The Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago is calling once again for the reopening of their sector, this time, based on statements made by Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds.
During the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 press conference on Monday 3rd November 2020, Dr Hinds gave a professional opinion from an epidemiological standpoint that there is no distinction between one gathering over another in regard to COVID-19 risk.
BOATT’s new interim president Satesh Moonasar, said that based on this professional stand point the Association will like to address all the different narratives used by the government to restrict the Bar Industry.
The Association said “In public spaces in Trinidad and Tobago you are allowed with an acceptable measure of risk to congregate in groups of no more than 10 persons spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart, these spaces include Restaurants, Casinos, Food Courts and Cinemas which are all classified as non essential businesses, so based on this, Bars should given an equal opportunity to do so.
They also pointed out that: “In public spaces in Trinidad and Tobago you are allowed with an acceptable measure of risk to congregate in groups of no more than 10 persons and consume alcohol on Roadways, Sidewalks, Promenades, Squares, Savannah’s, Parking Lots, under flyovers, Down the Islands and Beaches, EXCEPT on the premises and precincts of bars.
“Both indoor and outdoor congregation in groups of no more than 10 persons spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart are allowed in public spaces, except on the premises and precincts of bars. While alcohol consumption during congregation at casinos and restaurants are prohibited due mostly to indoor settings, alcohol consumption while congregating in outdoor settings are allowed except on the premises and precincts of bars.”
BOATT said that based on Dr Hinds’ professional opinion, why are bars singled out and restricted as a place where one can contract the Coronavirus as compared to all other places of congregation?
Given all the facts and information stated above they see no logical, medical or scientific reason why the government of Trinidad and Tobago cannot allow a limited and phased reopening of our industry once individual establishments meet the requirements of the health guidelines and safety protocols.
“The government of Trinidad and Tobago cannot conveniently use these narratives to restrict the bar industry while allowing it to persist and continue in identical conditions and environments everywhere else.”
BOATT said “Most bars cater for both indoor and outdoor settings and the association will like to suggest and would graciously accept outdoor dining with alcohol consumption while congregating and indoor dining with no alcohol consumption as the start of a limited and phased reopening for the bar industry together with the adherence of all health guidelines and protocols with harsh penalties for non-compliance.
The Barkeepers and Operators Association is calling on the Prime Minister to consider the facts and information stated above and allow the limited and phased reopening of the bar industry. The Associations executive is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to collaborate with the Prime Minister and all relevant government agencies and officials to resolve this very critical situation that affects the lives and livelihoods of thousands of citizens who all deserve an equal opportunity.