After more than 31 years in the bar service industry, Allan Campbell, owner of Carrat Shed Bar in Marabella, said he is prepared to close his operations for good.
Campbell told the Express yesterday he posted a sign in front of his establishment explaining to his customers why his business remains closed despite Government’s new safe zone policy, which commenced on Monday.
The safe zone initiative allows bars and restaurants to reopen to only people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter their establishments.
Gyms, water parks, casinos, and cinemas were also declared safe zones by the Government, and these establishments must also follow the same guidelines.
Campbell wrote on a blackboard outside his bar the following message: “Customers of Carrat Shed, we are like family and we have never allowed anything to divide us. We will remain closed until all of us can drink, talk, laugh, and dance together, vaccinated or not.”
Campbell said he is against the safe zone policy and sees it as another way to divide the population.
“I am not vaccinated, but I am not against people taking the vaccine. I am against segregation and discrimination. Why should I take a stance against my customers, who made a choice just like me not to take the vaccine, or went ahead and got vaccinated? We already have race, politics, religion, gender, and so many other things that divide us, don’t let this safe zone policy become another thing for further division,” he said.
“There are a lot of people in the country that are not vaccinated. If you don’t have confidence in your leadership, and you don’t trust your leaders to be truthful, this goes for both PNM and UNC, you will not instil confidence in the country for persons to take the jab, hence the hesitancy.”
Campbell said he is willing to hold out and make the necessary sacrifices until the Government terminates the safe zone policy.
“I don’t care how long it takes, even if it means I have to close my business for good. Carrat Shed was built by loyal customers who made this brand into a household name. Why should I only be allowed to serve some customers and not others under this policy; this is wrong,” he added.
Campbell, 74, said at this time he is not interested in getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
“I haven’t gotten common cold for more than 40 years. It’s a shame the Ministry of Health is not promoting natural medicine and ways to boost the immune system. The Prime Minister is from Tobago, he must know about ‘bush medicine’. The Covid-19 vaccine does not prevent you from getting Covid, so until then, I will think twice before I take the jab.”