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Bars can now open until 10 pm

Three weeks af­ter bars had their clos­ing hours rolled back from 10 pm to 8 pm due to pa­trons fail­ing to ad­here to the Pub­lic Health Reg­u­la­tions, the Min­istry of Health has agreed to re­lax its open­ing hours, tak­ing it back to 10 pm. Bars will now be open from 8 am to 10 pm.

Miguel Eduardo

The an­nounce­ment was made by Health Min­is­ter Ter­rence Deyals­ingh on Sat­ur­day

Speak­ing dur­ing the Min­istry of Health’s na­tion­al brief­ing, Deyals­ingh said the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions would ex­pire on Sun­day

He said fol­low­ing con­tin­u­ous mon­i­tor­ing over the last few weeks, the au­thor­i­ties were sat­is­fied that bar own­ers and op­er­a­tors had suc­cess­ful­ly ad­just­ed their in­ter­nal op­er­at­ing poli­cies and as such, the amend­ments that were be­ing draft­ed by At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi would re­flect the new changes that would go in­to ef­fect from Mon­day

Deyals­ingh ap­pealed to both own­ers and pa­trons to play their part and act re­spon­si­bly

The de­ci­sion to roll back the clos­ing hours ini­tial­ly came af­ter nu­mer­ous re­ports of large groups of peo­ple con­gre­gat­ing at var­i­ous bars and out­side es­tab­lish­ments across the coun­try

Deyals­ingh said while it was dif­fi­cult to keep on a mask in a bar, it was in­cum­bent that peo­ple so­cial dis­tance in that set­ting. Bar­ring this, he said it was up to the TTPS to en­force reg­u­la­tions where it was not be­ing ad­hered to

Pres­i­dent of the Bar Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of T&T Teron Mo­han said while he was pleased to an ex­tent with the news that they could re­vert to the 10 pm clos­ing time, “There was much more work to be done.”

He said the two-hour ex­ten­sion was a big thing eco­nom­i­cal­ly in some parts of the coun­try

Sched­uled to re­turn to court on Mon­day, Mo­han agreed that disc jock­eys and par­ty pro­mot­ers con­tin­ued to be among the hard­est hit as he point­ed out that elec­tion cam­paign­ing was be­ing al­lowed to take place with mu­sic trucks and large gath­er­ings oc­cur­ring

Mo­han said while they were not yet ready to re­turn to what was nor­mal be­fore, bar own­ers could not af­ford to be­come com­pla­cent as the threat was still very re­al

He urged all bar own­ers/op­er­a­tors to ad­here to the guide­lines and se­cure them­selves and their pa­trons by en­forc­ing pub­lic health reg­u­la­tions

Mo­han said with the up­com­ing CPL events sched­uled to take place in T&T, bars are now go­ing to be sought af­ter to cater for pa­trons want­i­ng to view the games and as such, he hoped they would be al­lowed some lee­way by the au­thor­i­ties for those spec­ta­tors

He said, “That will def­i­nite­ly as­sist us in re­coup­ing some of our loss­es.”

Ram­s­ingh Lal­la, the own­er/op­er­a­tor of Nari’s On D Av­enue wel­comed the an­nounce­ment as he ex­pressed hope that the clos­ing hour would be ex­tend­ed from 10 pm in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate the lat­er times of the CPL games

He said all the pro­to­cols, sig­nage and sani­tis­ing re­quire­ments had been in­tro­duced