The Bar Owners/Operators Association says 47 bar & restaurant type businesses have been closed recently, and warns that those numbers will rise in the coming weeks.
It says while a ‘Grab & Go” arrangement was instituted on August 17th, 50% of bars opted to not even bother to open doors.
It says those that tried couldn’t sustain the operating costs, had no understanding from landlords for those who are tenants, and were not able to staff employed.
It adds that there are a number of staff members who are yet to receive salary grants after being in the very first wave of applications.
The organization also claims that bars have been accused of “driving” the community spread that T&T is now dealing with.
It claimed to have done its own research saying “we took it upon ourselves to investigate and in so doing, contact tracing had only linked three bars. During this period there were rampant closures of government offices, private firms and schools in which COVID-19 positive cases were discovered. The statistics then showed that only one bar was traced for very two weeks as “by the way” and the premises cleaned and sanitized as per protocol.”
It also insists that BOATT had been on the ground with the development, strategy, execution and enforcement of COVID-19 protocol measures in order to help curb the virus’ spread.