Bar owners in Tobago are hoping business would pick up by the weekend as tourism spots and recreational businesses reopened this week, following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Guardian Media visited several bars and two of the sister island’s most popular beaches on Tuesday.
At Store Bay, vacationers were slowly trickling in to enjoy the cool waters under skies that were overcast with Sahara Dust.
Merle Mohammed and her travel companions from Erin, South Trinidad, said they had waited a long time to visit Tobago to getaway and relax. They had journeyed to the island on Sunday.
Mohammed said she was disappointed that tours to Buccoo Reef on the glass-bottom boats had not yet resumed. Checks with tour guides indicated that tours to the Buccoo Reef would not start until the first week of July since some boat operators are undertaking repairs to their craft.
Ashley McMillian, a famous former footballer in Tobago and the operator of Man on the Rock Bar, told Guardian Media business had been slow since he re-opened for business on Monday. However, McMillian said he was hopeful that business would start rolling again by the weekend and well into the July-August vacation period.
The craft market at Store Bay remained closed. When Guardian Media visited, workmen were busy cleaning up the environment of the grass which had grown through the cracks in the concrete pavers.
Ancel Richardson told Guardian Media he had journeyed all the way from the United Kingdom just to “soak in the salt water”. Richardson said he had been trapped in T&T since the borders were closed and was making the best of his time on the islands.
The Guardian Media team also visited Pigeon Point Heritage Park, which was opened for business.
Curtis Lincoln, who operates the Traditions Bar and Grill at Pigeon Point, said business was slow. Lincoln said he hoped the Park’s management would offer some free days during the upcoming week, in a bid to attract more patrons to the popular beach. Visitors usually pay a $20 admission fee.
Lincoln said social distancing would be practiced on the beach bar. He said he had painted bare feet symbols to indicate spots to congregate around the bar.
Visitor Kevon Persad said he had been unable to go to the beach because of the COVID-19 restrictions and intends to take advantage of his one week remaining in Tobago to hit the beach, daily.
Another group of visitors the Guardian Media team met were members of the Grace Joy Dance Group of Port of Spain.
Spokesman Jenelle Kerr said the young dancers were excited to get a break from Trinidad and used the time in Tobago to practice and visit the beaches.