Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh’s tears have moved Port of Spain Mayor Joel Martinez to act decisively to put an end to liming on the Brian Lara Promenade.
Effective immediately, the Promenade is entirely off-limits.
The public will not be allowed to even walk through the Promenade and should instead use the pavements.
Martinez made the decision yesterday, as he took note of Deyalsingh’s comments at a news conference on Friday.
Speaking during the conference, the minister said he wept when he passed by and saw many people gathered on the Promenade despite Covid-19 regulations in place.
“I wept, I really wept when I saw what was taking place at the Brian Lara Promenade. A total disregard for the public health measures. It was sad. I pulled aside and literally a tear came to my eye,” Deyalsingh had said.
“We don’t know what else to do to get the man-in-the-street to understand how severe this is and how important their role is in combating this virus.”
Speaking with the Sunday Express yesterday, Martinez said Deyalsingh’s plea moved him to address the issue once and for all, as the flouting of the Covid-19 regulations had grown to “ridiculous” levels.
“Yesterday, the Port of Spain Corporation council met, together with the police, and we had a suggestion from the municipal police to cordon off the area due to the fact that there was a lot of loitering taking place. And after hearing the Minister of Health about what was going on at the Promenade, we decided to take the decision to close off the Promenade,” Martinez said.
“That is to take effect immediately. Because there have been requests for people to adhere to the protocols and they are not listening.”
Barriers and caution tape were placed around the blocks of the Promenade yesterday to make it clear the area was off-limits.
Police will also be on patrol.
“It was getting too ridiculous,” Martinez said. “The people who were utilising the Promenade were wearing no masks and they were congregating as if it was business as usual, as if we are not in a pandemic.”
Walk on the pavement
and go home
He said the ban applies to all use of the Promenade, even as a thoroughfare.
“Walk on the pavement,” he advised. “There are pavements on either side. You will not be allowed to walk inside. We will be monitoring it and we will have police presence there all the time to ensure that no loitering takes place. Go home. Come out and get what you have to get, and then go home.”
The Corporation has left the public toilets open for use, if needed.
Martinez said the police presence will also be increased at the Central Market to ensure the protocols are being followed there as well.