In his press conference, last evening, the Prime Minister of Mauritius, P. K. Jugnauth, announced that the sanitary curfew is being extended till 15 April. The extension has been prompted by the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country. As at date we have registered 143 COVID-19 cases, three of which have been fatal. None of the patients have undergone full recovery so far.
An extended curfew means that people will be confined to their houses for a longer time. Therefore, many families require food provisions.
The Prime Minister announced that supermarkets and shops will re-open as from 2 April but under strict conditions. In today's press conference by the National Communication Committee, the conditions were announced in detail.
Supermarkets and shops will operate from 09h00 - 17h00, Monday to Saturday. Access to the supermarkets will be allowed on alphabetical order. For this purpose, everyone should bring their national identity card with them and expats should bring their passport or residential/work permit. Identity verification will be done before access is granted to the shops.
Alphabetical order as per family name will be as follows:
- A to F, Monday and Thursday
- G to N, Tuesday and Friday
- O to Z, Wednesday and Saturday
All supermarkets and shops will be closed on Sundays. Actions will be taken against shop owners who do not abide to the rules.
There will be further controls before people can gain access to supermarkets, e.g temperature reading. If people are found to have a temperature above 37.5°C or they are coughing/sneezing, they will be required to step away from the queue. They will have to wait for a hospital ambulance to come and they will taken to the hospital for a further medical check-up.
People who gain access to the supermarket will be allowed to use only one caddy which will be disinfected by the supermarket personnel. Hand sanitizer will be provided.
Once inside the supermarket people will have to go through a traced line to collect items they need which will have specific limits (e.g three packets of rice, flour and oil). People will have to follow the line and move forward only, no turning back.
Following the above controlled access to supermarkets and shops, every family will be able to make food provisions twice per week.
These strict guidelines are laid to limit interaction between people. I sincerely hope that people going to the supermarkets adhere to the guidelines for their own protection and the protection of others.