Customers gather

LAST TASTE: Customers gather around a vendor selling grilled food yesterday evening at the Cross Crossing food strip in San Fernando, before the midnight lockdown last night. —Photo: DEXTER PHILIP

THERE were long lines on Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook for street food yesterday afternoon following the announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that all street food vending would be restricted by midnight last night.

Several persons stood up waiting to order their favourite food by the gyros, doubles and Royal Castle vendors.

At Hasan Gyros, supervisor Nikita Juman said while the second lockdown would further hurt the industry, she said it was necessary to do so as the numbers were alarming and could cripple the health sector.

Juman also blamed the citizens for causing the long lines at the various street food vending places.

“We the businesses tried to do our part by telling the customers to maintain social distancing, but it became difficult as at one point people did not want to adhere. This is what happens when citizens do not want to listen to Covid-19 regulations.”

She is hoping that the restrictions do not go beyond May 23, as Juman said it would be extremely difficult for the 15 workers at their various branches.

Another gyro vendor, who did not want to be identified, said he knew the restrictions for street vending were coming as the pictures and videos being circulated from different street food venues were cause for great concern.

While he noted that it was going to be difficult for the next three weeks without an income, he said the Government’s move was necessary in order not to end up like India and Brazil.

Across at the Royal Castle food truck, the Express spoke to customers waiting to get their last fast food meal until May 23.

Hazel Small, from Woodbrook, said she is disappointed that the street food vending had to be restricted, but blamed persons for not adhering to the regulations.

“Persons need to understand when they still indulge in private parties and lime in large crowds, this causes harsh decisions to be made and workers to be displaced. We cannot be selfish as a nation,” Small said.

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