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Food vendors report slow sales on first day out, as cops keep watch

“Girl me and God alone know what go on that I just had to bear with it un­til be­cause I know it must come to a stop,” he ex­pressed

A heavy po­lice pres­ence on Ari­api­ta Av­enue yes­ter­day morn­ing as of­fi­cers kept a close eye on the crowd of peo­ple as they lined up to pur­chase their favourite meals from food ven­dors.

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In some in­stances, of­fi­cers is­sued stern warn­ings to ven­dors telling them they were re­spon­si­ble for en­sur­ing no health pro­to­cols were bro­ken.

Yes­ter­day, food ven­dors and restau­rants re­sumed op­er­a­tions af­ter they were forced to close for more than two months due to the then ris­ing COVID-19 cas­es.

And while peo­ple in the line for Sauce Dou­bles wore masks and tried to so­cial dis­tance, po­lice of­fi­cers re­mind­ed them about oth­er re­stric­tions.

“Put a sign that say or­der or once it have more than five peo­ple they sit in their car when the fifth per­son go or two peo­ple go then they come,” a WPC told the dou­bles ven­dors.

The po­lice told them that the line should not ex­ceed five peo­ple at a time and in­formed them that they were the ones re­spon­si­ble for con­trol­ling the crowds. She said if they could not do so they would face the con­se­quences.

“When I pass here any­body have more than five per­sons I com­ing and shut down here…peo­ple tak­ing it light­ly and not obey­ing the pub­lic health reg­u­la­tions,” the WPC said.

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Af­ter she left, two po­lice of­fi­cers stayed be­hind to con­trol the traf­fic as more peo­ple showed up to pur­chase their favourite street food.

One of the ven­dors was seen send­ing peo­ple back to their ve­hi­cles once the line ex­ceed­ed five peo­ple at a time.

But the ca­pac­i­ty lim­it did not de­ter any­one.

One man told Guardian Me­dia that the plan was to vis­it five dou­bles ven­dors through­out the morn­ing.

“This is my third dou­bles stand I pass by, I don’t know if I go have room af­ter these here to pass by a next one,” he said.

The line was just as long at Josh Best Dou­bles in St James.

A cus­tomer by the name of Mark, who bought three triples with a Coke, said he could not wait to eat.

“I feel full al­ready and I ain’t eat it yet it’s been a while, I know my mouth go­ing to spring wa­ter when I sit down in my van to eat this break­fast here, but it feels good,” he said.

An Em­ploy­ee of Josh Best Dou­bles, Robin Chris­t­ian said he was hap­py to work again af­ter months with­out an in­come.

“Girl me and God alone know what go on that I just had to bear with it un­til be­cause I know it must come to a stop,” he ex­pressed.

With a line stretch­ing al­most to Bournes Road cor­ner Chris­t­ian said they an­tic­i­pat­ed a huge crowd yes­ter­day and were do­ing all in their pow­er to en­sure pro­to­cols were be­ing ad­hered to.

But the sales did not trick­le down to all ven­dors on Mon­day.

A juice ven­dor said he bare­ly got sales even with the steady stream of peo­ple pur­chas­ing dou­bles. He at­trib­uted it to the grab and go mea­sure as he said peo­ple most­ly pur­chase some­thing to drink when they are eat­ing on the spot.

“I come out with one case, it ain’t done yet and I here since 6 am,” he shared.

Just af­ter 9 am yes­ter­day ven­dors of George and Son on Car­los Street Wood­brook in­formed their cus­tomers wait­ing in line that dou­bles were al­most fin­ished.

They were un­able to sup­ply any, “big or­ders,” he told them.

One woman told Guardian Me­dia that she got up at 5:30 am to en­sure she got her dou­bles.

While the Guardian Me­dia team was there a man in a pass­ing ve­hi­cle shout­ed at the cus­tomers in line, “go home and cook,” but they were un­fazed.

“To all the naysay­ers dou­bles is life,” one cus­tomer said.

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