Pleasure Cruise Association writes to PM – “Let us operate as a safe zone”

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Pleasure Cruise Association writes to PM – “Let us operate as a safe zone”

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has been asked to grant members of the TT Pleasure Cruise Association (TTPCA) permission to operate as a safe zone.

TTPCA president, Stephan Mc Connie, in a letter to the PM, said the treatment of the industry through the pandemic “can only be interpreted as discrimination.”

He said: “We are going onwards of two years of continuous closure when other establishments are being allowed to operate and host fete-like events under the guise of a bar and restaurant license. What is even more alarming, is the fact that these events are happening at an indoor space.
Patrons are clearly not wearing masks nor social distancing,” he said.

According Mc Connie, their industry will be able to better ensure that protocols are adhered to and that the safe zone regulations are upheld.

“All our registered vessels provide a scientifically safer outdoor experience. We are also able to control the number of patrons on board as opposed to a bar that has hundreds of people in constant rotation throughout the weekend without time for proper sanitisation. Whilst our operations afford us a better opportunity to thoroughly sanitise vessels before new patrons’ board,” he added.

McConnie pointed out, “Our staff and operations have not benefited from any of the relief funds and grants that have been provided by the government. As such we have experienced great hardship with some persons losing their livelihoods. Our services provide significant gainful employment, both directly to persons especially within the Diego Martin West community, and indirectly to the marinas and service providers who facilitate moorings, repairs and other services to our vessels,” he said.

“We are pleading with the administration to please understand that this is not equitable and is unjust on several levels and to consider giving us the opportunity to operate as a safe zone. Our intention is not to prevent any other industry from surviving in these challenging times, however, we are justifiably asking for a fair and equal opportunity to be able to do the same. We have been suffering as an industry and we are more than willing to operate safely,” he said.

Under the current regulations, it is illegal to operate a party boat.