sci Fy movie and not happening……unfortunately, it is happening and a KILLER!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Stop spreading fear, it doesn’t has to be doom and gloom. Cayman will be fine, this may be just a wake up call this time.

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  14. Anon says:

    There’s one Bush I certainly don’t want to run into, and that’s nothing to do with Covid-19.

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  15. Michael Day says:

    OMG such moaning comments! Follow the directives . Simple! Stop worrying whether or not you are in the “best” group. Stay the f@*^ at home. This too will pass.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    If I use all my children’s surnames I can go eight days a week.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    so in the middle of the worst crisis in living memory…our premier has denied, at least 50% of the people, access to groceries in 4 out 5 days.
    then he wonders why there is panic buying???
    but yep keep blaming business for this mess and keep ignoring that fact it was cig who let the virus in with their own incompetence at the port….

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    • Anonymous says:

      Have you been drinking? I hope that is the case.

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      • Anon says:

        12.46am He probably has, Alden went out of his way to exempt our liquor stores from closing, so this ESSENTIAL commodity is freely available.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You prat. Can’t you see this is a reasonable attempt to limit contact ? But if people refuse to be reasonable then worse will be imposed. Do what’s right but don’t expect carte blanche on doing what you want.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I am grateful every day that we don’t have a Trump at the helm but an Alden. We can’t go back and change the cruise ship decision, but the govt has now been doing everything possible to save lives.

      Stay home and stop panic buying.

      I see no reason that shopping three days a week cannot be adequate for the population. All the Ebanks and Boddens do not need to shop each and every day of their allowance.

      And have a list so you don’t have to linger and browse the aisles unnecessarily.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Most normal and rational people in America do not want Trump at the helm. His press conference was absolutely bizarre and frightening yesterday.

        Concern about his TV ratings?
        People hoarding medical supplies in hospitals while nurses and doctors are getting sick and some dying in NYC?
        Attacking verbally a black, female reporter because she simply questioned what Teump said on FOX the night before?

        We are being led by a very sick and psychologically disturbed individual in America.

        Yes, Alden certainly does look good but the leadership bar in America is so low now. In fact, don’t believe in modern times it has ever been this low.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Leave Trump out of it. Have you seen the alternative.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about making the aisles one-way? Is that being done?

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    • Anonymous says:

      And have a thought for the cashiers who must face a crowd every day as part of their job. My gratitude to all the supermarkets for the heroic job they are doing in stocking shelves and serving us.

      Please stay safe. And let us all be ultra careful when we shop and get in and out as fast as possible, and not shop unless it is necessary.

      And how about online shopping? That is what I will be doing to protect myself and others. Under the current situation without widespread testing, anyone we meet could be carrying the virus.

      There are some people who don’t show symptoms but who can still transmit the virus.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Try seeing the good in everything, life will be much better.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Antony Eden, open the shops on sunday !!!!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Mark 8:36 – – if the Premier thinks lives come before the economy, there are many who think observing God’s word comes before ready access to groceries.

  19. Anonymous says:

    How about a big applause for the ladies and gentlemen who have no choice but to serve you all the cash register.
    For a few $$ am hour they risk their lives for YOU arrogant caymanians.

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    • Yep says:

      Yeah!! It’s only Caymanians they’re serving!!! And not the thousands of entitled expats who come here just to hate Caymanians!!!! Tell em Jake!!

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      • Anon says:

        11.16pm Even in times of great crisis when we should all pull together we have sick minds like Yep spewing hate and vitriol. Send him back to the Mental Health ward which he has obviously escaped from.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Thumbs up for your first sentence. Thumbs down for the second.

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    • Anonymous says:

      $10 an hour for the cashiers now. They earn it by risking their lives all day.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    If persons use their God given sense this new arrangement should work. Just because you can go three times for the week doesn’t mean you HAVE to. Whichever day you chose to go, ensure you get what you need for the week, by going through your pantry, refrigerator/freezer and make a list that way you shouldn’t forget anything.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    ugh. I’m in the first section…. Ebanks, Bodden… crap there’s like a million.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Clever idiot that figured this one out.. Ebanks and bodden represent a lot of people.
    Take a phone book and open the middle page. That is you letter of half the people.

    And how do the poor get to the supermarket without a bus ?

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  23. Anonymous says:

    I am glad they have implemented this! And that most have agreed to a time where the vulnerable of the community can shop safely. I hope that supermarkets will be checking ID’s and turning people away if they try to cheat the system. Also parents have been told to keep their kids at home which I am relived about. Please comply with this. Leave your kids with a relative or your partner. It’s for their safety and the safety of others. Only one person is needed to do a shop!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Single moms? Lot of them around here. Thanks to Caribbean men cheating ways.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Single mums are an exception I guess though government has said do not bring them to supermarkets so I’m just re-iterating what they said. I know a few single mums who have a supportive family who thy can leave their kids with but I understand this isn’t always the case. Im talking more about the cases i’ve seen of 2 parents bringing their 2 (or more) kids with them to shop. There is no need for al of them to be there. One parent could stay at home with the children as the other shops. Particularly as young kids don’t really understand social distancing…

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      • Anonymous says:

        @7:57pm – lots of single moms because of a failure on both parties to properly use birth control.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Its not alway possible to leave your kids at home now there is no schools……… And what about the families that are separated because the airport is now closed and parents can’t get home?????

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Thankfully for me I still have my passport in my maiden name, though I did switch my driver’s license. Turns out I can go whatever day I please!

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  25. Anonymous says:

    If it was 10,000 the other day, then reducing to 5000 is still way too many people. They should have split the deck into thirds or quarters. Nobody should be allowed into the store without a concise reprovision list. The authorities regulating these journeys need to actively discourage traditional “Impulsive shopping” or dithering “just browsing“ trips, or the obstructive chaos will continue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      6:41 you will get your wish cant you see the trend!

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    • Anonymous says:

      No, in addition to the surname slots, just leave your list with your phone number and come back to collect it if you can’t email it in or order online.

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  26. da-wa-u-get! says:

    Because we did not panic-shop ahead of the lock-down, we did have to go to the Supermarket on Saturday (6:40 am, Senior)
    There were long lines outside the store but, well managed, everyone had to get a cart to enforce the the distance-rule. The problem started once inside! The space between displayed goods and aisles was just to small to maintain the recommended distance from other shoppers, additionally, the situation was exacerbated by the debit card machines not working well.
    Overall I can say that people were courteous to each other, store personnel was very helpful, the only issue I observed was, the congestion inside the store because too many people needed to go shopping.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people that are working hard to keep our community safe. That said, I would like to understand why liquor stores were permitted to open on Saturday and who made the decision that they were to be classified as essential. I would also like to know why it was deemed necessary to have armed police officers stationed at the supermarkets.

    What happened at the supermarkets on Saturday was to be expected and I still think that we will continue to have problems unless we establish some form of ticketing system that will have customers waiting in their cars until they have been cleared to enter the stores.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Need to shut down the beaches and Bars, both places dud not abide by the curfew rules

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  29. Anonymous says:

    I think I need to legally change my last name so I don’t have to shop with the Bushes, Boddens and Ebankses. I would much rather shop with the Smiths, Scotts and Whittakers.

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    • Anon says:

      Welcome aboard then buddy:) see you at Foster…on tuesdays,thursdays and Saturdays…until we meet again…

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  30. Anonymous says:

    This a welcomed change, and a positive move. Just don’t close the stores down Monday if I few idiots break rank. Sincerely, end of the alphabet

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