Members of the Barkeepers and Operators Association

PROTEST FOR LONGER HOURS: Members of the Barkeepers and Operators Association Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) protest their limited opening hours opposite Whitehall in Port of Spain last Thursday. 

The Barkeepers and Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) is seeking clarification on the recent announcement that an exemption was granted to sporting members clubs.

In a statement on Saturday, the association called on the Minister of Health, Attorney General and Commissioner of Police to respond .

BOATT stated, however, that the exemption allows members club to operate in a normal environment in which bars and restaurants are a part. 

BOATT stated, "If so, this exemption gives the rights to a particular percentage of the population to congregate, socialize,have recreational activity whilst the rest of population cannot. This is total DISCRIMINATION. This exemption coincidentally comes days after the TTPS instructed the Operations at the St Andrews Golf Club to cease. This also comes a mere week before the Great Race, where members of the yacht clubs would be free to congregate."

The Ministry of Health issued a release on Thursday stating that an exemption was granted to clubs which operate to support sporting activities, save and except, that such sporting activities are group contact sports and/or team sports.

The ministry stated that the exemption was with respect to regulation 4(1)(b) of the Public Health [2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)] (No. 28) Regulation, 2020.

BOATT recently stated that since March, the industry had faced numerous challenges due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, prime minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that bars will be allowed to stay opened but with a gran and go system. 

The BOATT, however, stated that many bars opted to remain closed as it was not feasible to sustain business. 

The association also stated that 48 bars and restaurant-type businesses have closed its doors due to the Covid-19 restrictions.


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