Sunday 5 July, 2020

Bar Owners' Association in support of COVID-19 regulations

Photo courtesy the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

Photo courtesy the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.

The Bar Owners Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BOATT) has issued a statement calling on bars to uphold health and safety regulations or face shutdowns. 

The Association issued a statement emphasising their support of the health regulations:

"We the Bar Owners Association of Trinidad & Tobago (BOATT), have taken note of a report highlighting “Two Held for Operating Bars after Hours”.

"In keeping with this we would like to thank the Trinidad & Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and the Prime Minister for their intervention in communicating with the Minister of National Security in assisting our Association in enforcing the Health Regulations and Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars, as set out by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Ministry of Health."

"As a responsible Association, we welcome all assistance that is provided as we strive to work hand in hand with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance of the guidelines.

"In keeping with the penalties for breaches of The Public Health Ordinance, where a person who commits an offence is liable upon summary conviction to a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for a term of six months, we the Bar Owners Association of Trinidad and Tobago trust that the rules of fairness and equity would be utilized in ensuring that we are treated likewise as opposed to closing an entire industry for the actions of an errant few."

"We hereby affirm that we shall partner with the TTPS to ensure that any establishment that is breaching the Rules of The Public Health Ordinance would forthwith be identified and communicated about, to ensure that we all work to keep COVID-19 out of our bars and restaurants and our citizens safe and Virus free, as we do our small part to “flatten the curve”."

"We would also strongly condemn ANY persons being threatened for highlighting the “errant few”. We welcome any citizen to partner with us and the TTPS to ensure the safety of our National Community."

The statement was issued after a warning that bars which are in breach of the Public Health Ordinance would be shut down.

Two bars were also shut down for operating after hours

The Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs issued a statement citing a quote from Prime Minister Dr Keth Rowley that bar owners and patrons who do not uphold regulations may face shutdowns on Monday. 

The Ministry said this follows concerns by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on the behaviour of bar patrons. 

The Ministry said Dr Rowley has given bar owners 48 hours to improve on their operations or face closure. 

The Ministry referred to videos of a bar in Chaguanas and a bar in North Trinidad showing crowds of people with no distancing or wearing of face masks. 

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