Couriers will work through the fear’
Courier services said today they were determined to continue to work despite an island-wide lockdown to help fight Covid-19.
But Kenny Thomson, the owner of Mailboxes Unlimited, said that new Government restrictions made it difficult to deliver essential items to customers.
He explained: “We can deliver a respirator to the hospital or we could deliver a new fuse to Belco if it’s urgent, but that does not even cover a little bit all of the essential items that we import.
“There’s a diabetic pump for one of our customers and technically it would be illegal for us to deliver it to her home.
“So we are open and we’re trying to figure out what exactly we’re allowed to deliver and not allowed to deliver, because the way it’s written now does not fully take into account what’s really essential.”
Mr Thomson was speaking after non-essential deliveries were suspended at the start of the 24-hour shelter in place regulations on Saturday.
He said earlier that the Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton, business was one of several couriers still in operation because they were ruled to be an essential service.
Mr Thomson added that his firm, like others in the sector, was told to continue to deliver important items such as medical equipment.
But he said: “There’s kind of a looming question as to what constitutes an essential items.
“The Government has come out and told FedEx, DHL, us, ZipX and everyone to stop doing home deliveries, but that stops the essential deliveries as well as the non-essential deliveries.
Mr Thomson added: “We’re trying to get them to reconsider their language so we can get a greater understanding of what constitutes as an essential item.
“The best example is an iPad — to you it might not be essential but for somebody’s kid who’s trying to study from home, it might be essential, so it’s not black and white unfortunately.”
Mr Thomson said that the store used to have a temporary front desk in front of the business to greet customers, but now customers were no longer allowed on the premises.
He added that the company was working with a “skeleton crew,” with many of his staff working from home.
Kevin Smith, the managing director of ZipX Bermuda on Hamilton’s Park Road, said that the delivery restrictions had forced the company to put about half of its deliveries on hold so they could concentrate on medical supplies.
He added that, because they would make fewer deliveries, some workers had been asked to stay home until further notice.
Mr Smith said: “It’s mainly the delivery people that have really been effected.
“We’re still making adjustments as far as work flow and what we’re doing from here.”
Mr Smith said that he still had staff from other departments, such as customer service, workings from the building, but added that customers were not allowed inside.
He added that staff had been told to take extra safety precautions, such as wearing gloves, cleaning their workspace and maintaining a safe distance between coworkers and customers.
Mr Smith said that he had considered allowing some of his staff to work from home, but the logistics of the business made that impossible.
He explained: “Most things are hands on and everything — the customer service, the deliveries — is happening out of our Hamilton office and our airport office and that requires hands-on work.”
He added: “Everyone’s sort of down to a degree, but generally speaking our staff seems to be very positive.
“We’re still taking precautions and it’s not as tense as it was when we first started working through the closures, so I think everybody’s fine right now.”
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