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President of the Store Bay Reef Operators Association Dexter Black cleans up the ticket booth at Store Bay yesterday.

Tour boat operators working out of Buccoo Reef in Tobago are eager to get to work, now that restrictions on their operations have been eased.

Dexter Black, president of the Store Bay Reef Operators Association described the move by the government to allow tours as a positive one.

On Saturday Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced the relaxation of COVID-19 measures that had debarred them from operating.

The relaxed measures also freed up those doing tours within the Caroni Swamp.

Speaking to Guardian Media at Store Bay yesterday, Black said the association is still awaiting further guidelines as how they would be proceeding in order to comply with the law.

Black was at the time cleaning up the ticket booth at the beach in preparation for the restart of operations today.

Black said the area has 12 glass bottom boat operators and 10 other boat operators who conduct island and sport fishing tours.

He told Guardian Media that members of his association were struck hard financially by the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. He pointed out that while a few got salary relief grants, others were struggling daily to provide for their families.

Black said he was hoping that tourist would take advantage of the ease in restrictions.

“People who need a break would be coming,” he said.

He added that the association was promoting the tours via social media. Michael Frank, the association’s public relations officer said the last two months had been very hard with some members resorting to agriculture and farming.

He said based on the volume of flights there would be fewer people on the island unless government makes more seats available. Frank said all tour operators are ready and he advised would be patrons to purchase tickets from the authorised booth at Store Bay.

Among the easing of restrictions on Saturday, Caribbean Airlines will be allowed to increase its flights to Tobago, from two to six daily.