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Covid-19: Shopping as per alphabetical order extended to other businesses and services

Date: May 13, 2020
Domain:Health; Consumer Protection
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen

GIS – 13 May, 2020: Access to businesses operating in the food and services sectors, which are being authorised to resume their activities as from 15 May 2020, will be given in alphabetical order.  The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Yogida Sawmynaden, communicated this information on 12 May 2020, during an early evening broadcast on national television with regards to the gradual resumption of activities of certain trades in Mauritius.


According to him, shopping according to alphabetical order of surnames implemented during the confinement period to allow people stock up on food supplies has proved very effective.  The opening of supermarkets during the confinement has been very systematic, he stressed. The Minister also lauded Mauritians for having shown discipline in that regard, and reaffirmed that each citizen has the duty to protect themselves.


Speaking about the availability of stocks of food supplies available in Mauritius during the curfew, Mr Sawmynaden observed that there was no reason to give in to panic buying. “It was necessary at the beginning of the spread of COVID-19 in Mauritius to temporarily ban the opening of supermarkets for health and sanitary reasons,” he said.


As regards transgressions committed during the curfew, the Minister indicated that to date, 2 599 fines have been issued. There will be more stringent laws and sanctions under the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which will be introduced in the National Assembly on 13 May 2020, to ensure that the rights of consumers are protected, he pointed out.  In addition, in specific cases, the operation permits of some trades will be suspended, he said.


The Minister also recalled that under the COVID-19 (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, the public will not have to pay surcharges on their Central Electricity Board and Central Water Authority bills. The cash offices of these two organisations will also operate according to the alphabetical order system.


Regarding the activities of certain trades that will be authorised to operate as from 15 May 2020, the Minister clarified that the opening of bakeries, butcher shops, poultry stores, hardware stores and hairdressing salons, will be done under strict and defined conditions. Therefore, these businesses will have to abide by the rules of social distancing and employees will have to wear a mask and gloves.


Moreover, access will be limited inside bakeries and consumers will be served by an employee. As for restaurants and fast food outlets, drive-throughs or home deliveries services will be allowed.


As for hairdressing salons, these will operate only by appointment. Several sanitary precautions will have to be respected: compulsory wearing of masks and gloves; seats and all equipment will have to be systematically disinfected; each client must come unaccompanied; and magazines available to customers should be removed.

Members of the Police Force and Officers of his Ministry will carry our inspections to ensure that these businesses abide by the health protocols recommended by the authorities, the Minister said. Government, he emphasised, is monitoring the current situation closely and will take adequate decisions with regards to the gradual reopening of other businesses in the future.​

 #ResOuLakaz     #BeSafeMoris​

Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email:  Website:  Mobile App: Search Gov​​​

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