Prime Minister to settle long queues with local banking association

File photo of people queuing outside the Republic Bank in Road Town.

BVI residents have complained bitterly of long and winding queues at banks and other institutions – particularly in the past two years – which have left customers exposed to the sun and some even fainting; requiring medical attention accordingly.

Those concerns appear to have finally found fertile ground at government level, with Prime Minister Natalio Wheatley recently revealing that the complaints would be forwarded to the banking association for redress.

“Yes recently concerns have been raised with me about some of the long queues and I have taken note to have a discussion with the banking association to see what can be done to better accommodate people “said the Prime Minister.

Dr Wheatley acknowledged that many of the long queues started with the advent of the COVID-19 virus and the resulting government restrictions to reduce its spread.

“Yes, we’ve eased some restrictions, but of course you still have to be vigilant because COVID hasn’t gone away,” Dr Wheatley said.

The government relaxation of COVID-19 restriction protocols months agoleaving business owners free to decide how they will determine access to their establishments and whether they will continue to enforce social distancing, mask-wearing and hand hygiene protocols.

On top of that, the government decided at the time that it would no longer issue quarantine and isolation orders for people who tested positive for COVID-19.

The premier noted, however, that the government continues to ask people to boost their immune systems and practice good hand hygiene. He further insisted that if people are sick, they should stay home instead of potentially exposing others to the COVID-19 virus.

“I think it’s important that we also pay attention to the comfort of our customers… You have elderly people, people exposed to the heat. So we need to make sure we make our customers as comfortable as possible,” Premier Wheatley said.

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Michael J. Birnbaum