Cloey Maharaj plays a game of pool at Happy Corner Bar, King’s Wharf, San Fernando.↔

With their operating hours cut and a further threat to shut down their businesses, the Bar Owners Association (BOATT) is condemning unfair treatment by the government and major suppliers.

In a media release yesterday, BOATT interim president Teron Mohan said members would partner with the police to identify any business breaching the Public Health Ordinance Regulations, 2020 to ensure COVID-19 stays out of bars and restaurants.

However, they called for fairness in how the authorities regulate all businesses.

“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 utilised in ensuring that we are treated likewise as opposed to closing an entire industry for the actions of an errant few,” Mohan said.

BOATT also condemns anyone threatening others for highlighting the “errant few”.

Last week, police arrested two men for operating bars beyond the stipulated 10 pm closing time.

The officers reported that they observed a large gathering at the bar along La Retreat Road, estimating about 30 persons, including minors.

There were also videos on social media, showing crowds outside other bars.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley threatened to shut down bars if they continued to breach the regulations.

It was just about a week ago that bars reopened after being closed for three months due to the government’s COVID-19 measures.