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Supermarket Association President Rajiv Diptee

Rajiv Diptee, president of the Supermarkets’ Association of T&T (SATT) calls the Prime Minister’s move to allow supermarkets to open 24 hours during the Christmas season a “sensible” one.

Between December 10 and January 3, groceries and supermarkets will be allowed to open continuously for 24 hours.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made this announcement yesterday at a media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

Rowey said this will allow more spacing out of shoppers over the busy period, which will help with social distancing.

Supermarkets have been functioning at limited hours since April as part of Government’s measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“It is one of the most sensible moves that the Prime Minister can do for the Christmas season in light of the fact that we are trying to implement social distancing in a bid to reduce crowds at the stores,” Diptee told the Guardian.

Diptee said that supermarkets will continue to be responsible and adhere to strict health protocols to ensure that everyone is protected.

“Our three tenets at the association is built upon the pillars upon hand washing, mask-wearing and social distancing.”

Diptee added that in a stakeholder meeting with the Government they did bring up extended hours for supermarkets to remain open and he is happy that the position of SATT was taken into consideration.

Although they are pleased with the Prime Minister’s decision, he said that there would be additional costs for supermarkets as they will need more security.

Despite 2020 being a challenging year not only for the supermarket industry but for the entire economy, Diptee assured that customers can still expect bargain prices for the Christmas season.

“We have already worked out deals for the Christmas period with our suppliers. We have worked on specials and deals. We certainly have made the effort to get the traditional staples of snacks, biscuits, chocolates, sparkling wines to have those available. As for prices, everyone has deals and the competition is fierce.”