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A police officer monitors the line to ensure proper social distancing during the CEPEP worker's vaccination at SAPA in June.

The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) and the Community-Based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme (CEPEP) will be allowed to resume operations along with the retail sector on Monday. The announcement came from Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during a press conference on Saturday. The retail sector reopening was first announced one week ago. However, the Prime Minister said the country was in a position now to also allow the sanitation groups to resume operations. “We bring out our cleaning and cleansing staff­—URP and CEPEP. Our roads and highways and byways are now becoming overgrown, overrun. Because they working outdoors, it is the view they can come out now, join the workforce outside and do the work that they do (while) maintaining strict protocols at all times,” he said.He stressed that the public health protocols must be maintained and asked that the organisers spread the workers out to avoid congregation. “It can be done safely and it should be done safely because we are now acknowledging loudly and proudly that we are living with the virus but doing certain things not to allow the virus to get the better of us,” he said.He said personal services such as barbers, hair salons and spas will be allowed to resume operations next Monday, August 23. He asked that workers in these sectors continue making efforts to get vaccinated before it reopens.The reopening of the retail sector is a major step for the country. However, business heads have lamented the uncertainty of doing business during the pandemic with lockdowns always looming. Asked by Guardian Media if he could give any assurances that another lockdown would not soon follow any major spikes in cases, Dr Rowley said: “I can’t give you any assurance. This is something that is beyond assurance.”He said the Government was hoping protocols would be adhered to and that there will not be any surges in cases, but if there is, he said, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”