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Mohawk Council of Kahnawá:keTsi nahò:ten kahiatónnion a'arákonEnsaié:nawaseOnhkharéhson Aionkhihsnoé:nen
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Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke

Task Force clarifies Directive 55 regarding Cigarette, Tobacco and Convenience Stores


The Kahnaw�:ke Covid-19 Task Force wishes to clarify the distinction between cigarette/tobacco stores and convenience stores, as well as the reasoning behind their different treatments in Directive 55.

�The Task Force decided to close retail stores, which includes cigarette/tobacco stores, as they often cater mainly to non-local clients and are therefore at risk of increasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the community,� said Rats�nhaienhs Frankie McComber, the Mohawk Council of Kahnaw�:ke�s Lead Liaison to the Task Force. �Convenience stores are focused primarily on providing essential products to locals so that they need not leave the community.� 

Convenience stores are at a much lower risk of attracting non-locals and therefore, as the rate of infection is higher amongst our near neighbours, at lower risk of bringing the virus into the community.

It is important to note that the sale of tobacco products to non-locals is prohibited from any store in the community at this time, and owners and employees can face fines and even criminal sanctions. The Peacekeepers will continue to issue tickets to those defying this order.

A small number of retail businesses in the community have requested to be recategorized as convenience stores. Any other store owner may do the same by making a request to the Task Force and allowing for the inspection of the premises.  (Note: For the purposes of Directive 55, a convenience store may be defined as: a small, local store in which a significant portion of the visible stock is limited to food, essential toiletries, products for household cleaning or emergencies and newspapers and magazines).

We urge all community members to respect these directives as they are based on decisions made to protect our community from further cases of COVID-19 at a time when numbers are significantly increasing on the outside.

This Directive is being reviewed on a weekly basis.

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