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FILE PHOTO: A group of friends enjoy the reopening of bars at the Pubhouse Bar on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, last year. Bars will be allowed to operate at 75 per cent capacity as of Monday.

PETER CHRISTOPHER

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From Monday, bars that operate as safe zones can welcome customers up to 75 per cent capacity after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced an ease on the public health regulations yesterday.

However, bar owners are still wary of the grey area left behind.

President of the Barkeepers’ and Owners’ Association (BOATT) Satesh Moonasar yesterday said he was grateful for the adjustment in the capacity levels for safe zone venues, but is still concerned that victimisation of bar operators can occur.

“We did make the call and we have written to the relevant ministers calling for the 50 per cent to 100 per cent and we are glad to see that things are moving in the right direction. But it still remains that we are seeing that 50 per cent to 75 per cent is still up to the officers now to decide what is capacity, because there is no clear indication of what is 50 or 75 per cent capacity,” Moonasar said in a phone interview yesterday.

Last week, Moonasar expressed concern that some safe zone venues were being allowed to flaunt the public health guidelines while others were being punished.

“So we will still be faced with the same problems, we will still be faced with the same issues and it is up to the TTPS officer to differentiate what is 50 to 75 per cent with no reasonable metric or way to calculate,” he said.

He said his group will continue to push for 100 per cent capacity.

“Because that is the only definitive way we can calculate what is what and to stop we are having with the TTPS where people are being punished and victimised at this time,” said Moonasar, who is also calling for a phased removal of the safe zone measure entirely.