Patrons inside a bar

FLASHBACK: ‘i distancing myself’: Patrons inside a bar at the corner of King and Abercromby streets in St Joseph.

For another time, bars have been left out of the adjustments to the Public Health Ordinance, as Government on Wednesday moved to stem the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

And bar owners are concerned that this will have a further negative impact on business.

Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) members have been operating with a ‘buy and go’ system since August 17, 2020. This means that no one is allowed to consume food and beverages on the premises or precincts.

Responding to the new restrictions which came into effect at midnight on Wednesday, BOATT stated that decisions to restrict businesses were economically detrimental to the country. It stated that keeping restrictions with little enforcement was futile and only takes away from legally operating establishments. This, BOATT stated, opens up a whole illegal underground industry where no health protocols will be observed.

BOATT stated that members understood that government was trying to curb the spread of COVID-19. The restrictions, however, were only for a selected few.

“Persons are still allowed to congregate in open spaces like public savannahs, mall car parks consume alcohol and food in a party like atmosphere, this has also opened up an underground market for the illegal sale of alcohol with little or no enforcement from the TTPS.” It stated.

BOAT stated that proper consultation was needed to assist the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) in enforcing regulations.

“BOATT is of the firm belief that with proper adherence to health protocols and strict enforcement we can win the fight against the coronavirus, the TTPS must carry out their duties effectively and equitably and be given the necessary tools and training to allow this process to be of value,” it stated.

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That spike, says Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Roshan Parasram, is T&T’s deadliest third wave of Covid-19.

He predicts that it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Trinidad and Tobago is now under a state of emergency.

A curfew is also in effect, requiring citizens to stay in their homes between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions made for essential workers.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the measures yesterday, one day after the business community called for an state of emergency and curfew to be implemented in an effort to bring the Covid-19 case count under control.

The parallel healthcare system is at near capacity, even as hundreds of new Covid-19 cases are being reported daily.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Dr Maryam Abdool-Richards, Principal Medical Officer, Institutions, noted that more people are being admitted to hospital daily than those being discharged.

Young people are most hesitant about taking the Covid-19 vaccine, while those aged 65 and older are more likely than any other age group to express interest in getting it.

This is according to data of a 2021 Consumer Economic Study (CES) conducted by Market Facts & Opinions (2000) Ltd (MFO) over the period April 14 to May 3, 2021.

Respondents were asked to indicate their perceptions of the Covid-19 vaccine, and whether they were prepared to be vaccinated.