Thousands in St. Kitts turned out on Thursday to conduct business all around Basseterre after five days of lockdown. Long lines could be witnessed at major businesses that were allowed to operate.

Banks, supermarkets, the Inland Revenue and other financial services were packed with individuals trying to get business done before the 24-hour lockdown returns Saturday.

The longest lines observed by this publication were seen at both branches of National Bank and at Ram’s Supermarket on Bay Road.

The Observer spoke to one female who was in the line at Ram’s, who said that on Saturday she tried to do her shopping but ran out of time, and had to shop at a  local shop in her community. She said she would wait however long it took to ensure she gets all her shopping done at Ram’s on Thursday.

Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force, Abdias Samuel, thanked all the food distributors and retailers throughout the federation for their patience and cooperation. He also acknowledged the police for facilitating the retailers –  allowing their staff to restock their shelves and allowing them to go to their distributors for food items to restock.

Samuel also appealed to the public to only travel if necessary.

“I want to appeal to the general public: if you do not have to leave your homes, please stay at home.”

He urged all to consider one person from your household to shop on your behalf.

Samuel also implored the businesses to adhere to the protocols for the two off-days.

“I am asking retailers and distributors to do their best to ensure these protocols are followed. Please ensure you limit the number of persons as per the capacity of 30 square feet per person within your establishment, and also ensure you have persons monitoring the highly touched areas and frequent sanitizing is done.”

He pleaded with public transport service providers to do the same.

“I want to reach out to the public transport service providers. Please ensure your customers sanitize their hands before entering your vehicle, and also, they wear their masks where they are going.”

Divisional Commander for District A, Superintendent Cromwell Henry, urged persons to avoid situations that put them at risk of infection.

“We continue to solicit the cooperation of all, as we strive to flatten the curve. We have been getting good cooperation and we continue to urge such cooperation