RADHICA DE SILVA
Dozens of people were left stranded at taxi stands in San Fernando last night as the weekend curfew kicked in.
But instead of being charged, the workers were given assistance by the police to get to their destinations safely.
Alekquay Layne, of Point Fortin, said it was the pre-curfew police roadblocks that resulted in him getting stuck at the Port of Spain taxi stand on High Street.
“I live in Point Fortin and I work as an MTS security officer at the Hasely Crawford stadium. I left home very early but I was caught in three roadblocks. Eventually, when it got late, the maxi driver decided not to continue the trip and we switched maxis with another driver who lives in San Fernando and was heading home. I got to the stand at 5:45 pm but I could not get a taxi,” Layne said.
He explained that even though he knew he could be fined for breaching the curfew he was happy that the police were helpful and offered to drop him at his workplace.
Layne said more than a dozen people were left at the taxi stand and the police were cordial and helpful to all of them.
Another stranded passenger who gave her name as Jay said she was also grateful to the police for helping her to get home.
Meanwhile, there were also stranded passengers at the Fyzabad, Marabella and Penal taxi stands.
Police officers said commuters must try to make proper arrangements to ensure that they get some well before the curfew period.
Meanwhile, hours before the lockdown began, people flooded into gas stations, supermarkets and produce stalls to stock up on rations for the weekend ahead.
At the NP service station in Cocoyea, motorists lined the Naparima / Mayaro Road as they waited for gas.
“I wanted to fuel up just in case we have any emergencies this week,” Sonny Dhansook said.
At Chase Village, in Freeport, meat suppliers ran a brisk trade. Parcels of fresh chicken were lined on the countertops, while customers came to make and pick up orders.
The Police Service has clarified that supermarkets, mini-marts and pharmacies will be allowed to open from 5.01 am to 10.01 pm today and tomorrow.
The police had issued a statement earlier in the day stating that those establishments were not allowed to open.
However, late yesterday evening the Police Service issued another statement clarifying that they would be allowed to open.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) wishes to clarify to members of the public that supermarkets, mini-marts, pharmacies, religious organisations (for the purposes of weddings and funerals), funeral homes, essential workers and other essential services, as per the Regulations, are allowed to operate during the period 5:01 am and 10:01 am on Saturday 19th June, 2021 and 5:01 am and 10: 01 am on Sunday 20th June, 2021. All other activities are not allowed.
The TTPS is committed to ensuring that persons stay off the road unless it is necessary during this time, in order to minimise movement in keeping with the rationale for the State of Emergency, which is to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 virus on the population.”