Customers wait on tickets outside the Port of Scarborough on Monday. (Image: SHASTRI BOODAN)

Scarborough, Tobago, returned to a sense of normalcy on Monday, as scores of persons showed up for work at public offices.

Various retail outlets located in the developed western side of the island also opened their doors for business.

The Valuation Division offices were opened, as well as the Registrar General’s offices. Employees working with the Elections and Boundaries Commission also showed up for work. However, a notice posted on the doors of the EBC indicated that the EBC would be open to the public on June 8. 

At the National Insurance Board, a 40-year-old father of Plymouth Road, who is a displaced hotel employee, expressed frustration at the difficulty he was facing accessing social relief grants.

The father of three children—aged seven, six and five years–said he had visited the Social Development Ministry, who asked him to reapply for the grants since they could not find his paperwork. He told Guardian Media that staff at the Ministry of Social Development advised him to go to the National Insurance Board (NIB) to find out about the Salary Relief Grant. The frustrated father noted that he was then told by the NIB that they were unaware of this. The Plymouth Road resident said he has not contacted his MP for assistance, but he was desperate for funds to pay bills and feed his children.

At the Port of Scarborough, business was slow as usual with many persons entering the port to seek passage on the ferry. However, businesses at the Port Mall itself were open for activity.

Olive Henry, who runs a health food store, said business was slow. Henry said the last two months were tough on her, but she survived and spent her extra time in agriculture.

And Meena Ramdeen, who runs a kiosk selling replica watches, said she was glad to reopen and hoped that sales would again pick up.

At the Gulf City Mall in Lowlands, persons lined up outside Courts department store to purchase appliances and make payments on their hire purchase items. Speaking off camera, several customers said they were inconvenienced when their appliances broke down and they could not replace them.

Meanwhile, Mohammed Nassir-Uddin, who operates Mumtaz Enterprises—a company that sells mobile phones—told Guardian Media that consumers came looking for new phones and accessories. Nassir-Uddin said his stocks are low and he does not expect to be able to replenish supplies for another two weeks. 

Consumers at the Mall also were in search of new clothing and under garments.

At Caribbean Airlines at Crown Point, there was a short line of persons waiting to purchase tickets. CAL staff said the airline had added two additional flights per day, making it a total of four flights for the day.