Councillor for the Linstead Division in St. Catherine, Herbert Garriques, has announced that vendors are allowed to carry out commercial activities on a section of Fletcher’s Avenue, otherwise called Market Street, from December 14 to January 4.
The portion of the road-way that they are allowed to use starts at the intersection of Market Street and Gillette Street, leading down to the intersection of Market Street and King Street.
Garriques told The Beacon that motor vehicles will not be allowed to use the section of roadway mentioned. They will divert on the left below Linstead Post Office, and use Gillette Street.
The councillor gave the assurance that vendors using the stipulated area will not be prosecuted by the police, who have been informed officially about the changes.
Garriques said the St. Catherine Municipal Corporation, for several years, has allowed the vendors to use the aforementioned part of Market Street during the festive season.
He, in the meantime, stated that the vendors don’t seem to be happy that the traditional Grand Market will not be allowed this year. Grand Market, held during the night leading into Christmas Day, is usually the biggest shopping day of the entire year.
The government banned it as part of its efforts to curb the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). On what is usually Grand Market night, people will be required to leave the streets at the start of a 10PM curfew.
Garriques told The Beacon: “The people are a little worried that there will be no Grand Market; that’s what they are worried about. Already, the police seem to be having a no-tolerance [approach] to the crowd and all of that, so the police are not happy with vendors who are going to be on the plazas and all of that.”
Head of the Linstead Police, Inspector Maxine Russell-Thomas, recently announced that her officers will clamp down on illegal vending as well as persons who breach laws put in place to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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