Super Value owner Rupert Roberts told The Nassau Guardian that he wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis and requested that his stores be allowed to remain open until 8 p.m. during the two week lockdown.
He noted that the 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. public shopping period on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays would likely result in “panic and chaos”.
Roberts said his stores were open for 96 hours per week before the pandemic, with heavy shopping on Thursdays and weekends.
“It is impossible for us to manage with the 36 hour week,” he said.
Roberts said the extension would give his stores an additional 16 hours in weekly shopping.
He said he also requested permission from Commissioner of Police Paul Rolle to restock his stores from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
“I hope that we get that,” Roberts said.
“In addition, the commissioner said, ‘Look, you can stock your stores on the days that you’re not opened to the public and that’s Tuesdays and Thursdays.’
“So, they’ve given us permission to stock Tuesdays and Thursdays…But we really need to restock on Sunday so that on Monday morning we don’t open to the public with empty stores.”
On Sunday, Minnis announced the lockdown, which started on Tuesday night. Only essential businesses are allowed to operate during the lockdown.
Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and water depots are allowed to open to the public on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and to essential workers on Saturdays.
The prime minister said officials will determine whether the lockdown will be extended at the end of the two weeks.