Chambers welcome early start to Phase 2 of eased COVID-19 restrictions
The announcement by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley of an early start to phase two of the reopening of the economy has been met with favourable responses from the business community.
Both the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago believe the earlier start of phase two will redound to the benefit of the sector, particularly in the areas of foreign exchange and job preservation.
The T&T Chamber expressed delight over the early reopening of the manufacturing, construction, automotive repair, tyre shops, laundry and dry-cleaning sectors.
It said that based on the success of the actions taken in the next phase, it anticipates the Government being able to accelerate the opening of other sectors.
Commending the announcement by the Prime Minister the Chamber said: “We fully support the desire to protect lives and we believe Trinidad and Tobago has taken all the steps to do so. We are confident that this country will be recognised as having the one of the best responses to COVID-19 as we have had no cases reported over the past 21 days.”
The Chamber said it has already circulated the guidelines from the Ministry of Health to its members to follow.
It also voiced its support the No Mask-No Service policy and encouraged all businesses and consumers to observe the mandatory use of masks in all public spaces, including at businesses.
Meanwhile, AMCHAM T&T said it was heartened to see that health has remained the priority as additional businesses are allowed to be reopened.
It said it is hopeful that businesses will continue to implement the necessary safety controls to conduct business to prevent the spread of the virus.
AMCHAM T&T said: “We have already seen many companies who were deemed essential during the lockdown period adopt these new measures and so we encourage businesses to continue these trends, particularly with hygiene protocols both for returning staff and customers, social distancing, and employee travel arrangements.”
Taking note of a grant to assist registered taxi drivers, the business chamber said: “We appreciate the acceptance of the principles that registered businesses in the form of registered taxis should be recognised for being compliant and the tangible acknowledgement that the state can find ways to directly assist businesses to weather the crisis.”
AMCHAM T&T said the earlier re-opening of additional businesses will begin the slow process of kickstarting the economy. It applauded the move saying it would ensure the securing of jobs for employees, continuing trade, and earning much needed foreign exchange.
Further, it said the earlier start will assist the government to continue to provide the much-needed relief measures to assist citizens who are impacted by the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
The business chamber encouraged all businesses and individuals to follow protocols to stop the spread of the virus.
AMCHAM T&T added that it looks forward to more testing in the short term in the hope that there are no further cases of the virus locally to begin the work of rebuilding the society and economy.