Bar owners in Trinidad could lose their licence if they remain open

Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley.

While T&T Prime Minister Keith Rowley has praised most citizens’ compliance with the measures implemented to increase social distancing, it has not passed him that some insist on contravening the public health advisories.

On Monday, PM Rowley announced the closure of bars across the country, in keeping with his ban of large social gatherings. This is intended to stem the potential exposure and spread of COVID-19.

Speaking at a second Post-Cabinet media briefing on Wednesday, Rowley said he is aware of some bars that have remained.

“For those bars that are opening and encouraging people to congregate, and therefore pose a public health threat to the people of Trinidad and Tobago, I have to today asked the Attorney General and other relevant officers to determine whether posing a public health threat, also poses a threat for the licence of those bars,” he stated.

He also noted that there are some citizens who have used the advisory to work from home as an opportunity to engage in outdoor recreational activities, including trips to the river.

“Some are still congregating and will cause a threat to the national community. We do have some heavy hands we can bring to bear with such behaviour,” he said. “I have asked the relevant Minister to ask the relevant local governments to restrict the access to the river and we are asking people to do what is sensible,” he said.

While no official legislation has yet come to pass for large social gatherings, individuals who display symptoms of the COVID-19 and refuse to remain indoors for 14 days to avoid spreading the virus can be fined TT$6,000.