Further, only one person per household will be allowed to go out and which day they are allowed to access essential items and services would be dependent on their surnames.
This was announced by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) during a live COVID-19 Update on the Government of the Virgin Islands Facebook page moments ago, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
According to Premier Fahie, starting from Thursday, April 2, 2020 persons with surnames beginning with A to I will be allowed out from 8:00am to 6:00pm tomorrow, Thursday.
Persons with surnames ranging from J to R will be allowed their turn to stock up and access other essential services on Friday April 3, 2020 between 8:00am and 6:00pm.
Finally, persons with surnames ranging from S to Z will get their opportunity out on Saturday April 4, 2020 during 8:00am and 6:00pm.
It was noted; however, that on the three days, 6:00am to 8:00am will be reserved for essential workers and persons shopping for vulnerable persons who are not allowed out.
Persons on quarantine are also not allowed out during the 3-day shopping period; however, their needs will be addressed through the Client Support Centre.
According to Premier Fahie, the move to stagger the shopping by surnames is to prevent a buildup of crowds at places of business.
The essential services or persons allowed to operate would be supermarkets and mini-markets, pharmacies, gas stations, banks, private medical facilities, fisherfolks, farmers, bakers, office supplies stores, money transfer services and hardware stores.
Supermarkets are also being encouraged to offer online shopping and curbside delivery.
They have also been mandated to maintain the protocol for social distancing and practice sanitisation.
“Persons must only leave their homes to go directly to the places of business and go back home,” Premier Fahie said, adding that there must be no congregating or visiting of anyone.
“When you are done with your business of the day go straight back home. It is for your good and our good,” Premier Fahie reiterated.
He said persons from Anegada and Jost van Dyke are encouraged to follow the last name protocol and are welcome to come to Tortola to conduct their business.
“Please shop for a minimum of 14 days,” Premier Fahie said, noting that the curfew is scheduled to be lifted at 6:00am on Thursday, April 16, 2020 in keeping with the maximum amount of time allowed for a curfew by law; however, an order for a further 3 days is likely to allow for the Territory to be on a full 14-day lockdown.