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Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses reporters on COVID-19 rollback measures yesterday.

Tobago beach restaurants brace for second shutdown

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses reporters on COVID-19 rollback measures yesterday.

An aerial view of Tobago.

Food shops and restaurants at the Pigeon Point Beach Facility are bracing for slow sales with the closure of the country’s beaches for the next 28 days.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the closure of the beaches and rivers and only takeaway services at bars and restaurants for 28 days, due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

Owner of Caribbean Kitchen, Rony Arnold, told the Express that the measures taken by the Government were necessary as the numbers seem to be rising daily and Covid-19 must get under some kind of control soon.

“Trinidad and Tobago is among many countries internationally experiencing a rapid second wave of viral infections and we have to take responsibility…”

– Downtown Owners and Merchants Association

“It will be tough, because even though the Division of Tourism, Culture and Transportation said food shops and restaurants will remain open and curbside only will be allowed, the beaches are closed, so persons will not just come this way for food. I am hoping that my business can withstand this 28 days,” Arnold said.

Owner and chef at Traditions Bar and Restaurant Curtis Lincoln does not believe the business can survive as a takeaway and curbside service will not make sense.

“While it may seem like it’s just 28 days as opposed to the lockdown that was implemented for three months in March, owners still have bills and other overhead expenses, so I cannot see my business surviving,” Lincoln added.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley addresses reporters on COVID-19 rollback measures at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s yesterday. Seated, from left, are Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram and Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh. (Photo: Trinidad Express)

Two staff members at Pigeon Point said they fully agreed with the Government’s stance as it was alarming that the numbers on the island were increasing. They made appeal for people to adhere to the measures in order to curb the community spread.

Life guard Aimswell Mapp noted that while he would miss his duties on the beach, the restrictions were necessary. He said he preferred the additional measures were in place instead of the virus spreading on the beaches.

The Downtown Owners and Merchants Association called on the business community at large to observe the full extent all of the guidelines that are being imposed at this time.

“Trinidad and Tobago is among many countries internationally experiencing a rapid second wave of viral infections and we have to take responsibility of the need for prudence and sacrifice lest we expose the lives of the population and ourselves to greater peril and the danger of death,” DOMA said.

The association urged downtown business operators to adhere to the rules of masks, distancing, sanitising and limited congregating.

DOMA also suggested the use of infrared thermometers as an additional safety measure.

Reproduced from the Trinidad Express