ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, April 14, 2020 (CMC) – Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell, has secured a commitment from the Grenada Bankers Association (GBA) to re-open banks to provide limited services to the public, during the current state of emergency.
It’s been reported that the Prime Minister initiated the meeting with executive members of the association, on Sunday, to discuss the resumption of banking operations.
The discussions ended with an agreement that banks will open on Thursday and Friday of this week, from 9:00am to 1:00pm (local time).
The procedure to give effect to 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) regulations.
At the end of the meeting, the Prime Minister commended the banking sector representatives for recognizing the need to provide this much-needed service to the public.
“I am heartened by the agreement of the Grenada Banker Association to partner with the government, in responding to the crisis 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.
“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 Prime Minister said.
The GBA 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.
It also reminded the public that all persons, entering banks to conduct business, must wear a mask or some form of facial covering, adding that persons, who failed to do so, or to accept a mask that may be provided by the banks, will be denied service.