Saturday 19 September, 2020

Non-compliant bars will not be supplied with alcohol from Monday

From left to right: CEO of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) Brian Frontin, 
Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Beverage Alcohol Alliance (TTBAA) Dr Patrick Antoine, and President of the newly formed Bar Owners/Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) Teron Mohan address members of the media at a media conference on June 28, 2020.

From left to right: CEO of the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) Brian Frontin, Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Beverage Alcohol Alliance (TTBAA) Dr Patrick Antoine, and President of the newly formed Bar Owners/Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) Teron Mohan address members of the media at a media conference on June 28, 2020.

Bars owners have been strongly urged to comply with COVID-19 regulations or face the consequences.

Dr Patrick Antoine, Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Beverage Alcohol Alliance (TTBAA) issued the warning to bar owners and operators on Sunday.

Dr Antoine was speaking at a joint media conference hosted by the TTBAA, the Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism Association (THRTA) and the newly formed Bar Owners/Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT).

It came one day after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley warned that he will close bars by Monday, if they continue to breach the COVID-19 regulations.

"I will close bars by Monday if the reports coming to me are the same reports that came to me today (Saturday) and last night (Friday). People have opened bars and are doing exactly what we stopped them from doing when it was closed. What they are doing now is exactly what we asked them not to do," he warned.

In response, the TTBAA Chairman revealed that from Monday, products will not be supplied to those bars who continue to disregard the COVID-19 regulations.

"The TTBAA, which comprises 90 percent of the manufacturers, producers, distributors and marketers in Trinidad and Tobago, have decided that for bars that are non-compliant from tomorrow, the bodies that constitute the TTBAA, the likes of the Caribs, Brydens and others, we are going to withhold delivering any supplies or supplying those enterprises."

Questioned about the legality of the decision, Dr Antoine said the entities have a right to decide who they withhold their services from.

"The entities have a right to decide that they're not going to supply products to enterprises that essentially do not conform to the corporate guidelines that they've established for the brand. That decision takes place all the time."

He also announced that a 24/7 hotline has been established for members of the public to report bars that are breaching the regulations.

The hotline number is 277-7378 (SERV).

Meanwhile, Interim President of the Bar Owners/Operator Association Teron Mohan said owners and operators cannot endure another 90-days shut down.

"That would entirely condemn the industry as we know it. It's barely a week before some negative light has been put on to us. I am calling on all these bar owners, all the operators, all my colleagues in the industry to do what needs to be done. Make your improvements, enforce your improvements."

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