Going to the beach is safer than visiting an enclosed bar.
This according to Minister of Health, Terrance Deyalsingh when speaking about COVID-19 safety measures at a virtual media conference on Monday.
According to Deyalsingh, the natural ventilation on beaches can provide more security against contraction of the virus as opposed to enclosed, populated bars. As a result, recreational activities such as beach-going, were left as “Situation specific,” when drafting public health guidelines.
“Everything as we reopen the economy has to be what we may call situation specific. In an enclosed bar you have people congregating close together, speaking loudly over music to each other that is a dangerous setting. A beach where there are natural breezes and wide spaces the risk tends to be much different. That is why at the start we had advised maxi taxis to have natural ventilation,” he said
He said that in countries such as the United States, congregation on beaches have been a source of problems due to poor social distancing. However, he said that where public health measures are observed, and beach-goers are distanced by a few feet, the chances of contraction are less.
“So think about a beach as being, once you are being sensible, once you do not congregate on top of one another as we have seen in beaches in the United States and England. Once you don’t congregate on a beach you are going to be relatively okay.”
He also referenced a bar in Maracas that recently created a “party atmosphere,” that was considered dangerous.
“What is happening with the beaches, Maracas especially, the bar became a flashpoint for a party atmosphere. People were on top of cars, in your face, that is what makes it dangerous. If you are on a beach and relatively far apart, a couple feet, that is fine as opposed to being a couple feet close in a bar. It is situation specific, we just ask the population to use your good common sense,” said Deyalsingh.
Chief Medical Officer, Roshan Parasram added to this advice by stating that protocols should be observed in all circumstances.
“I think basically it is just applying the public health guidelines as we prescribed and trying to exercise our personal responsibility in keeping our families and ourselves safe,” he said.