There were some hiccups in the St Andrew/St David County as businesses reopened for service under the Government’s Covid-19 “safe zone” initiative this week.
St Andrew/St David County Medical Officer of Health Dr Allana Quamina-Best said yesterday that inspectors found issues with some establishments not displaying their safe zone certificates properly, as well as one bar owner who has been referred to the police as he could not provide proof of vaccination.
Quamina-Best gave the update during the Ministry of Health virtual news conference yesterday.
On Monday, businesses that had been closed or restricted due to Covid-19 regulations were allowed to reopen under the condition that all staff and patrons are vaccinated. This includes bars, cinemas and theatres, gaming houses, gyms and in-house dining at restaurants.
Quamina-Best said that inspectors in her county have begun going to the businesses to ensure that they are adhering to the requirements to operate as a safe zone.
She said this includes checks for safe zone certificates, mask-wearing and sanitising facilities, as well as vaccination cards or proof of deferral or exemption for persons who have medical reasons to not be vaccinated.
She said the inspections began on Tuesday and the inspectors found several businesses that did not have their safe zone certificates prominently displayed.
“There was one bar in which the owner did not have proof of being vaccinated and so that matter has now been referred to the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service,” she said. She said only two restaurants had evidence of a safe zone certificate, while others opted to continue operating with take away services only.
She said there was only one gym and one gaming house assessed and they were both fully compliant with the safe zone requirements.
Responding to a concern that someone had boasted on social media that they were able to get into a safe zone business despite not being vaccinated, Quamina-Best said this would be investigated.
“What that person has now done is expose themselves and the establishment for further investigation by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service. The regulation is quite clear...the owner or operator of a business who, at any time, is found to be in contravention commits an offence and shall be issued a fixed penalty notice and the same applies to a patron who has entered the TT Safe Zone area without the required documentation.”
Quamina-Best said there were no issues with overcrowding as most establishments visited had just a few patrons.
Quamina-Best also revealed, for the year thus far, nine persons in her county had to be referred to the TTPS for breaching their quarantine orders.