The Bar Owners Association of Trinidad & Tobago BOATT is extremely disappointed with not being allowed to reopen for ‘in-house’ business, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday. The association’s public relations officer, Anil Maharaj, spoke to Izzso media and detailed their frustration and disappointment on behalf of its membership:
He said it’s confusing that the Prime Minister allowed for the reopening of movie houses, gyms and beaches, while bars cannot resume their in-house operations. He compared the ability of bar owners to manage their business and patrons behaviour while in the premises and also said that while many have suggested that owners were not managing their patrons and the bars were identified as one of the sources of transmission of covid-19 week ago, they are awaiting the evidence to support such claims:
Maharaj also responded to claims and social media posts showing crowds of patrons congregating outside many bars weeks ago, in contravention of social distancing and other public health guidelines:
He said this continued restricted operations has caused the closure of almost 100 bars, and placed about four hundred workers on the breadline, since most of these have amounted so much debt, that they cannot reopen again. The next step for the association is a meeting to be held on Monday, to discuss the way forward.