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Customers purchase food at the Food Giant Supermarket in Barataria yesterday.

Police yesterday stopped the sale of cooked food at a location inside the Food Giant Supermarket in Barataria.

The food was being sold in the grocery, which is allowed to remain open as an essential service.

While police did not publicly state the reasons for the shutdown, the latest regulations prohibit the sale of food at restaurants and street outlets to avoid the congregation of people.

The regulations are not clear on the sale of food inside groceries.

The management of the grocery was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, the public is being warned to stop searching for loopholes in the new public health ordinance, as one Government minister says it is impossible for each prohibited act to be spelt out in the new law.

Minister in the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs, Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal, said citizens must understand why these laws are being enforced.

She urged citizens not to engage in ‘smartmanism.’

“It is simply unreasonable to expect that as legislators, in regulations such as this, for us to contemplate and capture each and every scenario, but what we trust is that good sense would always prevail,” Sagramsingh-Sooklal told Guardian Media.

Sagramsingh–Sooklal admitted that the legal notice introduced last year when the country went into lockdown for the first time, was more restrictive than this version of the law. She said more services are allowed under the new law, as the focus is on the retail sector with the intention of restricting congregations and unnecessary movement of people.

“I would want the general public to pay attention to the rationales behind these regulations which is, in essence, to stay at home and save lives and for us to try to stop finding an opportunity to circumvent the intention of the legislation,” Sagramsingh-Sooklal told Guardian Media after being asked if there is any part of the regulations that the public should pay particular attention to.

Adding to that, she said the new regulations are ‘nothing substantially different from the April 2020 regulations.’

Sagramsingh-Sooklal reiterated that those found in contravention of the regulations set out for retail stores face a hefty fine of $250,000 or six months imprisonment.

The latest legal notice, published yesterday, listed the retail businesses that would be allowed to operate until May 23.

Among the questions asked by members of the public was why stores that facilitate the sale of refrigeration systems were allowed to remain open, but the same did not apply to furniture stores, despite refrigerators being sold there.