VIDEOS: Shoppers fight to get inside food stores
Chaos and confusion erupted outside of grocery stores around New Providence Wednesday morning as panic shoppers showed up from 4:30am to get in line and beat the crowd. However, the situation quickly escalated as shoppers fought to gain access into stores.
Police were called in to defuse the situation as tempers flared. Lines got longer and more disorganized as stores took extremely long to let new customers inside in order to adhere to social distancing protocols.
Frustrated Bahamians started shouting and arguing during what turned into a chaotic mess that could have been avoided.
During his national address Monday night, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced a total seven-day lockdown on New Providence effective immediately, which prevented many people from going to the grocery store to get everything they needed before the lockdown.
However, Minnis reversed course and lifted the lockdown today amid heavy backlash. The result was pandemonium outside of grocery stores.
“First thing this morning at Super Value, a chaotic mess,” said one customer outside of Super Value Cable Beach.
“Everyone run to the food store and about three police cars out here. It’s just ridiculous,” he added.
“I tell you only one person causes all this fear and panic that is happening right now. All of this is not necessary. This is crazy man. People fighting to get inside.”
As police officers watched, customers got in each other’s faces and social distancing was completely forgotten.
“Four police cars and still ain’t getting nowhere,” said another frustrated customer.
At Quality Supermarket, people showed up before the sun rose, resulting in the line extending past the food store and into the adjacent shopping center.
Further East at Super Value Winton, shoppers also fought to maintain their space in line and get inside the food store. Police also showed up there to maintain order.
Stores have been allowed to open from 6am to 9pm until further notice.
“I will provide additional details as it relates to the lockdown for New Providence when I address the nation later this week,” Minnis said in a statement on Tuesday.