Businesses brace for COVID-19 impact

Businesses brace for COVID-19 impact

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Local businesses have begun instituting policies, procedures and in some instances temporary closures due to the threat of COVID-19.

John’s Shoes announced it will be closing its stores until March 30 in a statement posted to the company’s Facebook page.

“As a local, nonessential business, we find ourselves tasked with the difficult decision and responsibility of what to do in the face of COVID-19,” read the statement.

“John’s is a business blessed with heavy foot-traffic on a daily basis, and while this is something we typically take pride in, it is now working to the detriment of a much greater priority: the health and safety of the employees of John’S, our customers, and the nation at large.

It stated: “As such, we believe that the greatest service we can possibly provide at this time is no service. We will be closing our doors this evening for the remainder of the week, and for a week period beyond that, with the tentative plan to resume business Monday March 30th.

“We do not wish to cause panic or hysteria, only to keep people safe. This is a heavy decision that we ask all of you to please take seriously. This strong course of action was decidedly taken as an act of social responsibility to assist in the containment of this virus.”

The company added: ‘The point of this measure is to set the example of self-isolation to diminish everyone’s chances of catching this virus, or, heaven forbid, unknowingly giving it to someone else.”

Kelly’s Lumber has announced new stores hours to help reduce the exposure of their staff to each other and customers.

The store cited the World Health Organization’s (WHO) advice that “social distancing” and “exposure time” are the two most effective methods to reduce risk. Kelly’s new hours are now Monday to Saturday 7am to 2 pm.

The company noted however that “as the virus stats change we may need to adjust our response”.

Also following the advice of the WHO, Lowe’s Pharmacy Ltd says that it will only allow a limited number of customers in store at one time.

The company says that shopping in groups will be discouraged and urged customers to be mindful of social distancing while waiting to check-out.

Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis on Sunday declared that the country’s response to the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is “the greatest national priority” as he announced government measures to mitigate local transmission.

His comments came after a 61-year-old Bahamian woman was confirmed as the first positive case of COVID-19 in the country.