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DUTY FREE SHOP AFFECTED BY NEW AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES

DUTY FREE SHOP AFFECTED BY NEW AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES

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Airport manager Joel Jack is encouraging passengers to be on time to check in for flights and to travel as lightly as possible. He is advising the public that the stricter security measures put in place on the heels of a worldwide terrorism alert will not be relaxed to facilitate anyone.

On Thursday, August 10, 23 persons were rounded up in London and its suburbs in the midlands of Britain in relation to an elaborate plot to blow up non-stop flights from Britain to the United States. United States security officials were reportedly working along with their British counterparts for months before the accused were apprehended in Britain.{{more}}

According to British security officials, the plot appeared to have been well planned and was into its final stages, with a dry run scheduled for within a couple days of their detention.

As a result of this, a terror alarm was raised worldwide and the Transport Security Administration in the United States handed down strict regulations which airports worldwide, including St Vincent and the Grenadines have complied with. A tremendous backlog of passengers was created at international airports worldwide as a result.

Most liquids and gels have been added to the list of items that cannot be carried on to commercial aircraft. Toothpaste, mouthwash, body creams, perfumes and all beverages are all included in the list of banned items.

Jack reinforced the new measures when he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, reminding travelers that only baby formula and prescription medication will be allowed through the security screening. Up to four ounces of crucial non-prescription medication and eight ounces of diabetic medication will be allowed to pass through.

As for duty free shopping, passengers now have to consume whatever they purchase before boarding. The alternative is to have what they purchased delivered to them just before boarding. The Airport Manager indicated that this information has been communicated to the duty free stores and the airlines.

The branch of local liquor retailer, Gonsalves Liquors, located in the departure lounge at E.T. Joshua Airport, has been affected by these new measures. In an interview with the SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, Carol Gonsalves, co-manager of the company said they have already seen a drop-off in sales.

“We were closed since Saturday, August 12, and only opened yesterday, Tuesday 15, and we saw the drop-off. Gonsalves said that she believes that passengers were still a bit confused , unsure about what they could purchase and even more so what would happen when they catch their connecting flights overseas.

She however explained that even though the strict measures and accompanying confusion may affect business, they understand the need for concern. “Terrorism is real and we must take the necessary precautions” admitted the business woman.

Gonsalves, who manages Gonsalves liquor along with her husband Lennox “Becks” Gonsalves, however suggested that a balance between vigilance and business advancement must be found soon because “airports get a lot of revenue from rental of shops worldwide.”

Arrests were also made in Pakistan regarding the elaborate plot and those arrests in fact reported spurred on the other security operations in Britain.

Meanwhile Airport Manager Joel Jack also indicated that there would not be business as usual in the Grenadine islands. The security services at airports in the Grenadines are leased out, but airport authorities have indicated to those security providers that they are expected to comply with the general heightened awareness and vigilance.

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