National Security Minister, Stuart Young has advised the population of the immediate move to shut bars at 8pm. This follows the blatant disregard for COVID-19 measures and restrictions, perpetuated by patrons at several bars since the establishments were reopened. The minister made the announcement this morning.
Meanwhile, earlier today, on a television programme, Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Beverage and Alcohol Alliance Dr Patrick Antoine said bars are getting the message after alcohol manufacturers threatened to withhold supply from those that violate COVID-19 guidelines.
His warning came after bar patrons over the weekend were seen in clear violation of COVID guidelines with no physical distancing or masks being worn by patrons. Large congregations were witnessed outside popular bars across
the country. In what was seen as a bid to stave off the possible re-closing of the bars, the TTBAA along with the Bar Owners Association and the Hotel Restaurants and Tourism Association held a press conference pleading with bar owners to observe the guidelines.
They were also warned that any delinquent behaviour will be met with consequences. Dr Antoine said the message was received by bar owners and he expects to see a change. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith is vowing that a repeat of this weekend’s behaviour by bar patrons will be met with swift reaction by the TTPS. Speaking on the power Breakfast Show this morning, Commissioner Griffith warned that police will be on the lookout for violations of the COVID 19 guidelines and will act accordingly.
A hotline is now also in place to allow people to complain about bars which are breaching the COVID-19 guidelines. The hotline number is 277-SERV or 277-7378.