Fabric retailer Jimmy Aboud’s Port of Spain store was open and long lines were reported outside the store on Thursday morning.
Many businesses are closed at present as the government tries to discourage social gatherings to curb the spread of covid19.
The business is not listed as an essential service provider, and other textile businesses in the area were closed on Thursday.
A line of customers was seen outside the store, which was said to be staying open until noon, but customers were going in until 1 pm.
One customer said the line had been much longer earlier in the morning. Many customers were lined up to buy fabric to make reusable masks, either for personal use or for sale.
The front door remained closed and customers were allowed in one at a time.
One customer was not allowed inside because he was not wearing a proper mask. His mask appeared to be homemade and hanging off his face, not properly covering his mouth and nose.
Another customer described the interior of the store as being “in a mess.” The customer said people were tightly packed in the narrow aisles .
“They are not practising social distancing,” said another customer. “It is very crowded in there (and) everyone is shopping as normal, and not just for material to make masks.” Customers could be seen leaving the store with large bags of material.
It is unclear whether the store was given special permission to open. Newsday was not allowed inside and the manager was unavailable for comment.
Jimmy Aboud’s is run by Gregory Aboud, head of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association.