PR- Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Rt. Hon. Keith Mitchell, has secured a commitment from the Grenada Bankers Association to re-open banks to provide limited services to the public during the current State of Emergency.
The Prime Minister initiated the meeting with executive members of the association on Easter Sunday to discuss the resumption of banking operations. The discussions ended with agreement that banks will be open on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The procedure to give effect this service, requires the Cabinet to advise the Acting Commissioner of Police of the need to grant an exemption to bankers to operate, as provided for in Section 5(1)(i) of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) (No. 3) Regulations.
At the conclusion of Sunday’s meeting, Dr. Mitchell commended the banking sector representatives for recognising the need to provide much-needed services to the general public.
He said, “I am heartened by the agreement of the Grenada Bankers Association to partner with the Government in responding to the cries of the people. The COVID-19 pandemic has put us in unchartered territory and while protecting public health and safety is the top priority right now, we must also ensure that citizens are afforded an opportunity to access cash to meet their basic needs.”
Dr. Mitchell further stated, “Every exception that is made to the regulations to provide for the movement of persons puts the health of the nation at risk. Therefore, it is a continuous balancing act on the part of Government and stakeholders to make provisions for access to services while at the same time, safeguarding persons who provide these services. I am sure many persons are keen to see banking operations resume sooner than Thursday, but we must allow sufficient time for the banks to complete the implementation of necessary safety measures such as the installation of plexiglass screens to protect their staff.”
The Bankers Association has given the assurance that senior citizens and special needs persons including pregnant women will be given preferential treatment throughout the opening hours on Thursday and Friday.
All persons entering banks to conduct business must wear a mask or some form of facial covering. Persons who fail to do so, or to accept a mask that may be provided by the banks, will be denied service.
Persons are also reminded to observe the physical distancing and recommended hygiene protocols while in banks or waiting in line.