Banks may reopen daily to reduce queues

A huge crowd assembled outside St John’s Cooperative Credit Union on lower All Saints Road (social media photo)
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By Theresa Goodwin

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Banks may be able to operate daily during the extended 7am to 12pm curfew, instead of twice weekly as had been indicated by the government on Wednesday.

On Thursday afternoon, Prime Minister Gaston Browne noted in a social media post that if banks opened each weekday it would reduce lengthy queues, enabling proper social distancing and better service to customers.

Commercial banks and credit unions were re-opened to the public from 8am to midday on Thursday, after being closed for a week.

This came after financial institutions were added to the list of essential services allowed to operate during the curfew period which was extended for another week.

These institutions were closed during the original curfew period established to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The first curfew was due to expire yesterday. It will now run until 6am on April 16.

On Wednesday, notes released by Cabinet stated that banks would open Thursday and twice weekly thereafter, on Wednesdays and Fridays.

However, due to the large crowds that queued up outside banks and credit unions from as early as 6am Thursday, Browne said he has instructed the institutions to review their opening hours.

The Prime Minister also shared an image of an unruly gathering outside one such business, where it was obvious that most of the patrons were not adhering to the six feet social distancing policy and the mandatory wearing of masks.

 “Regrettable,” Browne posted. “We have just eroded some of the gains that we have made during the past week.”

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