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Satesh Moonasar, president of the Barkeepers and Owners Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT).

The Barkeepers & Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) says they fully endorse calls by the business community for the continued reopening of businesses with full adherence to the 3 W’s. The following is a press release from BOATT:

The Barkeepers & Operators Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BOATT) endorses the calls by the business community for the continued reopening of businesses with full adherence to the 3 W’s and special emphasis and attention on vaccinated individuals.

The bar industry has been closed for over one hundred and twenty-four (124) days which started on April 30, 2021. That’s how long individuals operating within the industry has gone without a salary and without an opportunity to earn. Can you survive 124 days without an income? People have been surviving by utilizing all their savings and has now turn to donations in the form of food hampers from good samaritans and other business entities.

The BOATT is highly optimistic that the industry would be allowed a partial opening in the coming week. A proposal was sent to both the Honourable Prime Minister and Minister of Health proposing Monday September 6th, 2021 as the start of a phased reopening process, the first being a Take-Away service option ONLY.

Recent statements made by the Honourable Prime Minister indicated that government was concerned about the socializing aspect that bars encourage but did not have an issue with citizens purchasing alcohol to consume at home. Under the Emergency Powers Regulations, the consumption of alcohol and the congregating of more than five (5) persons in public places are prohibited. For this, we are basing our optimism, as individuals WILL NOT be able to congregate and socialize on streets and pavements surrounding bars, thus resulting in a true ‘grab & go’ process.

This, together with the association having its first dose vaccination day on July 23rd and second dose day on August 13th resulting in 100% of the registered membership being vaccinated. The addition of a take-away service to bars would assist in alleviating already crowed supermarkets and wholesalers resulting in less congregation at certain outlets and will also give bars an equal opportunity as other liquor licensed outlets who are allowed to open for full business.

As we celebrate 59 years as an Independent Nation, we must show and encourage our fellow countryman to act and think independently for their own personal benefit and those of their loved ones and not fall prey to charlatans encroaching on your independent rights, as we urge Trinidad and Tobago to embrace the vaccination process so we can once again celebrate Independence Day with the pomp and fanfare as before.