Chamber welcomes end of COVID-19 mandates
The government’s recent announcement that the remaining COVID-19 health protocols will be discontinued has been welcomed by the Antigua and Barbuda Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Executive Director Martin Cave said the private sector umbrella body supports the decision as the time has come for individual companies to determine how they wish to conduct business cognizant of the fact that the coronavirus remains a continuing health concern.
“Safety will always be a concern for businesses and each entity will make decisions on what it considers to be in its best interest. We are happy with the relaxing of the mandates. We feel that it’s a good thing for the business community,” he said.
Cave continued that this is a matter that will ultimately be driven by customers as any decline in the level of service provided to them will impact whether or not they decide to patronise businesses.
The executive director also noted that all commercial banks are members of the Chamber, however any changes to banking hours will be determined by the Banker’s Association which makes those decisions.
One senior banker has hinted that the existing banking hours are likely to remain in place as some banks have been encouraging their customers to access online and other channels to conduct business.
General Manager of the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank (ECAB), Michael Spencer, said his bank has been promoting the use of debit cards, ATM and online banking among its customers which will reduce the need for customers to come into the bank to conduct business.
Banking hours remained unchanged during the pandemic from Monday to Thursday, however business hours on Friday were reduced by an hour to 3:00pm.