The Government has partnered with the private sector to develop the E-commerce National Delivery Solution (ENDS), which will enable business continuity during the coronavirus (COVID-19) curfew hours.
ENDS will allow any business or vendor to connect to and leverage the islandwide network of delivery solutions to have their goods transported safely and securely to clients.
Any compliant business, taxi, or courier service provider, once approved to operate during curfew hours, will be able to utilize the ENDS platform.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who made the announcement during a COVID-19 digital briefing on Sunday (March 21), said the development of a model is far advanced, adding that limited testing of the service has commenced with the pilot is to be launched in Portmore by March 26.
“The Cabinet Sub-Committee has been working with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica to develop a model through which the quick service industry can be allowed to continue for longer hours within the curfew. Businesses and delivery operators registered on the ENDS system will be able to operate after curfew until midnight,” he explained.
Mr. Holness, who emphasised that the system is intended to be fully inclusive and equitable. noted, “[it] will enable the smallest business operator, the vendor, the jerk chicken man, your favourite fish vendor to participate”.
“The Government is trying to be as creative and facilitating as possible to the continuation of our economy. This is one way, using and leveraging technology, [that] will enable businesses to continue, even during the pandemic,” the Prime Minister said.
Vendors who do not have websites will be able to sign up for free through e-commerce platforms, including ‘WeShop’ and those provided by banks.
ENDS is designed to ensure that the small vendors are included and not left out from making online sales during tightened curfew hours.
Additionally, ENDS will also enable consumers to order essential goods, such as food and medicine, after curfew hours, and ensure that vendors and critical businesses can remain in service.