It could be days before the average BVI resident receives their pre-ordered groceries from supermarkets approved to offer online shopping and delivery services during the territory’s extended lockdown period.
Two of the BVI’s largest supermarkets — OneMart Superstore and RiteWay Food Market — seem to have already become overwhelmed with online orders since the government announced the seven-day extension roughly 24 hours ago.
Before midday on Sunday, April 19, RiteWay announced that the store was not accepting any more orders, for the time being.
“All orders are currently on hold while we facilitate the processing of current orders,” the statement from RiteWay read.
One of our news centre’s reporter managed to place an order on the food store’s website just after midnight on Saturday. And after completing the order, she received an alert that her groceries would not be delivered before Wednesday, April 22. It said several orders from other residents were already being processed.
Shoppers are not eligible for delivery services from RiteWay if the price of their order is less than $150.
OneMart reports ‘extremely high demand’
OneMart, in the meantime, has placed a 40-item limit on all online purchases. As for the store’s wait-time, some online shoppers will have to wait up to three days before OneMart processes their order.
This is the case for another of our news centre’s staff who opted to shop with OneMart Sunday morning.
After placing the order, OneMart responded with a confirmatory email that, among other things, said: “We process a limited number of orders per day so your order may take up to 72 hours. We’ll reach out if there is a delay”.
OneMart also said in a generic message on their website that orders “may take longer than usual to be fulfilled” due to the extremely high demand for the service.
Persons who shop online at this supermarket are required to arrange with an independent delivery company to collect their goods, as OneMart does not offer delivery services of their own.
Residents awaiting govt’s official list of approved supermarkets
Up to press time, government — who has pledged that no resident will go hungry during this extended lockdown — is yet to release its full list of supermarkets and essential businesses that have been approved to operate at this time.
This latest curfew is an immediate extension of the 14-day lockdown that was supposed to end on Monday, April 20. Authorities decided to extend the lockdown following the death of a woman who had tested positive for the highly-contagious coronavirus locally.
She is reported to have been in contact with multiple persons before her death. Local health authorities are now conducting a contact-tracing operation and said they need a continued lockdown to do so.
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